Sherwood to lead next year’s USG

Melissa Dilley

1,387 students cast their virtual ballots, similar to last year

Leah Campbell, senator-elect for the College of Education, Health and Human Services, Marilyn Schwartz, senator-elect for the College of the Arts, and Brianna Lawhorn, Director-elect of Academic Affairs, wait for USG election results. Dana R. Beveridge |

Credit: DKS Editors

The hour-long wait to see the results of the Undergraduate Student Government elections seemed like forever to the anxious candidates and their friends who gathered in the Student Center last night.

But everyone’s complaining ended at 7 p.m. when televisions by the student organizations’ office announced Scott Sherwood as the next executive director, beating his opponent Joe Derkin by 194 votes.

The total of 1,387 voters who logged on to FlashLine yesterday remained consistent with last year’s turnout of 1,295 students.

While some winners of director positions received hundreds more votes than their opponents, elected senators won most of their positions by less than 100 votes.

USG Director winners:

Executive Director

Scott Sherwood

Director of

Community Affairs

Adam Patterson

Director of Governmental Affairs

Sean Mostov

Director of Academic Affairs

Brianna Lawhorn

Director of Student


Jared Smith

Director of


Jessica Lumpp

Director of Programming

Mike Szabo

Director of Business and Finance

Nikole Keslar

Director of Student


Justin Pierce

Sherwood, who was in class at the time winners were announced, said he would like to think he will be taking office in April because people cared about his message.

“I hope I won because people could get behind me, and we can work on this together,” Sherwood said.

“I also think I won because I had a lot of support from candidates running for other positions.”

Derkin was the first candidate waiting for the results. He said he had been nervous all day, and if he didn’t win the position, he had no idea what he was going to do with his time.

But all of the campaigning and the signs that read “Vote Derkin” posted in the University Library yesterday weren’t enough.

Sherwood said while he is still focusing on his current position as director of student advancement, he is going to begin preparing himself to take on his new role in USG.

“I’m going to continue this year’s success and work on getting speakers for next year,” he said.

Sherwood said he is also working toward starting a recycling program on campus next year.

Derkin said he will continue his involvement with College Republicans, and now that he is not going to be tied down with USG, he plans to take part in the Washington Program next spring.

When Jared Smith saw he had defeated Marie Daher for the position, he said he was glad all his hard work had paid off.

Smith, the current senator of off-campus and commuter students, said he has already been working on his first priority as the new director of student involvement: making USG more prevalent on campus and in people’s minds.

“Once I get sworn in, I’m going to make a blueprint and map out what I want to do for the year,” Smith said. “The first thing I’m going to do is put out applications with a resume attached for positions on the USG street team.”

Allison Reifeis, sophomore fashion merchandising major, said in addition to voting, she attended last week’s forum where the candidates presented platforms.

“If I didn’t know the person or what they were running for, I didn’t vote for it,” Reifeis said. “But I went to the forum, and I learned as much about them as I could because it is important to be involved.”

Students were voting for a referendum as well.

The referendum, which replaces four appointed senator positions with at-large senator positions, passed by a landslide of 449 votes, with a total of 506 votes cast.

The senators for international students, non-traditional students, one of the two off-campus and commuter students and diversity will be replaced by at-large positions.

The positions will be appointed by current Executive Director Jonathan Bey and Sherwood.

Bey said the change will give the senators a chance to work on many projects instead of being focused on a particular segment.

Candidates who didn’t win in yesterday’s election have the opportunity to submit an application by March 18 for the appointed positions.

Results for the senator of the College of Communication and Information will be announced today because all potential senators are write-in candidates.

Bey said the write-in results are delayed because the votes must be sorted by fictional characters, eligible and ineligible students.

Students who won positions will officially take their seats on the board at the 7 p.m. April 16 USG meeting in the Governance Chambers.

Contact students politics reporter Melissa Dilley at [email protected].