Elections for homecoming king and Mr. and Miss Ole Miss are heading to a Thursday runoff.
Before announcing the winners, Associated Student Body Attorney General Austin Fiala announced that 6,443 students voted in the 2019 Homecoming Elections, marking the largest voter turnout in Ole Miss campus election history. Students cast over 1,300 more votes than last fall’s personality elections.
Will West and Stefano Subauste will face off in a runoff election for Mr. Ole Miss. This race was the most contested of this year’s election, with six candidates running for the position. West, a senior public policy leadership major, and Subauste, a senior mathematics major, received 19.1% and 17.9%, respectively.
“We’re so excited for the next two days,” West said. “Our campaign strategy has really been to change the idea of what Mr. Ole Miss has become lately. We’re trying to bring it back to a service-oriented campaign.”
Subauste also touted his campaign platform, focusing on inclusion on campus.
“The platform (I ran) on is for the inclusion of all students, and making the campus welcoming for all students,” Subauste said.
The election for Miss Ole Miss featured three candidates, with Cecilia Trotter and Taran Carrasco advancing to the runoff. Trotter, a senior public policy leadership major received 43.2% of the vote, while Carrasco, also a public policy leadership major, received 28.2%.
Trotter’s campaign focuses on raising awareness for mental health on campus.
“If elected, I hope to continue to empower students by raising awareness for mental health, but ultimately collaborate with our Mr. Ole Miss to seek all opportunities that will continue to empower our students to reach their full potential,” Trotter said.
If elected, Carrasco plans to partner with Student Disability Services on campus.
“Miss Ole Miss is supposed to be all about the students and giving back and serving this community,” Carrasco said, “so by working with our student disabilities services we can improve the lives and the education of students here on our campus.”
In the moments before Fiala announced the results of the university’s first ever election for homecoming king, he notified the crowd of roughly 250 people gathering outside the Lyceum that there would be a runoff. The race’s two candidates, Park Shull and Carl Tart, garnered 49.2% and 48.4% respectively, with neither candidate reaching the 50% threshold necessary to win.
Fiala acknowledged this was a unique outcome, but noted that because voters have the option to write-in a candidate’s name, the threshold for victory wasn’t reached.
“The reason this could’ve happened is simply through the fact that a primary election on campus is allowed to have a write-in candidate,” Fiala said.
There were 134 write-in votes cast in the election for homecoming king.
Ciara Knapp, a senior biology major, was crowned as homecoming queen, winning 52.1% of the vote.
In addition to personality elections, voters had the opportunity to vote in an ASB referendum that asked students whether or not they supported raising the student activities fee from $5 annually to $10.
After unanimously passing through the ASB Senate last week, the referendum was met with a resounding ‘no’ from students, as nearly 64% of respondents voted to decline the proposed increase.
Filling out the remainder of the homecoming court, Elizabeth Turner was elected as freshman maid, Scout Hodges was elected as sophomore maid, Chessie Kay was elected as junior maid and Sally Boswell was elected as senior maid.