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Revote finalizes Yell Leaders

Tim Lai — THE BATTALION
Ryan Trantham reads announces the winners for the 2015-2016 yell leaders. 
Tim Lai — THE BATTALION Ryan Trantham reads announces the winners for the 2015-2016 yell leaders. 

The votes are in, and a student who is not in the Corps will once again serve as one of A&M’s five Yell Leaders.
The results of the Yell Leader revote were announced at the new E. King Gill statue Thursday. The revote comes after Yell Leaders nullified the original Feb. 19-20 election, citing questionable tabulating methods.
The results of the revote were the same as the original vote held by the Student Government Association, with one exception — cadet Ben Ritchie replaced cadet Kyle Cook.
Ritchie, who currently serves as a Junior Yell Leader, is joined by non-reg Steven Lanz as well as cadet and current Junior Yell Leader Zachary Lawrence. Cadets Will Alders and Chris Wilder will be Junior Yell Leaders for the 2015-2016 school year.
Ryan Trantham, special election commissioner and Memorial Student Center president, said more votes were cast in the revote than in original election, with 11,433 eligible ballots cast for Senior Yell Leaders and 9,612 cast for Junior Yell Leaders.
Trantham said he believes the vote reflected student body opinion.
“There were very clear breaks in the votes, very clear indicators that these young men were the students that the student body wanted to see as Yell Leaders for next year, so I was very pleased with that,” Trantham said.
Lawrence said he was pleased that roughly the same number of people voted the second time around.
“It doesn’t matter what the results were,” Lawrence said. “The ultimate point of elec
tions is to make sure the student body’s voice was heard.”
Ritchie said he’s glad the votes were counted fairly, but feels for his fellow 5 for Yell candidate Cook.
“Of course I’m kind of bummed Kyle didn’t get it, but I’m just glad that it was all worked out,” Ritchie said. “I know that God’s in control, and I just trust in his sovereignty and worked out the way it did for a reason.”
Having not garnered enough votes in the first election, Ritchie said he was prepared to accept Thursday’s decision, whether he won or lost.
“No matter what would’ve happened, whether I would have gotten it or not, I would have been okay because being a Yell Leader doesn’t define who I am,” Ritchie said. “It is part of my title, but it doesn’t define me, so I would have been fine either way.”
Ritchie and Lawrence both said they look forward to a fresh start as Yell Leaders with Lanz.
“He and his staff worked really hard on their campaign and the students voted him in,” Lawrence said. “Being a Yell Leader is like being a family, so we’re ready to welcome him into that family. We’re all looking forward to what next year has in store.”
Wilder said he is excited by the results and said the revote was the right end to a long campaign season.
“It’s been a long process and so I think giving the student body an accurate way of voting and getting a clean campaign season this week has been great,” Wilder said. “As long as the student body’s voice is accurately heard, that’s all I’m worried about.”
Trantham said the revote went smoothly and no allegations were reported by any candidate against another.
“I don’t think that’s because they weren’t aware of what the other candidates were doing,” Trantham said. “I think it’s because generally everyone followed the rules. They wanted this to be a fair fight.”
Victoria Rigsby, a kinesiology sophomore involved in the 5 for Yell campaign, said Lanz will be a credible leader.
“I think that it’s cool,” Rigsby said. “It’s not like he’s the first so I think it’s cool that somebody else, a non-reg, can represent our school just as well and he’s a great leader.”
Wilson said the combination of cadet and non-reg representatives will give the Yell Leaders the chance to represent a fuller scope of the student body.
Trantham also said he looks forward to having a different Yell Leader makeup.
“Though it’s nice to see a non-reg there, that’s a far cry from the diversity that exists on this campus in total,” Trantham said. “There’s no women, there’s certainly a lot of other demographics that could be represented in that group, but they’re such a small group, such an elite group, that I think that I would remind them that they do represent every area of this campus.”
David Trigg, Corps commander and business honors senior, said he was pleased with the results and that the decision to hold a revote speaks to the character of Aggies.
“We may sometimes make a mistake or we may have to admit fault here, but at the end of the day there are students here who care enough to make sure we are 100 percent correct in how we treat others and how we treat our integrity,” Trigg said.

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