The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Olivia Puzio ‘25 elected Student Government president by five votes

Voter turnout tripled from last year as students took to social media to promote their preferred candidates. (Photo courtesy of Olivia Puzio ’25)

Olivia Puzio ‘25 defeated incumbent Matwos Tadesse ‘24 and Anna Fenkel ‘25 in a close race for the Student Government presidency after polls for the Executive Board elections closed on Tuesday evening.

According to the Student Government vice president Fatimata Cham ‘23, Puzio received 356 votes, Tadesse received 351 and Fenkel received 296.  

“Thank you to every single person who voted,” Puzio said. “Every vote really does make a difference.”

Puzio, who serves as the Student Government director of Student Organizations, said she plans to learn all she can from Tadesse and become familiar with the responsibilities of the presidency before reviewing the applications for new Student Government members. 

Her first concrete step in office will be to work with treasurer Areeb Atheeque ‘25 to get a better overview of where the Student Government’s money is going. 

“I’ve never been on the budget committee, so I want to have the numbers before we make any decision as a government,” Puzio said. 

The new Executive Board will consist of Puzio, vice president-elect Thania Hernandez ‘25, Atheeque, communications officer-elect Nazary Gonzalez ‘24, inclusivity officer-elect Mariama Bah ‘24 and parliamentarian-elect Trebor Maitin ‘24. 

All of the candidates for the Executive Board besides the president ran unopposed. (Graphic by Trebor Maitin for the Student Government of Lafayette College)

This year’s election was the first under Student Government’s new constitution, which shifted the election timeline, cut the size of the Executive Board in half to exclude committee directors and gave each of the positions new responsibilities.

“We all know each other pretty well,” Puzio said of the new board. “I’m really looking forward to working with every single one of them.”

All of the races for the Executive Board positions were uncontested besides the presidency. Nevertheless, 1,026 total votes were cast for the candidates, an increase of 324 percent from the 2022 election.

“We’ve done this by putting ourselves out there in front of people,” Maitin, who currently serves as the Student Government’s Public Relations & Marketing Director, said. “And through that, we’ve had a lot of good discussions with folks on how we can make a better Student Government and that means that more people are talking about us.”

Puzio, who campaigned on opening General Body meetings to the campus community and revamping club sports funding, will be formally sworn in with the rest of the Executive Board on Feb. 28.

“I’m very honored to be in this position,” Puzio said. “I intend to dedicate a lot of time to listening to the student body and doing my best to advocate on behalf of the student body to the administration.”

Disclaimer: Managing Editor Trebor Maitin ’24 is the Public Relations & Marketing Director for Student Government and News Editor Emma Chen ’24 is a representative on the Equity & Inclusion Committee. Neither contributed writing nor reporting to this story.

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About the Contributor
Nathan Kornfeind
Nathan Kornfeind, Editor-in-Chief
Nathan Kornfeind is a senior from the Lehigh Valley studying  Government & Law and German, with a minor in History. He has been writing for The Lafayette since his first semester on campus. In addition to his role with the newspaper, he is the president of German Club.

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