SGA presidential election results announced


Maggie Busch

The winning candidates of the SGA presidential election: Juan Pablo “JP” Neri (rght) and Margaret-Ann Littauer (left).

Siri Patterson, News Editor

The winning party of the student body presidential election for the 2023-24 academic year is Juan Pablo “JP” Neri and Margaret-Ann Littauer.

Neri and Littauer won by 59.83%, beating the opposing party, Nathan Asher and Riley Ziegler by 26.47 percentage points. 6.79% of voters chose to abstain.

The elected candidates upon finding out they won the SGA presidential election April 21, 2023. (Maggie Busch)

Hampton Smith, co-director of the election, made the announcement at 3 p.m. Friday in Linville Falls of Plemmons Student Union. 

Neri, the newly elected president, said they will take office in the fall but will begin planning for the year as soon as possible. 

“There is not a constitution, currently, so the presidency and the vice presidency is really undefined,” Neri said. “So, we are going to spend the next couple of months figuring out what the role is and what it can be.”

The online ballot became available to students exactly six weeks after Vice Chancellor J.J. Brown announced at a senate meeting that SGA’s rules of engagement and elections were suspended indefinitely

Neri is currently serving as an Honors College Senator in SGA and said the group has been meeting every Tuesday since the suspension to discuss a remodel to the core values, mission statement and constitution. 

“The SGA has been in a really dark place for years now, a lot of interpoliticing, a lot of intimidation and a lot of stalling, and just a generally toxic, unhelpful environment,” Neri said. “We started working with the student affairs office when we realized the system wasn’t working for students.”

Neri said this election was “very different because we wanted to make it very different.” 

Neri said their campaign focused on connecting with the student body by setting up booths around campus and reaching out to student organizations. 

During his presidency, he said they will continue to reach out to groups on campus that may feel underrepresented, like the Multicultural Greek Council, the Latin-Hispanic Alliance and the Black Student Association.

The new presidential-duo walking in Plemmons Student Union. (Maggie Busch)

Littauer, who was elected as vice president, has not been involved with SGA prior to this election. 

“We kind of fill in each other gaps, especially because I don’t have the SGA experience, but now will have. JP can help me in that transition and just help me understand all the processes and things like that,” Littauer said. 

According to their website, Neri and Littauer campaigned on policies that included advocating for students, promoting accessibility, enhancing progress and reshaping the SGA. 

“App State wouldn’t run without the rich diversity of people and backgrounds that make up the student body. As Student Body President and Vice-President, we will continue to strive for policies that are proactive and remove barriers to student safety and success,” says the campaign website. 

Asher and Ziegler ran their campaign on a similar platform, focusing on potential partnerships and connections both on and off campus. Asher said he decided to run for student body president because he is passionate about the work he is already engaged with in SGA as the director of campus resources. 

“I think there is a lot of valuable collaboration to still be had within SGA and I am willing to work on that in the future. I am hoping, though, to work more directly with affected student organizations,” Asher said. 

Ziegler said she wishes all of the best to Neri and Littauer and is excited to watch their presidency and vice presidency take form and progress. Ziegler said her experience throughout the campaigning process was “interesting to say the least.”

“I think it was definitely a little more stressful for both campaign tickets because there is a lot of pressure there since we are reforming the entire SGA and the SGA constitution,” Ziegler said. “Everybody ran knowing that, if we got these positions, it would kind of be like pulling a sunken ship out of the ocean.”

This election determined seven other SGA positions for the 2024-25 academic year. Every student that ran won a representative position. The second-year representatives are Savannah Raley, Emerson Phillips, Evan Hiemenz, Hampton Smith and Matthew Felipe. 

The third-year representatives are Amarah Din, Dalena DeRoss, Maureen Hammer, Jake Jenson, Hunter Forsythe, Calen Webb, Hunter Clark and Neo Piwcio. 

The fourth-year representatives are Mariana Bonilla-Quesada, Abby Silvers, Justin Schroeder and Patrice Hinkson. 

The representatives for the College of Arts and Sciences are Hannah Rhoades and Chase Futrell. The representative for the Beaver College of Health Sciences is Kaysha Wizzart. The representative for the Honors College is Jackson Adams. The representative for the Walker College of Business is JaVon Siddle.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the term the duo will serve. This has been updated with the correct term.