Penny-Karamali campaign responds to general election victory

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Ali Karamali and Jansen Penny embrace after the announcement of their victory. (Peter Loganbill | Collegian Media Group)

On Wednesday night, the general election for Kansas State Student Governing Association came to an end. Despite being the only candidate on the ballot for Student Body President, the Penny-Karamali campaign celebrated their victory at the end of their watch party at Kite’s Bar and Grill in Aggieville.

Shortly after 6 p.m., the results of the election showed that Jansen Penny, junior in industrial engineering and president-elect, received 1805 votes, while the category “none” received 535 votes.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily as much a victory for Jansen and I as it is for everybody involved,” Ali Karamali, sophomore in chemical engineering and vice president-elect, said. “So many different people put so much into this campaign because they believed in our mission and what we want to do to empower students and so many students put in their time and effort to vote too. It’s a victory for everybody more than it is for just me and Jansen.”

Although the race was impossible to lose, Penny said they were still excited to celebrate the end of the journey.

“What Ali and I have talked about is how long this journey has been,” Penny said. “It started about ten months ago and we have definitely put so much work and time and energy into this campaign. Even here, at the very end. It did get really hard, emotionally taxing and physically taxing. Even though we knew we were going to win at the end, we thought it was very important that we did celebrate all the work that we had put in.”

Penny and Karamali are set to be sworn in on April 4. Between now and then, Penny and Karamali will be building their cabinet and shadowing the current president and vice president, Jordan Kiehl and Lacy Pitts.

Penny and Karamali have a meeting set for 7 a.m. on Thursday and said they are excited to get started and bring their platforms to fruition.

“It is really surreal,” Penny said. “This has been such a long process. I would definitely be lying if I sat here saying that the entire journey was all great and all smiles and stuff. The past two weeks have been really rough. I’ve almost broke into tears in different hearings and Ali and I have had really late nights and hard conversations. There’s been so much frustration too. To say the entire journey was happy would be completely false. To say the entire journey was worth it, that is how I’d encapsulate it all. It’s a really satisfying feeling to have it come to a turning point in this way, in a success.”

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I'm Pete Loganbill and I'm one of the assistant news editors at the Collegian. After transferring from Johnson County Community College last semester, I am now a junior in Public Relations. I believe constant communication leads to progress, no matter how difficult a comment may be for me or anyone to hear. Contact me at ploganbill@collegianmedia.com.