Courtesy of J.P. Swenson '25

J.P. Swenson '25 to be the next undergraduate student trustee.

May 8, 2023

J.P. Swenson Elected as Student Trustee

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J.P. Swenson ’25, a sophomore in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, has been named the student-elected trustee to the Board of Trustees with 874 votes, the Office of the Assemblies announced on Monday at 2 p.m.

The election was certified by the Chair of the Committee for Campus-Constituency-Elected Trustees after there were no challenges. The votes were decided by ranked choice voting, and the winner was determined after the fourth ballot. Of the 15,024 eligible voters, 1,910 voted in the election, representing 12.7 percent of the student body.

Swenson, who is currently an undesignated at-large representative for the Student Assembly, ran on a platform to expand access to healthcare, increase communication between students and administrators and elevate the inclusion of marginalized groups. In the candidate forum on April 26, Swenson said his experience receiving mental health services informs his focus on improving healthcare for students.

“I would say that the biggest issue that plagues the most of the Cornell undergraduate population has to be the access to mental and physical health services through Cornell Health,” Swenson said during the forum. “I think that — as a person who has received services from Cornell health, especially with the [Counseling & Psychological Services] program — it is a long and enduring process that is slow and takes a lot of ambition. And when someone is down, it might be hard to try to put all that effort in to receive those resources.”

Swenson also spoke of his desire to implement a bike share program on campus, increase funding for club sports and professional clubs, subsidize lunch bills and bolster diversity, equity and inclusion programming. 

In an official statement to The Sun, Swenson highlighted his platform and said he is committed to continuing the work of his predecessor Selam Woldai ’23, whose term is finishing after winning her election in 2021 and focused on increasing diversity and inclusion at the University.

“My plan is to build off of the existing programs and services that Cornell offers, with a preliminary focus on expanding and increasing mental and physical health services on campus,” Swenson wrote to The Sun. “I also look forward to continuing the admirable DEI initiatives put forward by our current student-elected trustee, Selam Woldai.”

Swenson will assume the position currently held by Woldai and will begin his two-year term in the fall semester.