Third-year College student Ellen Yates was elected Student Council president Friday evening, with 10.03 percent of the University’s student body voting in the election — a drop from last year’s turnout of 12.6 percent. Yates ran unopposed after third-year College student Hunter Wagenaar withdrew from the race during Monday’s presidential candidate forum.
Yates has been a member of Student Council since her first year, previously serving as Chair of the Student Life Committee, Student Dining Advisory Board and Student Legal Services Advisory Board, as well as Chief of Cabinet.
Yates ran on a joint ticket with third-year College student Shefalika Prasad, who was re-elected as the vice president for organizations, and third-year Curry student Darynha Gnep, who was elected vice president for administration in a contested election against second-year College student Ilyas Saltani. Saltani had been on a joint ticket with Wagenaar and third-year Architecture student Veronica Merril.
Gnep received 59.5 percent of votes, with 10.6 percent of the student body voting in the VPA election, and 9.93 percent of the study body voting in the VPO election.
Yates, Prasad and Gnep campaigned under the slogan “A Renewed Commitment,” expressing their devotion to creating change in Student Council’s presence, partnership and accountability. In a previous interview with The Cavalier Daily, Yates spoke to her campaign’s focus on transparency between the Council and the student body.
“One of the things that we want to emphasize is our recognition that students have, in some capacity, lost faith in the institution of student council to do important, tangible work,” Yates said. “Our renewed commitment is a renewed commitment to broad institutional change. That is reaching outward towards students, towards being an ally, towards being a resource sharer, rather than sort of an internal focus which is what I think past administrations have done.”
Yates will succeed fourth-year College student Ellie Brasacchio as Student Council President.