For Baker-Atchley, the SGA election results were well worth the wait.


After Thursday's technology snafu, which delayed the results announcement to Friday, the Baker-Atchley campaign took the offices of SGA President and Vice President, with Jake Baker and Paige Atchley winning respectively, while Engage UT's candidate Grant Davis won the position of Student Services Director.

Running under a platform of simplified transparency, Baker-Atchley won those two major positions by more than 300 votes in each instance.

"It feels unreal. I don't think it's hit me yet," Baker, a junior in political science, said of the win.

The pair hope to bring in a breath of fresh air to SGA.

"We're going to bring a lot of different perspectives into this organization," Baker said. "Paige and I, our campaign was completely focused on making SGA relevant to this campus because a lot of students don't really care that much about SGA anymore."

This fresh perspective can also be seen in the voter turnout in what was considered an upsurge in student participation, as 4,887 total votes were cast. Of that number, 4,710 were from the undergraduate student body, an increase from past years to nearly 25 percent of the undergraduate population.

After counting votes from graduate students, 19.2 percent of the total student population participated in this year's election.

Despite losing the presidential race, Lindsay Lee, junior in Spanish and math and Amplify presidential candidate, had only positive things to say about her former opponent and now president, Jake Baker. In a phone conversation Sunday afternoon, Lee expressed hope for SGA's future.

"Even though we disagreed on some stuff, we all want to make UT's SGA much better than it is right now," she said. "So I look forward to working with them. They're going to do some really good things."

In other positions up for grabs, Martin Walker was voted Graduate Student Senate President and Damien E. Pitts was elected GSS Vice President. Both ran unopposed.

The senate seats, filled by representatives from residence halls and colleges, will be occupied by candidates from all three campaigns. Of 73 possible seats, the Engage party won 38, Amplify won 19 and Baker-Atchley won 13. There were three seats unfilled because the Massey, Reese and Clement residence halls all lacked enough candidates.

The Responsible Investment Referendum was passed by a count of 3,590 to 860.

"The conversation about SGA has changed this year," Baker said. "And we're hoping to continue with that progress."