Denbo defeats Bonsall in SGA President election

IUS Horizon

After entering the race less than a week before the Student Government Association election, SGA president-elect Amanda Denbo, business senior, officially defeated the presidential incumbent, James Bonsall.

Denbo and her running mate, Tristan Williamson, English junior, received 54 percent of the student votes, successfully defeating current SGA president Bonsall, business junior, and his running mate, Kevin Evans, elementary education freshman.

“I’m pretty shocked,” Williamson said. “We just jumped in the race a few days ago.”

Williamson said the two of them plan to spend the summer meeting with student groups and talking with student leaders.

After the Thursday, March 19, SGA meeting, Denbo acknowledged her opponents were both good candidates but said she plans to improve the relationship between students and the student government.

“I really want to help the students,” Denbo said.

“I kind of feel like we don’t know how to talk to students. They don’t approach us, and we don’t approach them. I don’t think that disconnect we have is very good,” she said.

Williamson said the current president doesn’t sufficiently communicate between the students and faculty.

“For the last year, James Bonsall has been a representative of the administration to the students, and I think it’s the other way around,” Williamson said.

“He hasn’t been willing to push the envelope with the administration,” he said.

Denbo, who has been an SGA member for the last two years, said she would like to see more student advocacy within the SGA.

“There are lots of little things that happen that no one ever comes to the student government about because they don’t think we can handle it,” Denbo said.

“The general perception is [the SGA] is powerless,” Williamson said.

Denbo also said she would like to see a change in the SGA attitude.

“I feel like, currently, the way things are set up, everyone is always lectured to not do the wrong thing,” Denbo said.

“The way I prefer to have it set up would be to encourage people to always do the right thing,” she said.

After learning the results, Bonsall called Denbo to congratulate her and pledge his support.

He said he was blessed to serve the SGA and will help the new administration every step of the way.

“We’re not bitter at all,” Bonsall said. “By having new leadership, a lot of new ideas will be brought to the table.”

Though Bonsall said he was not bitter about the ballot results, he said the current election system has its setbacks.

He said he plans to improve the elections for next year.

They don’t think e-mails were sent to every IUS student asking for them to vote.

Though, many of the e-mails were flagged as spam and ended up in students’ junk e-mail where they were not notified.

Although more than 6,000 students received the e-mail, less than 4 percent actually voted.

Bonsall was SGA President for a year.

Denbo will be inaugurated as president at final SGA meeting of the semester on Thursday, April 22.


Staff Writer