College and Wharton junior Carson Sheumaker and College sophomore Alex Eapen will serve as the next president and vice president of the Undergraduate Assembly.
The Nominations & Elections Committee announced the results of the election on April 9. Sheumaker and Eapen both ran unopposed. Sheumaker garnered 885 votes, and Eapen, an opinion columnist at The Daily Pennsylvanian, received 855 votes. The two ran on a five-point platform of improving student campus life, wellness, diversity and inclusion, academic experience, and accountability of University administrators.
Both Sheumaker and Eapen have served in roles within the UA prior to this election. Sheumaker has served as UA speaker and secretary, and Eapen served as UA director of equity and inclusion. They did not participate in debates during this election given their unopposed status.
The UA speaker is meant to be an “unbiased arbitrator” in leading UA meetings and conducting internal and external communications. Sheumaker said that though the UA speaker and president positions are different from one another, he learned valuable skills in his position that he plans to carry into his presidency.
"Over the next year, I hope to amplify the voices and concerns of Penn students," Sheumaker said. "Whether it be changes in student campus life, wellness, diversity and inclusion, academic experience, or accountability of University administrators, I want the day-to-day experiences of students to be made easier in terms of increased opportunities for and reduced barriers to success, whatever that may look like for each individual."
Eapen echoed Sheumaker's sentiments regarding his hope to create change in the Penn community, highlighting that he hopes to ensure that the needs of marginalized groups on Penn's campus are accounted for in all University decision-making processes.
"With recent changes to university leadership and the varying levels of impact they have had on the undergraduate student body and the greater Penn community, the University is in a rare and unique position to implement lasting change," Eapen said. "I hope to be able to use the more student-facing role of Vice President to further that mission, especially for the often overlooked members of our community, continuing to partner with these groups to ensure that their interests remain paramount in all University decisions."
The NEC oversees the UA and Class Board elections and maintains communication between the six branches of Penn’s student government. The committee consists of 40 Penn students selected by the NEC executive board to serve for the remainder of their undergraduate careers.
NEC Vice Chair of Elections and College sophomore Mohammad Abunimeh said that although he wishes more candidates ran, he believes that many students were preoccupied with readjusting to life on campus throughout the election season.
“For the sake of elections, obviously variety is always a good thing, and I do wish there were more candidates,” Abunimeh said. “Although, after talking to a lot of people within NEC and within the elections realm, I think it was just a very stressful time of year. Students were adjusting to sort of the first real semester that it's essentially everything is ‘back to normal,’ whatever that is supposed to mean.”
Though the University returned to an in-person classroom format on Jan. 24, this UA election cycle remained virtual. This election represents UA’s third virtual general election, following the fall 2020 and spring 2021 elections.
The results for all UA and Class Board elections were released after the eight-day voting period that began on April 1 at 12 a.m. and closed on April 8 at 5 p.m.
Wharton junior Derek Nhieu was re-elected as president of the 2023 Class Board, and Wharton and Engineering sophomore Toyosi Abu was re-elected as the president of the 2024 Class Board after running unopposed. Will “From Hill” Krasnow, who won by over 300 votes, will continue to serve as the president of the 2025 Class Board.
“I wish [the elects] the best of success, and I believe that they will fulfill the roles amazingly,” Abunimeh said.