Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, April 18, 2019

Chen, Burgess, Kwon and Zitzmann elected to 2019-2020 Student Government executive board

Turnout increased by 44.5 percent this year, with 1,944 students voting

Chen, Burgess, Kwon and Zitzmann elected to 2019-2020 Student Government executive board

Angela Chen, Mulan Burgess, Bobby Zitzmann and James Kwon pose for a photo after winning their elections for the 2019-2020 Student Government executive board on March 27. 

Angela Chen, Mulan Burgess, James Kwon and Bobby Zitzmann will serve on the Student Government executive board for the 2019-2020 academic year.  

Chen, a sophomore in the School of Public Affairs, will serve as the SG president alongside Burgess, a sophomore in SPA, who will serve as vice president. Kwon, a sophomore in the School of International Service, will assume the role of secretary while Zitzmann, a junior in SIS, will become the comptroller. 

“I feel surprised,” Chen said after the announcement on Wednesday night in Kerwin Hall. “I decided to run super last minute. I literally went to the last information session … and I filmed a video that same night. I decided to run about issues I’m passionate about.” 

Chen said her first message to the student body was that despite the belief that some perspectives aren’t heard by SG, she would do her best to listen and take action. 

Turnout in the election increased 44.5 percent over last year’s executive board elections, with 1,944 students casting a virtual ballot. Additionally, students overwhelmingly voted in favor of a referendum that showed support for the sale of alcohol at AU sporting events. 

Chen defeated her opponent, sophomore Joshua Dantzler, by a vote of 1,053 to 766. Burgess received 1,026 votes, while junior Carolyn Mejia got 662. Kwon defeated Danya Adams by a vote of 956 to 679 while Zitzmann, who ran unopposed, received 1,377 votes. 

Burgess said he and Mejia communicated prior to the announcement, agreeing to work together in the coming year regardless of the election’s outcome. 

“I worked hard to the bitter end there and didn’t expect this outcome,” Burgess said. “I'm excited to be working for students and bringing every voice to the table.”

Kwon emphasized his platform’s focus on increasing engagement and open communication. 

“I want to do something similar to a press secretary, where I send to the media some form of a report on what AUSG is doing to increase transparency,” Kwon said. 

Zitzmann said one of his priorities is to compile information for the 2020-2021 executive board that would make it easier for them to advocate for tuition adjustments and financial aid increases during the budget year. He currently serves as the chairman of the committee and recently authored a report on SG’s finances that advocated for a serious reallocation of funds. 

“The theme of my campaign was that students should expect more from AUSG,” Zitzmann said in response to the fact that he ran unopposed. “If I’m saying that, I can’t be … going to the minimum number of [campaign] events.” 

At the results announcement, outgoing secretary Alex Behle commended the candidates for their bravery in running for office. 

“Some campuses have football games,” Behle said. “Tonight is our Super Bowl.” 

aweinstein@theeagleonline.com and dpapscun@theeagleonline.com 


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