Santos, Islam, Wolfe and Comino elected to 2023-2024 Student Government executive board
Turnout decreased by 46 percent, with 1,356 students voting
Editor’s note: Jacob Fishman, a candidate for secretary is a graphic designer for The Eagle and Taraji Ellington and Aaron Russell, social media editors for The Eagle and now the president and vice president, respectively, of the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Council were not involved in the writing, editing or reporting of this story.
This story has been updated since the time of publication with additional statements from candidates.
The American University student body voted this week to elect Edwin Santos as the next president of Student Government.
Santos, a junior in the School of Public Affairs, won with about 62 percent of the vote during round three, accounting for around 600 students.
Santos, the president and co-founder of the AU student advocacy group Latinos En Acción, has never held a position in SG before.
“I will not take the responsibility of presidency lightly, and am ready to start advocating for students at large. I’m excited to see all the work we can accomplish next year,” Santos told The Eagle on Saturday.
His opponents, Chandler Eby, a junior in SPA, and Noah Gocial, a sophomore in SPA, received about 350 and about 300 votes, respectively.
Turnout decreased by roughly 44 percent from the spring 2022 election.
Santos will replace Chyna Brodie, a senior in SPA, who has served for the last two years as SG president. Brodie made history at AU in 2022 when she became the first Black woman to serve a full term in the organization’s top spot, and the second Black woman elected to the presidency.
Voter turnout decreased by roughly 44 percent from the spring 2022 election. It was the largest drop in turnout since 2018, when students cast 45 percent fewer votes than they did in 2017, according to a new analysis of past data from The Eagle’s coverage of SG elections.
Last spring, turnout rose by more than 47 percent.
Arusa Islam, a sophomore in SPA, was elected vice president with just over 53 percent of the vote. Islam currently represents the College of Arts and Sciences in the Senate.
“We need to do our best to uplift and support our students, and more importantly, our home,” Islam told The Eagle on Saturday.
Julia Comino, a sophomore in SPA and the School of Communication, was elected secretary with about 74 percent of the vote. Comino is a senator for the class of 2024, and is the chair of the Senate Special Committee on Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence on Campus.
“Through this position, I will prioritize building bridges between students, AUSG and administration. I will prioritize work like publicizing the survivors’ bill of rights and other resources to make sure students know their rights and support systems here on campus,” Comino said in a statement.
Abby Wolfe, a sophomore in SPA, was elected comptroller with about 92 percent of the vote. Wolfe has served as clerk of the Senate and as the Residence Hall Association’s vice president for social programming, both during the spring 2023 semester.
“As comptroller, I will ensure financial equity among all students and provide financial transparency and outreach for students,” Wolfe told The Eagle. “I am looking forward to working with the new executive board, students, administration and clubs next year.”
Arusa Islam, a sophomore in SPA, was elected vice president with just over 53 percent of the vote. Islam currently represents the College of Arts and Sciences in the Undergraduate Senate.
Julia Comino, a sophomore in SPA and the School of Communication, was elected secretary with about 74 percent of the vote. Comino currently represents the class of 2024 in the Senate, and is the chair of the Senate Special Committee on Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence on Campus.
1,124 voting students voted in favor of a referendum asking AU administrators to implement Sunrise Movement AU’s Green New Deal.
The second question on the ballot asked students’ opinions on the meal plan redesign for the 2023-2024 school year.
The largest group of students, 547 students, or just over 40 percent, said their opinions of the new meal plans were “Very Unfavorable.”
More than 20 percent said they were “Unfavorable,” roughly 14 percent were neutral, 11 percent found the plans “Favorable” and about 4 percent found them “Very Favorable.” About 9 percent declined to answer the question.
The Undergraduate Council results are listed below. Unlisted positions had no winner.
College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Council
President: Taraji Ellington
Vice President: Aaron Russell
Secretary: Jack MacCallum
Treasurer: Jacob Calderon
School of Public Affairs Undergraduate Council
President: Mady Brown
Vice President: Ethan Gaskill
Secretary: Paulina Tes
Treasurer: Gabby Landis
School of Communication Undergraduate Council
President: Lexi Rogers
Vice President: Leena Hanson
School of International Service Undergraduate Council
President: Jon Cote
Vice President: Emily Brignand
Secretary: Valentina Ramos
Treasurer: Venus Heidt
School of Education Undergraduate Council
President: Joe Molloy
Vice President: Shayna Caruso
Secretary: Gabriela Rupp
Treasurer: Anna Russell
Kogod School of Business Undergraduate Council
President: Isabella Bouvard
Vice President: Maya Kedarmehl
Treasurer: Katelyn Lewicky
This article was edited by Mackenzie Konjoyan, Jordan Young and Nina Heller. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis.