USG announces 2014-2015 officials

Junior Ryan Smith was elected president of Undergraduate Student Government on Friday by a three-point margin over opponent Louis Sand.

USG announced its newly elected officials for the 2014-2015 academic year on Friday and swore them in on Sunday night. Smith, who ran on a three-pronged platform, said he is thrilled by his win.

Smith received 50 percent of the votes with opponent Sand receiving 47 percent.

“I’m on cloud 99,” Smith said. “This is honestly the greatest day of my life.”


While campaigning, Smith made a commitment to focus on meal plan reform, flexibility regarding core requirements and financial transparency for the university. Smith said he plans to follow through on his campaign promises.

“I’m just going to try to do the best job that I can,” Smith said. “I’m just trying to soak it in right now.”

Current USG President Jenna Johnson said she is confident in Smith’s leadership.

“They were both outstanding candidates,” Johnson said. “Ryan will do a great job.”

Chad Berg, who campaigned with Sand, and was elected executive vice president with 60 percent of the vote, said he still plans to follow through on his campaign promises. Berg’s opponent Emily Punyko received 38 percent of the votes.

“I know that Ryan is a very capable and intelligent candidate,” Berg said. “We’re going to accomplish a lot together.”

Johnson said she thinks Berg is a good fit for the vice presidency.

“Chad has been heavily involved in on-campus activities, so I think he’ll do a great job,” she said.

Berg called his election an honor.

“I’m really satisfied that the student body agreed with what I wanted to do,” Berg said. “It’s really a privilege and an honor to represent the students.”

Smith said he would not have won the election without help.

“I can’t say this sincerely enough that I did not win this election,” Smith said. “It was literally every single person that was helping me.”

USG’s newly elected 2014-2015 council:
Ryan Smith: President
Chad Berg: Vice President
Katzi Truso: Vice President of Public Relations
Evan Eklund: Vice President of Academic Affairs
Anna Burns: Vice President of Administrative Affairs
Riley Reinhart: Senior Class Senator
Michael Gaytko: Junior Class Senator
Mike Garrity: Junior Class Senator
Evan Keil: Sophomore Class Senator
Samantha Connolly Nutting: Sophomore Class Senator
Ruthie Murray: Transfer Senator
Liz Reynolds: Macalester-Groveland Neighborhood Senator
Alex Marshall: Merriam Park Neighborhood Senator
Alec Steiner: Junior Class President
Paige Aanestad: Sophomore Class President
Braden Ericson: Elections/Credentials Chair

Grace Pastoor can be reached at