Freshmen Holden Hopkins, Maher Rahman elected first-year representatives

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Photo Credit: Emmanuel Briseño | Daily Texan Staff

Holden Hopkins and Maher Rahman were elected as student government first-year representatives Wednesday night.

“I didn’t believe it at first,” Rahman, a biology freshman, said. “I really didn’t know how to react, and I was kind of in shock.”

Rahman had the highest amount of votes with 396 of the 1,465 possible freshmen and transfer votes, according to the office of the Dean of Students. Hopkins, a Plan II and business honors freshman, received 266 votes. Election results were released at 6 p.m. Wednesday, an hour after the voting period closed.

Both representatives have no prior student government experience from high school but said they wanted the opportunity to make significant change.

Rahman said his objective is to increase students’ access to mental health services with measures such as extending the mental health center’s office hours.

“I know what it’s like to have the bad end of the stick when it comes [to] mental problems,” Rahman said. “The times they are open are not really suitable for students.

Government freshman Jason Guidangen, who voted for Rahman, said he likes how Rahman personally tutors and counsels students for free.

“I think it is very helpful for the University as a whole, especially because of how tough it is academically here,” Guidangen said. “He does come off as someone who is
very genuine.”

Hopkins, however, said he plans to be flexible and listen to students rather than focus on any particular area or problem.

“This wasn’t going to be a campaign on issues,” Hopkins said. “It’s much more a mindset of what’s right, what opportunities do we have and what could we build off of this to make it stronger.”

Scarlett Neely, a Plan II and government freshman, said she supports Hopkins because one of his goals is to extend the Kinsolving dining hall hours. Neely said she also praises his work ethic.

“I think that anything he puts his mind to he can resolve,” Neely said. “He’s the guy who really has the vision for how he thinks things should be run.”