Published On: Fri, Feb 28th, 2020

FAU juniors Celine Persuad and Joseph Burgese elected next Student Body President and Vice President

Photo provided by @persuadburgese2020 via Instagram.

From being the Student Body Vice President last year to being involved in the Greek community throughout her college career at Florida Atlantic University, junior Celine Persuad was unofficially elected as the university’s next Student Body President, along with newly elected Vice President, Joseph Burgese, also apart of Greek life, on Thursday, Feb. 27.

While the results of the election are still unofficial, as votes are still being looked at for accuracy, Persuad and Burgese won by five votes over their opponents, juniors Alex Zand and Naya Diaz, both Greek life members as well, with the number of voters for Persuad and Burgese being 1,615 versus Zand and Diaz’s 1,610, according to FAU’s Supervisor of Elections Dylan Wood. 

Not only was this year’s Student Body President and Vice President election one of the closest it has ever been at the university, but it also had a larger increase in student voting than last year. According to FAU’s student news and organization website, Owl Central, the results show a 10 percent increase of students taking a majority of classes at FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 16 percent more than last year, 35 percent at the Jupiter campus, which was a 103 percent increase than last year, and on the Broward campus, 125 votes were accounted for, more than last year’s 43 votes.

“It is with great pleasure that I announce that I have been elected to serve as the next Student Body President of FAU,” Persuad stated in an Instagram post. “To the student body; thank you to each and every one of you for entrusting us with your vote [and] this next year is for you.”

As Persuad outlined throughout her campaign to be more transparent with the FAU student body, expand student safety and even create more opportunities for students to be involved on their campuses, she is also committed to advocating for students and listening to every student’s concerns or needs, according to FAU’s student-operated news publication, the University Press.

Despite Zand falling short in the election, he is grateful for the opportunity and the connections that he made, as well as taking every lesson he learned throughout the campaign process for the future, according to himself.

“Running for Student Body President at Florida Atlantic University has been one of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve had the opportunity to do,” Zand said. “Losing by five votes, yet getting over 1,600 students to believe in myself and my vision for the student body is something I will always remember.”

Also in her Instagram Post, Persaud thanked “her fellow candidate,” as she put it, and even described indirectly that the passion Zand has for the student body is “inspiring” and is “excited” to see all other things that will be done to make “FAU a better place.” 

Below is the total breakdown of the 2020 Florida Atlantic University Student Body President and Vice President Results:

President Ticket (President and Vice President)# of Voters% of Votes Cast% of Student Population
Celine Persuad and Joseph Burgese1,61547.6%4.54%
Alex Zand and Nayi Diaz1,61047.5%4.53%
Write in Candidates150.4%0.04%
No Vote1524.5%0.43%

About the Author

- Justin Baronoff is currently a junior at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. He is pursuing a major in Multimedia Journalism, where he hopes to some day write for major news media publications, such as the New York Times, ESPN, or even Billboard Magazine. In high school, Justin wrote for his high school newspaper for three years where he was a staff reporter for the first two years before becoming the Sports Editor in his final year. At FAU during the first semester of his sophomore year, he began interning for, where he wrote about and covered his favorite professional football team, the New York Jets, and his favorite professional basketball team, the New York Knicks. Then during his second semester of his sophomore year, he began writing for FAU's student newspaper, the University Press, as a contributing writer. Justin now serves a News Writer Intern for the Boca Raton Tribune.

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