The Undergraduate Finance Board held internal elections for three new administrative positions — treasurer, secretary and ombudsperson — Tuesday night. An amendment to allow UFB to create appointed positions without student elections passed in the spring Student Government Association elections with 79.1% of 1,463 votes, The Herald previously reported.
Five candidates participated in the election, with Herald staff columnist Tas Rahman ’26 and Sam Walhout ’25 running for treasurer and Catherine Jia ’26 and Autumn Qiu ’25 running for secretary. Walhout and Jia were elected. Peter Tangikyan ’24 ran uncontested for ombudsperson.
Walhout, Jia and Tangikyan are all current UFB representatives.
The elections were determined by a simple majority vote, according to Joon Nam ’23, chair of the Student Government Association elections board.
According to UFB Vice Chair and Chair-elect Arjun Krishna Chopra ’25, the three new roles will assist the chair and vice chair in administrative tasks and are not voting positions.
The treasurer will “look after the whole student activities fund and advocate for the interests of Brown students on matters of finance,” while the secretary will “ensure that (UFB’s) communications are clear, transparent, honest and that (UFB) is doing adequate outreach,” Chopra said.
He added that the ombudsperson will work to resolve both internal and external disputes, so that “if a group feels as though they’re not getting enough resources, they’re able to express themselves.”
Current UFB Chair Amienne Spencer-Blume ’23 said that the new positions do not add any new functions to the board but “streamline (existing) UFB operations” to allow “the entire board more actual, tangible time to pursue” their visions for the organization.
During the internal elections process, each candidate delivered a two-minute speech and participated in a five-minute question-and-answer session. UFB members then had up to fifteen minutes of deliberation, followed by a written vote.
The two candidates for treasurer — Rahman and Walhout — pushed for increased transparency and expanded outreach. Walhout called to increase the tracking of historical funding data, an effort he said would bring a more nuanced understanding of funding changes and patterns over time to UFB funding deliberation meetings. Rahman said it would be “helpful to set up a consistent dialogue with admin at the beginning of each semester (to) make sure that we’re clear on what our priorities are.”
Additionally, the candidates for secretary — Jia and Qiu — both advocated for increasing UFB’s social media presence. Qiu said she would enhance UFB’s Instagram presence as a method of sparking online engagement and capturing student attention.
Jia also wanted to improve how the board organizes historical funding data for student groups by “providing holistic overviews, such as what they’ve been allocated in the past and the structure of their growth.” She added that a “comprehensive policy document” would be useful, noting that the extensive information on the UFB site can prove confusing to navigate.
In his speech for ombudsperson, Tangikyan shared that he would like to occasionally solicit general opinions from the entire student body to gather their perspectives on potential disputes.
“I’m really looking forward to working with each of these people ... to revamp our outreach (and) communications,” Chopra said. “The ombudsperson is going to really help us ensure that when specifically communicating with groups, we are able to have a dialogue.”
Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified Joon Nam '23's position. The Herald regrets the error.