Liz Davis-Frost '20 grad bested Afua Asantewaa, an MBA candidate, Jeff Pea grad and Vince Hartman ’08 grad to become Cornell's next graduate and professional student trustee.

November 6, 2020

Liz Davis-Frost ’20 Named Winner in Student-Elected Trustee Race

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Liz Davis-Frost ’20 grad will serve as Cornell’s next graduate and professional student trustee, according to election results released by the Office of the Assemblies on Friday afternoon. 

Running against three other challengers, Davis-Frost won the ranked-choice race’s first-round with 784 votes, 38.4 percent of the 2,043 ballots cast from Nov. 1 to Nov. 4. Afua Asantewaa, an MBA candidate, Jeff Pea grad and Vince Hartman ’08 grad earned 306, 402 and 543 votes, respectively.  

In the final, third round — after candidates with the lowest vote total in each round were successively eliminated — Davis-Frost ultimately garnered 1,223 votes to Hartman’s 734.  

Currently a master’s student, Davis-Frost ran on a platform that stressed, among other goals, establishing an anti-racism institute on campus, providing free menstrual products and making greater investments in Student Disability Services. 

“Growing up, my mother always taught me to leave every room better than I found it,” Davis-Frost wrote in a campaign bio. “Because of my various marginalized identities, it has become my passion to advocate for those who have been traditionally silenced and underrepresented by society. As Cori Bush says, ‘I am the people I fight for.’” 

Cornell’s student-elected trustees — traditionally one an undergraduate and the other a graduate or professional student — each serve a two-year term, and are considered full voting members of the University’s Board of Trustees. Davis-Frost will succeed Manisha Munasinghe grad, a P.h.D. candidate in computational biology. 

After confusion over ranked-choice voting in the Student Assembly elections earlier this semester prompted a re-vote of some races, directions were much clearer this time around. An email sent to Cornell students stressed that choosing not to rank all four candidates in the race would not lead to the disqualification of one’s entire ballot, marking a change from procedure used previously in the S.A. elections. 

Even so, turnout for the student trustee race, which all Cornell students could participate in, was an anemic 9 percent. Last year, when campus voted on the undergraduate trustee, turnout, by comparison, was 29 percent.