Eric Brock elected as new Student Government president in special election
Voter turnout decreased by 71 percent from the spring election
Eric Brock, a rising junior in the School of Public Affairs, has been elected to serve as the Student Government president for the remainder of the 2020-2021 academic year.
Brock won 41 percent of the vote in the special election held following the resignation of former SG President Nikola Jok, one month into his term. Rising seniors Hope Morency and Gary Lal also ran for the position.
“There’s a lot of work to do,” Brock said. “We’re ready to get to work because there’s a lot of things that the students need right now, and we’re focused on making sure that people get the representation that they need.”
Brock’s campaign platform emphasized addressing student concern over the Title IX office procedure and the abolition of social Greek life. As president, Brock also plans to aid students financially by repurposing the Student Involvement Fund and other AUSG funds to use as a discretionary grant for students affected by the coronavirus. Other goals of his include reforming and improving mental health services on campus, establishing student oversight of AUPD, and increasing funding for students of color.
Mason Peeples, a rising junior in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Communication, ran a last-minute write-in campaign for the position on the platform of abolishing social Greek life after being nominated by the Student Coalition to Abolish IFC and Panhellenic Greek life at AU.
With 664 total voters, Brock received 269 votes, Lal received 158 votes, Morency received 129 votes and Peeples received 52 votes. Write-ins and others accounted for 56 votes.
Although Student Government presidents typically hire their own cabinets, Brock will work with previous president Nikola Jok’s cabinet, as internal SG rules prevent a new president from firing their predecessor’s staff, SG inspector Brian Fu said.
The coalition drew criticism this week, both internally and from the campus community, for its last-minute support of Peeples, especially since he is dating one of the organization’s founding members.
Muskan Kaur, the director of the coalition, said the group was motivated to support Peeples’ campaign after allegations were raised against other candidates on social media.
The coalition later voted internally to de-endorse Peeples when members complained that they were not consulted by leadership before his candidacy was put forward Monday evening, Kaur said.
Kaur referred The Eagle to a letter she wrote to the student body to apologize for the coalition’s handling of the race.
“We recognize that from this point forward we need to focus solely on the abolition of [social] Greek life on American University’s campus,” Kaur wrote in the letter, adding the group’s intentions “were not to cause any harm to the AU community, nor portray the coalition as a political party or group.”
Also on the ballot were student council positions in the School of Education. Abigail Sherer, a rising sophomore, was elected president, as a write-in candidate, with a single vote. No other positions were filled.
Dan Papscun contributed reporting to this article.