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Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024
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BREAKING: Student government presidential election decertified by undergraduate senate

Durham, Maxwell and Galimi elected to executive board, elections commission to hold new election for president

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. The Eagle has reached out to the candidates for comment.

Amid an ongoing judicial board inquiry into alleged violations by the Chyna Brodie campaign, the undergraduate senate voted Wednesday to decertify the student government presidential election. 

After a two and a half hour elections certification meeting, the undergraduate senate overrode the election commission’s recommendation. A new election will be held within 30 days, per the elections policy book.

"As inspector, I made the recommendation to decertify the presidential election due to the multitude of violations and alleged violations [that] have been reported to the Board with evidence ranging from Written testimony, video evidence, and photo evidence," Acting Inspector Michael Picchi told The Eagle in a statement via email. 

In an Instagram post and statement sent to The Eagle, Brodie apologized for mistakes that she said she has made along her campaign, and that she is taking responsibility for those mistakes.

Still, Brodie also said that running as a Black woman means "the actions of the Judicial Board, the Elections Commission, and the AUSG Undergraduate Senate are not exempt from prejudice."

"Existing as a Black woman means I’m not granted the same grace my white peers may receive," Brodie wrote. "It means being scrutinized, investigated, and ridiculed. Not just now, but throughout my entire term."

School of Public Affairs sophomore Jonathan Durham was elected vice president, SPA sophomore Coleman Maxwell as secretary and Logan Galimi, a SPA freshman, as comptroller. 

Durham and Galimi both ran unopposed and won with 68 percent and 66 percent of the vote, respectively. Maxwell was elected with 63 percent of the vote.

The executive board election voter turnout increased by 47 percent from the 2021 election, with 2,408 total votes cast. Of the three-day voting period, the first day had the most ballots cast with 1,657 votes. The record voter turnout follows the 28 percent decrease in last year’s executive board election. 

Durham’s vice presidential campaign focused on establishing communication with SG and the students, so they can voice their opinion on what speakers they want to see on campus. 

Additionally, he wants to diversify the speakers brought to campus so they better reflect the makeup of the student body. He also wants to promote in-person events, while also adapting to possible coronavirus guidelines and making events accessible for all students. 

Maxwell emphasized the importance of SG’s role to advocate for, elevate and communicate effectively with American University students, and hopes for more clear communication between SG and the student body.

Galimi’s run for comptroller focused on financial transparency within the University and the University budget process. 

In a statement to The Eagle, Galimi thanked students for voting and said he is excited to serve the student body. 

Four referendums appeared on the ballot. Questions one and two prompted students about the presence of social Greek life on campus. 

Over 1,000 students, around 45 percent of the total votes, said they don’t support the presence of social Greek life at AU. 41 percent of voters said they support the presence of social Greek life. Over 1,700 students said there should be more alternatives to social Greek life for community-building opportunities on campus. 

On a referendum regarding football, 59 percent of voting students confirmed they wanted a team on campus. The University’s athletics department confirmed to The Eagle that it is not interested in exploring the addition of a football team. 

Lastly, the fourth question asked if the University should explore the availability of hybrid class formats, to which 73 percent of the voters responded yes.

Class council results are listed below. Unlisted positions had no victor.

SOE Council

President: Emma Garry 

Vice President: Brian Kramer

The Kogod School of Business Council election was decertified due to issues with double majors not being able to vote. No candidates ran for any Kogod Council positions. 

Clare Mulroy, Nina Heller and Fariha Rahman contributed to the reporting of this article.

aturner@theeagleonline.com and vtsang@theeagleonline.com 


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