Chris Johnson elected SMU president

Junior Chris Johnson was elected SMU president Wednesday in a run-off vote.

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Mike Villa

Nate Hocking stops by the voting table to place a re-vote for SMU President Wednesday afternoon. After elections earlier this week, candidates Juniors Chris Johnson and Thilini De Visser were left to have a run-off to decide majority vote. | Kelsey Heng/THE CHIMES

Sarah Seman, Writer

Junior Chris Johnson has been declared SMU president after a run-off vote between he and junior Thilini De Visser Wednesday.

During Wednesday’s voting Johnson carried 63 percent of the votes while Visser received 37 percent. Current SMU president Luke Payton called candidates to inform them of the results around 6:30 p.m.

Johnson surprised and pleased by result

“I missed his call at first,” Johnson said, laughing. “So I called back and he asked if I wanted to meet in the office, and I first I thought it was going to be a no.” Johnson told Payton he would rather just be told immediately.

“He told me and I just couldn’t stop smiling!” said Johnson “it’s been a long process, but I’m just so excited to what the Lord’s going to do in this next season.”

De Visser responds graciously to loss

SMU presidential candidate Thilini De Visser said that both Chris Johnson and junior Brian S. are “incredible men of God and I think that it was a great race to run.” Thilini is thankful for the experience said she has no regrets.

Johnson said that he looks forward to working with the other candidates intimately and wants to see their visions move forward.

“I really believe in what they stand for and what they want to see on this campus,” Johnson said “I’m all about seeing new perspectives in missions and at Biola, but also seeing people really involved and having SMU be their SMU.”

Johnson already beginning to network

Already, Johnson is meeting with ministries to start seeing how they can get connections.

“I met with Say Yes today talk about what it would look like to do a network,” he said.

Johnson says next on his agenda is the interview process for SMU staff and figuring out ways to practically bring unity on campus.

“I want to make sure that is going forward immediately just so we can get the process going in this semester and really have it in full swing for next semester,” Johnson said.

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