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Gazzani makes history: Suffolk elects first international student as SGA president



After a monumental month of campaigning between two rising international seniors, Daniel Gazzani was elected Suffolk University’s Student Government Association (SGA) president, defeating Devarth Dixit, the current chair of the Diversity Committee, and became the first international SGA president.


“I am beyond excited and honored to have been elected to serve as the next President of the Suffolk University Student Government Association,” said Gazzani on Wednesday night after results were announced. “My goal in SGA has always been to represent the students of my university and to work hard in their service. I moved to the United States less than three years ago in pursuit of a passion, and today we have accomplished that.”


The winners were announced on SGA’s Facebook page at 8:39 p.m. on Wednesday night.


Current SGA President Sean Walsh announced on the SGA Facebook page on Wednesday night that Gazzani won by 61.9 percent of the votes while Dixit had gained 29.8 percent of the vote.


Freshmen Yasir Batalvi, also an international student, was elected as the vice president of SGA, who had defeated juniors Levi Smith and Matt Wood.

“I’m proud and humbled to be elected vice president of SGA,” said Batalvi on Wednesday night to The Journal. “Every candidate ran a tough race and that led to this election having one of the highest turnout in recent history. To all Suffolk students, this is because of you.”


Batalvi added that he was grateful for his entire campaign team, specifically Sophia Romeo, Justin Agyemang, Brendan Orgocka and Josh Cronin.

“They have been an invaluable support and have lifted me up every day. The entire campaign team has my sincerest gratitude and absolute admiration,” said Batalvi.


According to SGA, this election had yielded the highest voter turnout in a spring election since at least 2012. An estimated 22 percent of the undergraduate student body had voted in this election, which is 1061 students, according to Walsh.


“I’m overwhelmed by the voter turnout we saw in this election,” said Walsh in a press release. “I think it has a lot to do with the intensity of the campaigns run by the candidates, as well as the overall increase in awareness of the Student Government Association and the work we’ve been doing for students.”

*This article has been edited for content size. No specific statements have been altered. The original version of the article can be found at: The Suffolk Journal | Gazzani makes history: Suffolk elects first international student as SGA president, by Alexa Gagosz.