Behind the Ballot

By Samantha Reichstein
Photos by Hannah Vickers and Lauren Ussery

The Student Government executive alliance candidates look great in their promotional photos all over your news feed. But as a student of the University of Texas at Austin, you want more than that.

Do the future president and vice president like the same bands as you?

Do they love the same local food joints?

Do they have any guilty pleasures?

ORANGE sat down with the three president/vice president nominee pairs to ask the questions that have not been asked, but that we’re all dying to have answers to.

Meet Braydon Jones and Kimia Dargahi. When they are not busy with SG, you may find Jones talking about getting slimed on Nickelodeon’s Double Dare 2000, or hear the story of when Dargahi successfully ate twenty-seven tacos in one sitting.

Q: What are your guilty pleasures?

Jones: Snickers and a sweet tea.

Dargahi: Any rice-based foods.

Q: What is your spirit animal?

Jones: The Albino Squirrel, easily.

Dargahi: Alpaca.


Photo courtesy of Xavier Rotnofsky

Photo courtesy of Xavier Rotnofsky

Xavier Rotnofsky and Rohit Mandalapu are writers for the Texas Travesty. In their free time, you can catch them jamming out to the Talking Heads or Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam — also known as Akon.

Q: If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?

Rotnofsky: George Clooney, because nobody can be that beautiful or real.

Mandalapu: Benjamin Button. You’d look very good for about twenty straight years.

Q: If you were a salad, what would be your dressing?

Rotnofsky: Probably a balsamic vinegar. Something with a little salt and a dash of paprika.

Mandalapu: More salad.

Half of our final candidate pair is no stranger to SG. David Maly regularly covers topics regarding SG at The Horn, The Odyssey and even as a former social media director at ORANGE. His running mate is Stephen Svatek, who is an active member of Longhorn Band and the Alpha Iota chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

Q: What are your favorite restaurants to eat at here in Austin?

Maly: I tried BBQ for the first time winter break, and Pokey Joe’s was really good.

Svatek: I would say Plucker’s, but recently I have loved the Clay Pit.

Q: Would you guys describe yourselves as quiet shower-ers or belting queens?

Maly: I tend to stay quiet, I would say.

Svatek: I love singing “Hallelujah.” The Shrek version obviously.


The three pairs will be at the Student Government debate at 7 p.m. on March 2 in the Union Ballroom, and voting takes place online on March 4 and 5.