Isabella Kwai—junior class vice president-elect—announced her decision to step down from the VP position in a Facebook post Saturday.
Last Thursday’s election yielded a split ticket victory for Kwai, the current sophomore class president, and incoming junior class president Nandita Singh. Kwai’s running mate Sayoni Saha, the current sophomore class vice president, ran for junior class president but lost to Singh, while Singh’s running mate—Vaibhav Penukonda—lost to Kwai. In her announcement, Kwai attributed her decision to her personal values.
“Something that has always mattered deeply to me in leading class council is the idea of partnership and team work,” Kwai wrote. “This was a hard decision to come to and I apologize for disappointing some of you, but it is a decision that I feel upholds my personal values and will ultimately serve the class best.”
Kwai would have made a great junior class vice president, Singh said.
“I really would’ve been excited to work with her next year,” Singh said. “I think she’s extremely loyal to her best friends and running mate.”
Saha also praised Kwai’s leadership.
“I am incredibly supportive of Bella regardless of her decision to assume or decline the position of VP. Having worked with her for a year, I am thrilled that our class elected someone whose optimism and passion has transformed class programming,” Saha said in an email Sunday. “I look forward to seeing the direction class council takes next year and am thankful for having the chance to be a part of it this year.”
The new junior class vice president has not been confirmed yet.
Junior Nikolai Doytchinov, executive vice president of Duke Student Government, noted that the current DSG bylaws are rather ambiguous in this situation. The DSG Senate will decide on the procedure at their meeting Wednesday, resulting in a new statute that will apply for this year as well as the future.
Doytchinov noted that he suspects the outcome will result in the position being filled by someone of Singh’s choosing, with the approval of the current sophomore class council.