The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska 2022-2023 President will be Jake Drake and the Internal Vice President will be Christine Trinh.
Alec Miller will be the next External Vice President.
Drake and Trinh received 63% of the vote and Miller received 65% of the vote.
Advance won 25 senate seats, and Illuminate won 5, leaving 11 seats yet to be appointed.
The colleges of Education & Human Sciences and Business, two of the largest colleges on campus, were key to the Advance victory, electing only Advance candidates and granting the SEG 10 seats combined.
After appointments, which Drake and the rest of Advance will make, the party will have a supermajority of senators. Advance will also control the Committee for Fee Allocations and Green Fund, holding six of the nine at large seats in the former and all four in the latter.
But following a contentious campaign featuring a heated debate and emotional online discourse, Advance will be tasked with leading the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s first divided government since before the pandemic.
Jake Drake, ASUN President-elect, said he felt a mixture of emotions and could not remember a time when he was anxious for himself and 40 other people.
“We've got a massive platform of things and [we’re] making sure that everyone on our campaign is committed to those and getting started on those projects,” Drake said, “getting started having those conversations and getting people oriented to the new Senate and their new roles.”
Drake said he is thankful to everyone who voted, no matter who they voted for.
“We wouldn't be here if it weren't for how much we cared about student advocacy for the projects that will better our university and for each other,” he said.
Christine Trinh, Internal ASUN Vice President-elect, said she, Miller and Drake have known each other since freshman year. They got together for this campaign and roped in Paul Pechous, she said.
“Jake and I have poured so much of ourselves into this campaign,” Trinh said. “I mean, he reached out to me back during the summer in June, I was in an internship across the US and he reached out, out of nowhere, ‘Hey, we should maybe talk.’”
Gamma Phi Beta has been her support system throughout the election process, she said. She hopes students can find communities like the one she found at the sorority.
“G Phi helps me a lot, not just academic wise, but also just having that group of close-knit women who consistently push you up,” Trinh said. “When you're feeling the worst in your life, it's so incredibly humbling to know that you have that support system.”
Alec Miller, External ASUN Vice President Elect, said he is most excited to meet with different groups throughout campus and to have a shared office with Drake and Trinh.
“While it was stressful, having a contested election, some good came out of it having higher voter turnout,” Miller said. “I think that's beautiful, it reflects a good interest in student government because it really does matter.”
“I'm proud to be the first openly gay president of ASUN, to my knowledge,” Drake said. “It's something that's been really difficult for me to talk about publicly in the past because of where I come from and my experiences, but the amount of support that I've had through this campaign and through so many friends over the years from, I don't know, high school when I came out to now leading students and letting them know they have a place on campus is important.”
Illuminate presidential candidate, Meyri Ibrahim, took the announcement phone call from current ASUN Chief of Staff Cameron Collier on speakerphone in the Diversity and Inclusion Gathering Space in the College of Business. Ibrahim and fellow executive candidates Dulce Garcia and Harrison Lloyd gathered with Illuminate senate candidates to hear the news. After the call, Ibrahim reminded the room that their work isn’t over, and that the SEG’s messages will remain important on campus.
“I think this work will still continue because we’re passionate about it,” she said, “and I believe in us.”
After the speech, Ibrahim told The Daily Nebraskan she was excited so many people voted for Illuminate and believed in their message. Garcia said that those who know the candidates know they will continue to work in many roles on campus to increase diversity, equity and inclusion.
“This election will never determine the amount of change that we, the students, can make on this campus.” Garcia said.
“It would have been awesome to do that in a centralized position that is student government,” Ibrahim said, “but the students voted and they didn’t think that was us.”
Garcia said that student leadership outside of ASUN was a major theme of the campaign, and continuing in those roles to improve the community makes sense.
“Most of this campaign… We've put a lot of our lives on hold,” Lloyd said, “So I’m excited to refocus on what I’m passionate about and continue my efforts to make the university a more inclusive place.”
Garcia said she hopes the campaign set a precedent for ASUN to have more diverse individuals occupy the space.
“The concerns that were brought forth during this campaign season were valid,” Ibrahim said “And we hope that [Advance] take what we have advocated for and amplify it and integrate it into their campaign and into the term of ASUN going forward.”
Ibrahim said she’s specifically concerned about the exclusion of Black students from ASUN.
“That’s something that I still believe exists,” she said, “and something that will continue, but I think this allows for a great conversation.”
ASUN External Vice President and Electoral Commission Director Patrick Baker commended both SEGs for running good campaigns and said the election ran smoothly.
“It was, at times contentious, but that is proof that the teams running are individuals who are passionate about ASUN.”
The electoral commission can still investigate actions by campaigns until Monday night, at which point the election’s certification will take effect.
Carly Jahn contributed to the reporting of this story.