Elon University junior Britt Mobley will be Student Government Association’s next student body president after winning 68.9% of the vote.
“I’m feeling good,” Mobley said. “Happy to be working with the student body and happy to continue the work that we started a few years ago.”
This year, 1,825 students voted in the election, which is 29.9% of the student body. SGA members have been tabling around campus for the past week encouraging students to vote. Last year, 1,824 students, or 30.1% of the student body, voted in the election, and current Student Body President Nadine Jose said she had hoped to increase turnout by at least 100 students.
“The goal is really just to get at least 1,900 or over that, just to make sure that voting numbers continue to grow,” Jose said.
Voter turnout has been a priority for SGA, but with increases in student population from the past two spring semesters, the proportion of students voting in SGA elections has actually remained about steady since 2021.
The election did not go without a hitch; after voting opened the morning of March 27, the system shut down temporarily due to an error that gave some students the wrong ballot. The senior class ballot also left off class president candidate Genesis Tolbert. Voting reopened by noon, and all students who voted before the correction were sent an email telling them they would need to vote again.
Jose said there are usually a couple students who are given the wrong ballot based on credit hours rather than intended graduation year, but this year, the issue seemed to affect a significant number of students. Jose said about 200 students voted before the correction, but SGA decided it would be unethical to count the votes, and all were contacted with the corrected link. Though the first four hours of voting didn’t count, she said she doesn’t believe it had an effect on the election results.
“We wanted to take away any of those barriers, do some corrections,” Jose said. “It wasn't a great feeling, but we were happy to get it resolved in a pretty short amount of time.”
There were 20 races, making up 53 open seats, in the election. 28 of the 53 seats were left vacant, including the executive role of vice president of communication.
Only six races were contested. In addition to student body president, the contested races were vice president of finance, class of 2024 president and all three class of 2026 races — class president, treasurer and five senators, with six candidates. In four races — vice president of communication, associate justices with three seats, class of 2024 senators with five seats and class of 2025 treasurer — no one ran at all.
Student body president-elect goals
Mobley is currently a School of Education senator and previously served terms as a class of 2024 senator and sophomore class president. He was also briefly a School of Communications senator before going abroad for the fall 2022 semester.
As student body president, Mobley said he will focus on what he calls his three pillars: “access, connectedness and transparency.”
First, according to Mobley, is making sure SGA feels accessible to the student body. To him, this starts with making sure students know the purpose of the organization.
“It's saddening to me that across campus, folks don't even know what SGA does, what their role is or even sometimes who are in those roles,” Mobley said. “That's a huge problem for me, because, again, when decisions are being made, it affects the entirety of the student body.”
As student body president, Mobley said he wants to redefine the purpose of SGA as a central hub for community on campus.
“I think we could truly have a lot of beautiful and fundamental and productive partnerships with a lot of different clubs and organizations across campus to make things done right,” Mobley said.
Mobley said he wants to address his first pillar through his second goal of connectedness. In his words, this means creating opportunities for students to come together and see SGA in action.
The first step Mobley plans on taking toward this connectedness goal is revitalizing tailgate culture on campus. As a junior, Mobley came to Elon in Fall 2020 and has only experienced campus after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mobley said he believes campuswide tailgates will help bring different student organizations from across campus together and help create a culture of university pride.
“We get here, we find our core group of folks, but then we are all separated into little clusters on campus,” Mobley said. “But I always say, imagine the fun we would have if we were all surrounded by one common goal.”
Throughout his campaign, Mobley spoke about repairing the relationship between SGA and greek organizations on campus. At the SGA executive candidate forum March 23, Mobley said working closely with greek organizations will be a priority for him.
“I think folks within the greek life sector believe that they're always kind of pushed away or pushed to the outskirts a little bit,” Mobley said at the SGA executive candidate forum. “There's a lot of utilization between student government and greek life because we can get students and get to the most of the student body that way.”
The final pillar, transparency, is the most important to Mobley. He hopes with his access and connectedness plans, students will become active participants in student democracy.
“Transparency means that I'm accountable to the student body,” Mobley said. “I expect and hope that people will challenge and criticize every decision that I make, whether it's good or bad, and be knowledgeable about what's happening. Not only know what's happening, but understand why it has happened and ask those questions.”
Though he’s been involved in SGA since the beginning of his freshman year, Mobley said he’s excited to get started in a new role.
“I really want to take some risks this year,” Mobley said. “I really think outside the box and ways we can connect with students across campus.”