College News

ASM elects Downer, Grunow to lead 26th session

For the Associated Students of Madison’s 26th session, Chair Laura Downer and Vice Chair Morgan Grunow accepted their new leadership positions, two of several leadership roles to be elected Wednesday.

Image By: Kalli Anderson

The Associated Students of Madison began their 26th session Wednesday by selecting Chair Laura Downer and Vice Chair Morgan Grunow as new leadership. 

Downer, the previous legislative affairs chair, ran unopposed, which is unusual for the position of student council chair, according to former Chair Billy Welsh. Welsh, along with 24th session Chair Katrina Morrison, endorsed Downer, who was elected unanimously. 

“It's our responsibility to listen to students, identify the needs of our campus and stand up for students when their needs are not being met,” Downer said. “We are a uniquely strong student government, and I want to work to use our seat at the table to hold our university accountable.”

Grunow, the previous press office director, defeated Logan Knochenmus 15-9 after receiving endorsements from individuals including Welsh, Student Services Finance Committee Chair Jeremy Swanson and Sustainability Committee Chair Katie Piel. 

Both Grunow and Downer emphasized the importance of continuing ASM’s work to enhance mental health services at the university.

“ASM is a collaborative network,” Grunow said. “The mental health campaign proved just that, along with its effectiveness.”

The appointment of Downer and Grunow as two women heading UW-Madison’s student government is uncommon in ASM’s overall history, but recent years paved the way for more female leadership with Carmen Gosey and Mariam Coker leading the 23rd session and Madison Laning and Vanessa Studer leading the 22nd session

The newly elected press director for the 26th session, Matthew Mitnick, is a familiar face on campus after his city council campaign earlier this year. He ultimately lost his bid for the District 8 seat earlier this month to fellow UW-Madison freshman Avra Reddy. 

ASM also elected Secretary Anthony Allison, Nominations Board Chair James Menden, Shared Governance Chair Amol Goyal, Shared Governance Campaign Director Selma Fairach, Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair Adrian Lampron, Legislative Affairs Committee Chair Katie Malloy and Outreach Director Aerin Leigh Lammers. 

Downer said she was encouraged by all the campaign ideas brought forth during the meeting, and she’s “excited to take the lead.” 

Welsh said the pitched ideas also heightened his hopes for the new ASM leaders.

“It's really exciting, especially seeing people you know do really good work in whatever committee or role they're in and then move up into a leadership position,” he said. 

ASM will vote on the remaining leadership positions on April 28 at their 6:30 p.m. meeting. 

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