Ibrahim Butt elected as undergraduate Young Trustee

Undergraduates have elected senior Ibrahim Butt as the next Young Trustee.

In an undergraduate student-body wide election held from noon Feb. 11 to noon Feb. 12, Butt was chosen from a four-person field—all of whom were seniors.

He won on the third round of instant voting. In the first round, Butt received 36.7% of the vote, ahead of Leah Abrams, who earned 29.9% of the first-round vote. Seniors Tim Skapek and Maryam Asenuga finished third and fourth in the first round with 21.1% and 12.3% of the vote, respectively. 

In the second round, Butt climbed to 40.3%, with Abrams at 33.7% and Skapek at 22.9%. There were 3.1% of ballots that did not have any of those three candidates.

In the third round, Butt won with 43.8%, besting Abrams at 37.7%. There were 18.5% of ballots that did not have either Butt or Abrams on them.

Sophomore John Markis, attorney general for Duke Student Government, sent the results. 

“In a year with three other superb candidates, Butt stood out as the candidate who could most clearly have an impact on the Board of Trustees,” Markis told The Chronicle. “I look forward to what he will accomplish during his term.”

Butt, who grew up in Blackburn, U.K., emphasized his experience overcoming barriers at Duke and seeking out campus involvement as a low-income, first-generation student. Butt helped spearhead Duke Low-Income, First-Generation Engagement, organizing its first conference and serving as co-president of the organization this year. He also brings experience with the Board of Trustees to his new position—he currently sits on the Undergraduate Education Committee. 

He picked up endorsements from Duke Catalyst, Duke Disability Alliance, Duke Political Union, Baldwin Scholars and Duke Honor Council.

Of the 6,879 eligible undergraduate voters, 2,797 participated in the election, which was held electronically with a voting form sent out by Markis. There were 29 blank ballots. The total participation rate of 40.2% was down 5.6% from last year’s 45.8%. 

The results were delayed from Wednesday to Friday after the DSG Judiciary issued an injunction to Markis on the basis of a complaint issued about the election. The judiciary dismissed the complaint that Markis used priming language in his email with the link to the ballot that he sent to the undergraduate population, according to Chief Justice Georgia Lala, a senior.

Editor’s note: Markis is also a senior news reporter for The Chronicle. Abrams is the opinion editor of The Chronicle.

Jake Satisky contributed reporting.


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