Penn Student Government announced that two students have been elected to the Undergraduate Assembly and Class Board 2026 via special election on Tuesday night.
Engineering sophomore Chandler Cheung was the sole candidate for the UA Engineering representative position, receiving a single vote to secure one of three open seats. College first-year Kevin Yang will serve as the College class chair for the 2026 Class Board, winning the vacant position amid a field of four total candidates with 74 votes, according to PSG.
The election was held to fill vacant positions within PSG. The Class Board 2026 College class chair was left vacant after only one candidate ran for the two available positions in September’s general election for Class Board 2026 and UA representative seats.
"The engineering seats have been open since the end of last semester. I believe it was due to not enough engineers running in the spring election," Engineering sophomore and Nominations & Elections Committee Vice Chair of Elections Yousef Elyoussef said. "Although Wharton and engineering have similar undergraduate student sizes it has proven to be a lot more difficult to motivate engineering students to run for UA the past couple of years."
This year, 189 students voted in the special election, a considerable drop from the 236 votes cast in last fall’s UA special election. The NEC has historically struggled with voter turnout in special elections, as all three special elections held during the 2020-21 academic year had fewer than 25 votes cast in each election.
"Although we heavily advertise on our social medias and through word of mouth, our candidates usually make up a lot of the outreach when it comes to voting. In elections such as the fall, you have 30+ candidates asking students to vote" Elyoussef said. "This election there was only one contested position with 4 candidates, a normal amount of candidates running for the position, but not a normal amount of candidates in general. This leading to a lower turnout when compared to the fall and spring."
Special elections have become more common in recent years, often filling vacant positions created by resignations and seats not filled in general elections. Last year, four students were elected to the UA in a special election due to UA members stepping down from their positions. A special election has been held every year for the past four years, according to the NEC website.
According to Elyoussef, NEC is working to have all Engineering seats filled by the Spring, although the possibility of another special election next fall is a possibility.
PSG held its general election for all positions in April, when College and Wharton senior Carson Sheumaker and College junior Alex Eapen were elected president and vice president of the UA, respectively. The election also saw Wharton senior Derek Nhieu, Wharton and Engineering junior Toyosi Abu, and College sophomore Will Krasnow re-elected as presidents of Class Board 2023, Class Board 2024, and Class Board 2025, respectively.