The Class of 2020 elected its class officers last week, choosing first years Nitish Jindal '20, Serge Priam Nsanzineza '20, Dylan Mittag '20, Ben Musoke-Lubega '20, and Alaa Ragab '20 as its five officers for Undergraduate Student Government.
The race had 29 candidates running for the five positions. Voter turnout was around 53.6 percent, with 703 students casting their votes out of a class numbering 1,312 individuals. Mittag won the most votes, with 239 ballots to his name. Jindal came in second with 185 votes, Ragab had 149 votes, Nsanzineza received 146 votes, and Musoke-Lubega won the fifth spot with 138 votes.
The election began at noonon Monday, Oct. 10 and closed atnoonon Wednesday, Oct. 12. Results were announcednoonof Oct. 14.
The newly elected members expressed a mixture of surprise and a deep sense of honor in reaction to their election.
“I was surprised,” Nsanzineza said in an interview Saturday. “At first I was simply interested in getting into the political life on campus but now I’m willing to think more about the social challenges and more interested in bringing our class together this year."
Musoke-Lubega agreed, saying that he could describe his appointment as class officer as a surprising and happy moment.
“I didn’t expect to win and the candidates were all very competitive,” he said. “They were good candidates and would have made good officers."
“I was deeply honored,” Ragab said. “The fact that people trusted me with this responsibility is so big to me. I met so many people during the campaign, and I made many friends. I’m looking forward to meeting more."
All officers noted that they based their campaign strategy on class outreach and making rational, yet attractive promises and proposals.
"Something I really emphasized whilst campaigning is not to assure anything that was beyond my authority or ability as a class officer,” Mittag noted. “Instead, Ilook forward to translating the enthusiasmfrom the election into my service as class officer and deliver on the wishes of our class moving forward."
Some freshmen voters, however, said they were personally familiar with only a few of the 29 candidates running.
There is not much to judge or to expect from elected officers so early in the year, Zach Bampton ’20 observed. "I think in the first year officers will do about as well as anyone, considering that we don’t know anyone besides what their Facebook posts, memes, and Snapchat filters say. For next year we’ll have a better understanding of actual quality because we will see how they’ve done, and be able to judge their contenders based on work experience."
“While I’m disappointed more people didn’t vote, I have no objections to those elected,” Bampton said.
The new Freshman Class Officers also noted the voter turnout of 53 percent, and the lack of familiarity much of the class had with the newly elected officers.
“[Voters] get busy, they forget, or it’s just not on their mind. I was kind of expecting the low turnout,” Ragab added. “I think there are lots of demands made on freshman students. Many of us come from many diverse places. Many of us find Princeton so much more rigorous than anything we’ve ever done in our lives. So I think it is so important for us to take time off and come together as a community.”
“My biggest concern is to get the class to come out to USG sponsored events, and get more involved in our community,” Nsanzineza said. “Possibly by creating smaller groups and have our class get more invested in the icebreaking events that we plan.”
Despite their differences, all five expressed an eagerness to begin working as team for the Class of 2020.
“I could not have asked for a better group of fellow elected members,” Mittag said.
Mittag listed a number of planned activities, such as large scale study breaks, free food, and class gear to bring the Class of 2020 together.
“Everyone has been very considerate, eager, and full of vision. I can’t wait to finally get together and work as a team,"Jindal added.
All five members planned social events ranging from small study breaks and distribution of class gear to large class-wide occasions that appeal to everyone’s tastes.
“Class unity and coming together are very important,” Musoke-Lubega added. “It’s something that we, the officers, will really focus on this year."
Jindal, Mittag, Musoke-Lubega, Nsanzineza, and Ragab will attend their first meeting with USG on Tuesday, Oct. 18.