UMN student government election results announced; Trish Palermo is next MSA president

Trish Palermo will lead MSA next year. Rachel Cardwell will be PSG’s president and Lauren Mitchell will lead COGS.

MSA vice president candidate Erik Hildesheim answers a question at the MSA Debate in Coffman Memorial Union Theatre on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

Meagan Lynch

MSA vice president candidate Erik Hildesheim answers a question at the MSA Debate in Coffman Memorial Union Theatre on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

David Clarey and Natalie Rademacher

New leaders for the three University of Minnesota’s student government bodies were announced Sunday after votes from last week’s election were counted.

Undergraduate students elected Trish Palermo as Minnesota Student Association president for the next school year, the All Campus Elections Commission announced Sunday afternoon.

Second-year law student Rachel Cardwell was chosen to be Professional Student Government’s president. Psychology graduate student Lauren Mitchell won the Council of Graduate Students election.

In the fourth and final round of ranked-choice voting, Palermo and vice-presidential candidate Erik Hillesheim won 52 percent of the votes, beating presidential candidate Nick Alm by less than 5 percent.

MSA presidential candidates Matt Snow and Charlie Parker were eliminated in previous rounds of the vote.

“Thank you to all of you for believing in the change we want to make on our campus. We promise to work our hardest to make you all proud. Today we celebrate; tomorrow we get to work,” Palermo and Hillesheim said in a statement posted on the duo’s Facebook campaign page.

Palermo, a political science junior, currently serves as chair of the Student Senate.

Hillesheim is a marketing junior and is president of the professional business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi – Alpha Epsilon Chapter.

They ran on a platform that included pushing for food quality in University dining halls, implementing additional Title IX training for faculty and staff, adding advocate positions at the Aurora Center and holding campus-area landlords accountable.

More undergraduates, 6,630, voted in this year’s MSA election — a jump from last year’s 6,439 voters last year, continuing a 10-year trend of increased MSA election voter participation.

Professional Student Government and Council of Graduate Students results

In PSG’s election, Cardwell beat Matt Berg, a first-year public affairs graduate student with over 55 percent of the vote.

Cardwell is currently the president of the University’s Federal Bar Association and has previously said her experience in law will help her advocate for PSG.

Mitchell received 98 percent of the votes in COGS’ election.

Mitchell has previously said she wants to help members of COGS feel comfortable saying ‘no’ to things to help reduce burnout, while focusing on perennial graduate student problems like student-adviser relationships.

Voter turnout for COGS and PSG sharply declined this year.

While 192 people voted in COGS’ election this year, last year’s presidential election saw 337 votes. For PSG’s election, 691 people voted in last year, compared to 295 voters this year.