The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


Freshman class elects female leader

Jamia Collins| Courtbouillon
Freshman Class Council officers pose after winners were announced. From left are Toiya Smith, president; Tiara Hamilton, vice president; Cassia Myles, secretary; Braxton Williams, treasurer;  BreAsia Austin, parliamentarian; Jaquan Fort, director of public relations; and Dinah Cador, chaplain. 

Toiya Smith

The first female Freshman Class Council president in at least eight years, an Urban Studies/Public Policy major from Fort Worth, Texas, was elected from five candidates during online voting Sept. 13.

The vice president also is a female. A runoff the following day was necessary to select the winner for Mister Freshman despite a Student Government Association policy change last semester that allowed winners by plurality.

Student Government Association President Tevon Blair said his office researched back to 2009, and all the freshmen leaders to that date were males, making Toiya Smith the first female to win in at least that long. Dillard’s student population is 72 percent female, and 253 freshmen voted.

According to results released by Courtney Williams, director for the Center for Student Engagement, Smith won nearly 30.9 percent of the votes (79 votes), besting candidates Emilia Charles, Jai Flowers, Demetrius Grant and Zariah Nolan. The closest was Nolan, with 60 votes (23.4 percent).

To avoid runoffs to have winners get a majority of the vote, the SGA changed its election guidelines in the spring to allow candidates to win by a plurality, Blair said. Even so, a runoff was needed Sept. 14 in the race for Mister Freshman between Corinthius Matthews and Justin Mathews. Justin Mathews won 55 percent of the vote. Other candidates were Mekhi Hayes and Elijah Jobe.

Tiara Hamilton, a psychology major from Lafayette, will be second-in-command as vice president after landing nearly 40 percent of the votes (101), beating Kamryn Linton, Mylan Morris-Eley and Rodney Perkins.

The slate for Miss Freshman had 13 candidates, and Breanna led the pack to win with 91 votes, or 35.7 percent. Other candidates included Jessikah Banks, Tyra Brown, Cheryl Daniel, Tyler Davis, Javonna Holmes, Kia Howard, Kali Jack, Lillie MacLelland, Mishayla Murrell, Kaylan Tanner, Alannah Williams and Mya Young.

Other winners included:

  • Secretary: Cassia Myles, a psychology major from Houston, won with 39.5 percent (100 votes) over Jordan Cane and Ashley Berry.
  • Treasurer: Braxton Williams bested Amirah Little with 53.7 percent (137 votes).
  • Parliamentarian: BreAsia Austin, a Dallas Mass Communication major, won with 29.8 percent, or 76 votes, against five opponents: Nicole Berry, Leah Cunningham, Neisinia Mafi, Cabria Ridgnal and Kyndra Tillman.
  • Director of public relations: Jaquan Fort took 66 votes (nearly 26 percent) to win the new position against six foes: Alisha Coleman, Kaylin McGlothen, Ayana Robinson, Jermaine Robinson, Tania Royster and Jasmine Watson.
  • Chaplain: Dinah Cador beat four opponents with 93 votes (36.6 percent). The others were Taylor Bosie, Nic Evans and Caitlin Foster.

(Denazha Thompson-Haynes contributed to this report.)

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Freshman class elects female leader