Debbie Lee and Blake Ackerman will be the Undergraduate Student Government president and vice president for the 2018-19 academic year. USG announced the election results Tuesday evening at its weekly senate meeting.
4,627 students voted in the USG election this year. That's 24.7 percent of the undergraduate population, according to USG's Elections Committee. The Lee and Ackerman ticket received 49.2 percent of the vote. Their opponent, the Mai Mizuno and Brianna Bozek ticket, received 46.7 percent of the vote. 4.1 percent of this year's voters, which is 190 students, voted to abstain.
The Senate election results were also announced Tuesday evening. The 12 new senators are Manda Bwerevu, Amy Chong, Matt Crane, Max Geschwind, Diviya Gutpa, Jillian Halperin, Shayan Kohanteb, Meagan Lane, Michaela Murphy, Gabriel Savage, Will Sherman and Jacquelyne Tan. These representatives will lead USG's decision making and represent student interests through legislation.
President-elect Debbie Lee said she's grateful for the opportunity to lead USG next school year.
"Even as the numbers were being announced, I immediately sensed that this wasn't something to be taken for granted," Lee said.
Lee's running mate and newly-elected vice president, Blake Ackerman, expressed similar remarks and thanked the pair's campaign team for their hard work.
"This has been such an incredible time," Ackerman said. "Working with Debbie and working with our whole team has been so amazing."
USG presidential tickets took part in two debates hosted by USC Annenberg Media this February. The discussions at the debates mostly revolved around diversity, inclusion, and plans for campus safety and involvement.
During campaign season, which started on Jan. 25, the Mizuno and Bozek ticket was also accused of violating USG's election code. The alleged misconduct was cleared after the USG Elections Commission stated that no violation had taken place.
After the meeting on Tuesday, Lee reflected on the campaign process. She said one of the biggest challenges was learning how to deal with the high amounts of pressure that come with leading a team.
"As a leader, there are moments when you just need to suck it up and keep going and do the right thing, even when it's hard to," she said. "That was the greatest thing I learned from this."
The election results will be deemed official on Feb. 27 after each campaign's finance plans are verified.