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Niyanta Nepal ’25 elected UCS president on pro-divestment platform

Naomi LeDell ’26 elected UFB chair with 60% of vote in instant runoff

Nepal, who ran on a platform supporting divestment and equitable admissions practices, received 63% of 1,408 votes
Nepal, who ran on a platform supporting divestment and equitable admissions practices, received 63% of 1,408 votes

Niyanta Nepal ’25 was elected president of the Undergraduate Council of Students, the Student Government Association announced on the steps of Faunce House today. Talib Reddick ’26, who ran unopposed, won the race for vice president.

Nepal, who ran on a platform supporting divestment and equitable admissions practices, received 63% of 1,408 votes, defeating current vice president Sarah Frank ’25. Nearly 10% of voters abstained from the presidential election. 

According to SGA Elections Chair Eli Sporn ’24, SGA election turnout has declined significantly over the past three years. In 2022, 2,505 students, or 35% of the undergraduate population at the time, voted in runoff elections. In 2023, turnout dropped to 29%, or 2,084 total voters. 

This spring, only 21% of the total undergraduate population, or 1,541 students, voted. 


Current UFB At-Large Representative Naomi LeDell ’26 will serve as chair of the Undergraduate Finance Board next year. Catherine Jia ’26 — a former first-year representative and the current UFB press secretary — will serve as vice chair. 

LeDell received only 30% of 1,207 votes for UFB chair during the first-choice round of the ranked-choice voting scheme. After first-choice votes for the last-place candidate were redistributed to the voters’ second-choice candidates, LeDell received nearly 60% of total votes, securing her the position over Justin Bolsen ’26 and current UFB vice chair Ian Kim ’25. 

Jia won 46.23% of 1,140 total votes for UFB vice chair — just shy of the required majority. After votes were redistributed in the ranked-choice voting process, Jia received 65% of the total, defeating current At-Large Representative Safwan Islam ’26 for the position.

According to current UFB Chair Arjun Chopra ’25, this is the first time in history that two women will lead UFB.  

Jazz Carlson ’25 and Kelly Wei ’25 were elected senior co-presidents of the Class Coordinating Board. Carlson and Wei — the current junior class board president and community outreach officer, respectively — ran unopposed for the position.

Nick Lee ’26 was re-elected president of the 2026 class board, and Ava Stamatakis ’27 was re-elected president of the 2027 class board. Both candidates ran unopposed. 

Hamza Shahzad ’27, Leanna Le ’27, Kieran Lucas ’26, Alex Pedroza ’27, Mikael Oberlin ’25, Christopher Perez ’27 and Omer Kizil ’27 were elected UFB at-large representatives. 

For UCS, Maize Cline ’26 will serve as Chair of Health and Wellness after defeating opponent Neil Stringer ’27. Rafi Ash ’26 was elected Treasurer, Tommy Medlin ’27 will serve as Chair of Student Activities, Kyle Kavully ’27 will serve as Chair of Campus Life and Willow Stewart ’26 was elected Chair of Academic Affairs. 

Aside from the presidency and the Chair of Health and Wellness, all positions in UCS were uncontested. Three UCS positions — including two on the 2026 class board and the Chair of Equity and Inclusion — remain vacant.

Sporn said the outcomes of some of the races for UCS were uncertain until today due to an investigation into potential violations of the Elections Handbook. On March 14, two days into the spring elections campaigning period, the Brown Activist Coalition and the Brown Divest Coalition posted a UCS “voting guide” on Instagram, which listed candidates endorsed by the groups. The post was removed from the site soon after.


The SGA Elections Handbook prohibits any candidate from “campaigning on a ticket, which is defined as actively campaigning with another person or group of people with the intention of serving on any branch of student government together.” It also prohibits candidates from endorsing other candidates or using “any Brown Student Activities Organization to promote their candidacy.”

The guide listed eight names, seven of which were candidates running for positions in UCS, according to Sporn. Of the seven candidates, only two were running for contested positions: Niyanta Nepal ’25 for UCS president and Maize Cline ’26 for Chair of Health and Wellness. All seven candidates won their respective elections.

Jesse Mathis ’27 — the eighth name — was listed as a write-in candidate for UCS Chair of Equity and Inclusion, a position that received no official applications for candidacy. Because roughly 54% of voters abstained from selecting a candidate for this position, Mathis did not win and the position remains vacant. 

“The Brown Activist Coalition wanted to support candidates who share our values of justice and liberation, and who seemed like they would advocate against the suppression and disregard for student voices by the Brown administration,” coalition spokesperson Ayo Engel-Halfkenny ’27 wrote in a message to The Herald. 

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Engel-Halfkenny explained that “The guide was created by compiling public information into cohesive Instagram posts.” No candidate, according to Engel-Halfkenny, was involved in the creation of the guide.

The Elections Board — composed of Sporn and leaders from each branch of SGA — was made aware of the voting guide via a complaint, and discussed whether there were “five or six pretty direct different rule violations that … are a bit hazy to prove or to justify,” Sporn said.

The board was specifically concerned with Nepal’s involvement in the creation of the guide, as she is the lead facilitator of the BAC. Nepal wrote in an email to The Herald that she “did not know about a post going up on Instagram until it was posted.”

“The post was taken down because of my request based on concerns that were expressed to me regarding a potential conflict of interest with me facilitating the space and being endorsed,” Nepal wrote. “Even though I had removed myself from this process, I understand the concerns of those who were not actively involved in the BAC conversation.”

According to Engel-Halfkenny, the voting guide did not violate the Elections Handbook because neither the Activist Coalition nor the Divest Coalition are registered student activities organizations and none of the candidates were involved in its creation. 

Sporn confirmed that the Elections Board has decided not to pursue further action. 

This year, there were no candidates for Student Government Association Elections Chair. Sporn told The Herald that all four vacant positions will be filled by appointment later this semester. All elected candidates will assume their roles in the fall.

Julianna Chang

Julianna Chang is a University News Editor who oversees the academics and advising and student government beats. A sophomore from the Bay Area, Julianna is studying Biology and Political Science on the pre-medical track. When she's not in class or in the office, she can be found eating some type of noodle soup and devouring bad books.

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