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Left to right: USG Presidential Candidates, Zarnab Virk ’20, Electra Frelinghuysen ’20, and Nate Lambert ’20

By Zachary Shevin

Zarnab Virk ’20 and Nate Lambert ’20 will go into the Undergraduate Student Government presidential run-off election after a closely contested first round where Virk emerged with a four-vote lead over Lambert. 

Thirty-eight percent of undergraduate students participated in USG elections. On Friday, Dec. 7, USG announced in an email to the student body that the races for president and social chairperson will be decided in run-off elections next week with voting beginning on Monday, Dec. 10 at 12 p.m. All other races have been decided.

USG required these two races to go into run-offs because no candidate in either race received a 50 percent majority of votes during the first election.

Virk received only four more votes than Lambert, 716 to his 712.

“Going into the runoff, I'm excited to continue highlighting the issues on campus most important to me, which are combatting sexual misconduct, tackling isolation and loneliness, and securing funds for free menstrual products (sic),” Lambert wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian. “I feel honored for the support I've received thus far and am energized to make the case to those undergraduates who did not vote for me in the first round that I am the most qualified candidate for the job.”

Virk declined to comment on Friday, Dec. 7.

Apart from the presidential run-off election, Ans Nawaz ’21 and Heavyn Jennings ’20 will contend in the run-off election for Social Chairperson.

“I’m glad a lot of people supported me,” Jennings said. “Going into the runoff, I feel good. I’m just nervous about getting people to vote again.”

Nawaz did not respond to request for comment.

Current USG president Rachel Yee ’19 told the ‘Prince’ that a runoff in USG presidential races is not unusual.

“It’s pretty hard to capture 51 percent of the vote outright in a three way race,” Yee said.

All other USG races were decided Friday.

Chitra Parikh ’21 won the election for Vice President, Brad Spicher ’20 for Treasurer, Olivia Ott ’20 for Academics Chairperson, Nico Gregory ’22 for Undergraduate Life Chairperson, and Caleb Visser ’20 for Campus and Community Affairs Chairperson.

All of these elected candidates ran uncontested in their respective races. Yee noted that a large number of uncontested races is fairly common in USG history.

Meanwhile, in the races for USG Senate, Andy Zheng ’20 and Tania Bore ’20 were elected for the Class of 2020, Elizabeth Bailey ’21 and Kevin Zheng ’21 for the Class of 2021, and Andres Larrieu ’22 and Jasman Singh ’22 for the Class of 2022.

Yee said that 2,018 members of the student body voted in the election.

“In terms of turnout we were pleasantly surprised,” she said. “The turnout was pretty stable in terms of what it’s been in previous years.”

Voting in the run-off elections will open Monday, Dec. 10, at noon, and close Wednesday, Dec. 12, at noon.

“It is very, possibly even more important you vote this time,” Yee said. “This is not only a USG responsibility. We should all be encouraging each other to be civically engaged.”

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