The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Eckard, Ramirez to lead UI Undergraduate Student Government after record voter turnout

Addison Eckard and Brenda Ramirez won the USG election on Friday.

University of Iowa student voters elected Addison Eckard and Brenda Ramirez as Undergraduate Student Government’s next president and vice president Friday afternoon. 

Eckard and Ramirez won with 1,008 votes, which was 53.5 percent of 2,015 total votes cast during the March 25-27 voting period, as announced in the Hubbard Commons at the Iowa Memorial Union Friday afternoon. Students also voted in 34 senators and the constituency senators. 

The duo will take over the current administration that is led by USG President Mitch Winterlin and Vice President Carly O’Brien, who won 51 percent of the 1,570 total votes last year.

USG Election Commissioner Boris Miller said the number of votes was the highest it has been since 2018, and USG was pleased with its student engagement during the election. 

Eckard said her administration’s first objectives are to reevaluate their platform, begin developing a network with USG directors, and look at appointing their cabinet. She said her administration plans to build close relationships with students and student organizations on campus. 

“I think right now we’re just taking it all in,” Eckard said. 

Eckard and Ramirez ran on a relationship-focused platform. 

In a previous interview with The Daily Iowan, Eckard said her desire to rebuild relationships with students and student organizations stems from wanting to ensure a greater resonance with the community. She also said she intends to maintain those relationships for the next administration. 

RELATED: Meet this year’s UI Undergraduate Student Government presidential candidates

Ramirez said Friday she wants to be “on the ground” and help students on a direct and personal level. 

Both Ramirez and Eckard are third-year students at the UI. Eckard is majoring in biology and minoring in religious studies and gender health and equity in health care. She has been a part of USG since she was a first-year student, and she currently serves as USG’s speaker of the senate.

Ramirez is studying political science and economics along with a writing certificate. She is also a first-generation student. Her current role for USG is as the director of external relations. 

Eckard and Ramirez ran against president and vice president candidates Jaden Bartlett and Noah LeFevre, respectively. Bartlett currently serves as USG’s internal affairs chair, and LeFevre serves as a city liaison for USG.

“It was one of the greatest moments of my life during this campaign. I had myself fully out there for everyone,” LeFevre said. “I was talking to a lot of people. I’ve learned a lot.” 

LeFevre indicated how proud he and Bartlett were of the effort they put into their campaign. He shared his compliments for Eckard and Ramirez’s victory and affirmed his hope for positive change in the community, regardless of the administration leading it. 

Additionally, LeFevre shared that he would be interested in running again in the future. 

Bartlett and LeFevre ran on a platform encouraging “vocal advocacy” for important issues and the belief that issues that affect students are not only born from university policies but also from the Iowa City political environment.

A third group of candidates, Austin Sachtschale and Skyler Chambers dropped out before the start of voting.

A total of 34 Senators were elected, these include:

  • Thomas Knudsen 
  • Will Sheeley 
  • Anushka Gupta 
  • Ava Martinez 
  • Madison Ross 
  • Delaney Behning 
  • Anna O’Connor  
  • Charlotte Brink  
  • Matt Lancaster 
  • Gabrielle Michalski 
  • Mae Barron  
  • Emma Gaughman 
  • Advika Shah 
  • Alexis Dvorak 
  • Avery Dettbarn  
  • Jack Carrell  
  • Anna Amin  
  • Joshua Studer 
  • Jake Wicks 
  • Joe Dunlay 
  • Emily Cross 
  • Cole Nelson 
  • John Pope 
  • Matthew Lombardo 
  • Quinn Eldridge 
  • Harrid (Harry) Siraj 
  • Lucas Manley 
  • Brooke Paasch 
  • Jesus Vega Jr.  
  • Saraswati Quevedo-Valls 
  • Drake Riddle  
  • Ian Dunleavy  
  • DeAndre Steger 
  • Joseph Woitach 

Five Constituency Senators, who represent designated constituencies, were also elected:

  • Estella Ruhrer-Johnson will serve as the LGBTQ+ Constituency Senator.
  • Natalie Kehrli will serve as the Disability Constituency Senator.
  • Ijeoma Ogbonna will serve as the Black Constituency Senator. 
  • Amirithia Kumar will serve as the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Constituency Senator.
  • Cielo Herrera will serve as the Latine Constituency Senator.

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