Senior Anna Knight was elected undergraduate Young Trustee after a race against fellow seniors David Robertson and Nikolai Doytchinov.
A total of 2,482 students, 38 percent of the student body, voted online in the race. Students ranked the candidates in order of preference. No candidate initially received a majority of the vote, so Doytchinov was eliminated because he received the fewest votes. Knight and Robertson then entered an instant runoff election, in which the second choice votes of the students who voted for Doytchinov were added to Knight's and Robertson's vote totals. In the runoff, Knight received 1,398 votes compared to Robertson’s 1,084.
There were no delays due to candidates’ complaints, so the vote was released an hour after the election ended.
“[I was] incredibly excited and a little bit shocked,” Knight said in response to the election results.
A biomedical engineering major, Knight serves as president of the Engineering Student Government. A member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, she is the first Panhellenic woman to be elected Young Trustee. She will serve for three years on the Board of Trustees—one as a non-voting member and then two more years as a voting member.
“I want to get in there and get the lay of the land and understand what’s going on... and make sure I understand the trustee side of the issues and then I can start advocating for undergraduates,” she said.
Knight based her platform around promoting undergraduate research opportunities. She also emphasized that she plans to remain on campus as a graduate student for the next several years.
Doytchinov expressed support for Knight after the results were released.
“I was very happy to hear that Anna was elected," he said. "Having seen her campaign and read her platform, I’m very confident that she will be an incredible Young Trustee. I’m really looking forward to seeing what she does over the next few years."
Robertson also said he is ready to see what Knight will do as Young Trustee.
“I’m excited to see what Anna will do on the Board. She has some great ideas,” he said.
Knight thanked Doytchinov and Robertson for a fair and friendly race.
“I truly want to thank Nikolai and David for an amazing race. I definitely came in not really understanding politics and I learned a lot from them," she said. "They were both very kind and they are teachers as well as campus leaders."
In addition to the Young Trustee election, two Duke Student Government constitutional amendment ballot measures were voted on and approved. The first amendment, which clarified the source of the inflation statistics used to calculate the Student Activities Fee, received 86 percent of the vote. The second, which confirmed that the student body elects the chairperson of the Student Organization and Finance Committee, received 87 percent of the vote.