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College senior Mercedes Owens (left) and College junior Mary Sadallah (right) will serve as the 2020-2021 Undergraduate Assembly President and Vice President, respectively. (Photo by Asfandyar Cheema)

College senior Mercedes Owens and College junior Mary Sadallah will serve as the next Undergraduate Assembly president and vice president.

Owens and Sadallah ran unopposed in this year’s elections and both secured approximately 1,300 votes. The election took place from Sept. 12 to 14 after being postponed from earlier this spring by the Nominations and Elections Committee due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Owens and Sadallah ran on a five-point platform of effective representation of student voices, increased collaboration with student groups, improved campus climate, activism on behalf of marginalized students, and accountability to the student body.

Credit: Georgia Ray

Wharton sophomore Derek Nhieu won a second term as 2023 Class Board President after triumphing in a closely contested race with a total of six candidates. Nhieu beat out runner-up College sophomore Alana Kelly, a deputy design editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian, by 23 votes. 

Wharton sophomore Joel Olujide defeated two other candidates for 2023 Class Board Executive Vice President after College sophomore and former Executive Vice President Dylan Conrad dropped out of the race this weekend.

Conrad withdrew from the race after an anonymous GroupMe account shared a screenshot of Conrad sending a message containing the N-word to another GroupMe chat in September 2019. The screenshot was shared in the Class of 2023 GroupMe chat, which currently has over 1,000 members. Some members of the previous 2023 Class Board were in the original GroupMe chat where Conrad had sent the racial slur.

"I am extremely sorry for what I said and to anyone who was offended by it, and even months before this came out, I put out a public statement apologizing for my past ignorance of the word and vowed to do better and educate myself," Conrad posted to the upenn.memes Instagram account, which he runs. 

College sophomore Julia Lottman, who was in the GroupMe chat where Conrad messaged the N-word, announced in the Class of 2023 GroupMe Friday night that she would drop out of her race for reelection as Vice President of External Affairs due to the scandal. Nhieu, who emerged victorious in his reelection campaign, was also present in the chat.

In another contested position, Wharton sophomore Carson Sheumaker won the election for 2023 Class Board Wharton School Chair by 12 votes.

The 2021 Class Board did not have any positions that were contested and will continue to be led by College and Wharton senior Lizzie Youshaei. College junior Sam Strickberger, who also ran unopposed, was reelected as 2022 Class Board President. 

Two College representative seats were left unfilled on the UA, meaning the NEC will have to hold special elections later in the year to fill them. 

This year’s elections were the first in which all campaigning took place online with temporary new policies which barred candidates from in-person campaigning and reduced the number of signatures needed to appear on the ballot by 33% for each position. 

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