The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


The Student News Site of Dillard University


Rising juniors take control of SGA with election of Smith, Rodgers

Taj Odem/Courtbouillon
Toiya Smith and Traelon Rodgers, the incoming SGA president and vice president

NEW ORLEANS (March 29, 2019) – A Fort Worth urban studies major and a Dallas public policy major have been elected president and vice president , respectively of the Student Government Association for the upcoming school year, according to election results announced by the DU Communications Office.

Rising juniors Toiya Smith and Traelon Rodgers, both students in the pre-law program, will lead Dillard’s student governing body.

Meanwhile, Brianna Thomas, a business administration major from Luling, was elected as the 84th Miss Dillard on online elections March 20. She is joined by the 14th Mr. Dillard, Todd Welch, a physics major from St. Louis.

An email sent by the Communications Office said a “record-breaking” 52.9 percent of the student body voted, up 4.1 percent increase from last year. Of the 28 races on the ballot, half had only one candidate.

Other SGA officers are Kayla Hicks, a Houston accounting major, secretary; Alicia Hoey, a Shreveport accounting major, treasurer; and Rodney Perkins, a New Orleans biology major, parliamentarian.

Smith defeated rising senior John Lawson, who was vice president of the SGA, by receiving 58.7 percent of the vote. Rodgers bested Leah Erby 69.2 percent to 30.8 percent.

Hicks outperformed JaKiyan Steinbrook and Elizabeth Spears with 57.6 percent, compared to 38.7 percent and 3.7 percent , respectively. Hoey and Perkins were unopposed.

Royal court

For royalty, Welch was unopposed while Brianna Thomas won over Essence Thomas and Breanna Bailey. Miss Dillard candidates were ranked not only by student votes, which accounted for half, but also by the individual interview (20 percent) and showcase (30 percent). All three totals were combined for one score.

According to the results report, Brianna Thomas polled 33.4 percent of the votes, and received 90.8 on her interview and 96 for the showcase (30 percent). Altogether, the winner scored 63.7.

Essence Thomas received 1.12 more percentage points of the votes (at 34.5 percent), 82.5 for the interview and 85 for the showcase, for a total of 59.3. Breanna Bailey received 32.2 percent of the votes, 84.2 for the interview and 81 for the showcase, for a total score of 57.2.

Other members of the court will include:

  • Miss Senior: Nia Randolph (69.3 percent), who was opposed by Alexis Barnett (30.7 percent).
  • Mr. Senior: Johnathan Givens, who bested Seantrell Lemar 65 percent to 35 percent , respectively.
  • Miss Junior: Mishayla Murrell, who outperformed Mylan Morris-Eley 53 percent to 47 percent.
  • Mr. Junior: Mekhi Hayes, who outpaced Justin Matthews 54,3 percent to 45.7 percent.
  • Miss Sophomore: DeJoan Mitchell, who won over Jerra Gentry and Jasmine Williams with 60.8 percent, compared with 36.4 percent and 2.9 percent , respectively.
  • Mr. Sophomore: Terrence Gragg (unopposed).

Other class elections:

Winning senior candidates include:

  • President: Shawndrea Pierre (58.6 percent), opposed by Mia Age (41.4 percent).
  • Vice president: Tyler Racklin (unopposed).
  • Secretary: Dazjah Samuels (unopposed).
  • Treasurer: Makeedah Collins (unopposed).
  • Senator: Bria Jones (unopposed).

Senior ballots did not include candidates for parliamentarian.

Winning junior candidates include:

  • President: Dinah Cador (58.5 percent), who was opposed by Tiara Hamilton (41.5 percent).
  • Vice president: Cabria Ridgnal (unopposed).
  • Secretary: Eboni Collins, who bested Alexia Washington 54.3 percent to 45.7 percent.
  • Parliamentarian: Carlos Pollard (unopposed).
  • Senator: Jalen Adams (unopposed).

Neither junior or sophomore ballots included candidates for treasurer.

Winning sophomore candidates include:

  • President: Lauren Rhodes (unopposed).
  • Vice president: Mattie Harris, who ran against Aundrea Smith and Jalen Carr. Harris received 47.4 percent of votes, compared with 28.2 percent for Smith and 24.4 percent for Carr.
  • Secretary: Brianna Wyatt (unopposed).
  • Parliamentarian: Trent Dalcourt (unopposed).
  • Senators (two announced): Noah Armstrong and Lauren Petry (63.6 percent and 36.4 percent, respectively).

Nominations for the 2019-2020 SGA positions were accepted Feb. 22. To be considered eligible for an SGA elected office, a candidate must have had a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade-point average. To be considered eligible for class council, the candidate must have had at least a 2.75, no judicial hearings and meet the number of community service hours specific to each class.

No runoffs are held for these elections; instead, pluralities may decide a race. Freshman class elections are held each fall.

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Rising juniors take control of SGA with election of Smith, Rodgers