The Undergraduate Association announced on April 11 that Matthew J. Davis ’16 and Sophia Liu ’17 had won the election for president and vice president with 61 percent of votes cast in their favor.
A total of 2,074 ballots were cast, representing 43 percent of the undergraduate population. The other tickets were for Laila Shehata ’16 and Robert Z. Mahari ’17, who took 520 votes, and for Daniel D. Wang ’16 and Siobhan K. Rigby ’16, who took 264 votes.
Davis said his and Liu’s top three priorities upon taking office will be creating a “long-lasting structure” for the UA, as well as “rebranding” and “recruiting” for the association.
“Right from the get-go, we want to rebrand the UA as an exciting organization, and as a confident, competent organization,” Davis said.
Throughout the campaign, Davis and Liu maintained that “a long-term, sustainable structure” would allow the UA to tackle broad problems and multi-year initiatives. To this end, the platform on their campaign website stated that they would “establish clear standards for UA officer positions and committee chairs,” and arrange for the UA Council to elect its own speaker. Currently, the president chairs the council.
“The two things we’re doing right now are finalizing those standards for committee chairs and officers, so we can have applications out next week,” Davis said. He also plans to begin the process of working with council members to secure an independent speaker.
“Those are the two things that need to happen right away, and we’ve already started working on it since yesterday,” Davis said.
Davis and Liu hope to continue the UA’s focus on “student support, mental health and wellness, grade transparency, [and] sexual assault.”
Davis and Liu also hope to bring part of the UA’s attention to “education and research,” which it hasn’t traditionally focused on, and have the UA take a more active role in giving underrepresented groups at MIT “a seat at the table on policymaking and decisions.”
With the current UA administration mired in controversy, Davis and Liu have chosen to look to the future.
“Things happened in the past, mistakes were made,” Davis said. “Let’s learn from them, let’s move forward, let’s make a good organization. [A] 43 percent voter turnout shows me that students want a good student government, and that’s what we’re going to deliver.”
Liu said that she and Davis are ready to hit the ground “sprinting” when they take office on May 14.