SGA election: Watfae Zayed, Kevin Holechko voted next president and vice president


Courtesy of @watfae.kevin4depaul on Instagram

FILE-Watfae Zayed (left) and Kevin Holechko (right) were named next year’s Student Government Association president and vice president.

Students voted in DePaul junior Watfae Zayed and sophomore Kevin Holechko as President and Vice President of the university’s Student Government Association. SGA’s 2020-2021 election outcomes were released on Friday evening.

Zayed and Holechko ran on four key initiatives, according to their official campaign Instagram page

  1. Defunding the DePaul FOP tuition discount
  2. Creating a new scholarship to help students purchase/rent their textbooks
  3. Increasing communication between university administration & students
  4. Free university counseling services after the pandemic. 

Zayed previously held the position of SGA’s Vice President, and Holechko was previously the senator for the College of Education. 

The pair ran against Wesley Janicki and Keith Norward, who previously held the roles as Executive Vice President of Facility Operations and the Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs. 

Zayed and Holechko won by an 18 percent margin; they received 58 percent of votes, while Janicki and Norward received 40 percent. Other unnamed candidates received 12 percent of the total vote. In total, there were 595 voters in the election for President and Vice President. 

Adora Catherine Alava was elected as Executive Vice President of Diversity and Equity, defeating Magoli Garcia. 

All other announced positions were uncontested elections. Elected candidates who ran unopposed are as follows: 

  • Cindy Rocha was elected Executive Vice President of Student Affairs
  • Mason Decker was elected Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs 
  • Zoie Daughtery was elected Senator for the College of Education 
  • Zoe Soteres was elected Senator for the Theatre School
  • Alik Schier was elected Senator for Second Year Students 
  • Colin Steele was elected Senator for Third Year Students 
  • Gema Tinoco was elected Senator for the College of Communication
  • Carolina Aveces was elected Senator for Intercultural Awareness 
  • Javier Lozano was elected Senator for Mission and Ministry 
  • Kellen Brown was elected Senator for Community and Government Relations 
  • Hamza Khakwani was elected Senator for Graduate Students 
  • Cole Kitchens was elected Senator for the College of Business 
  • Riley Reed was elected Senator for LGBTQ+ Students 
  • David Hupp was elected Senator for Disabled Students 

SGA announced in an Instagram post that there is an internal protest pertaining to an unnamed candidate’s campaign. 

“For full transparency: A protest regarding a candidate’s campaign has been filed and is under review of SGA’s Judicial Board,” the post reads. “The Judicial Board is still meeting and figuring out proceedings on this matter. There are no further comments at this time.” 

Two referendums were also voted on during the election: whether students support the university’s relationship with FOP, and whether students would support a $5 quarterly sustainability fee.

The first referendum’s results show that 83 percent of 642 voters do not support DePaul University offering a 25 percent tuition discount for members of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). 

About 83 percent of 622 voters would support the second referendum, paying a $5 sustainability fee. According to the referendum, most universities charge a fee specifically designed to fund environmental and sustainable initiatives on campus; DePaul does not. 

“[We are] focused on helping all students and fostering an inclusive environment on campus,” Zayed and Holechko wrote on their Instagram. “We hope you join us in creating a better DePaul and creating an institution that works for everyone.”