Student Senate Announces Election Results; Ahmed and Neff Named President, Vice President


Jaraad Ahmed (‘25) and Natalie Neff (‘24) were named President and Vice President, respectively, for the 2023-2024 Student Senate. Photo courtesy of Natalie Neff

The Luther Student Senate Election Committee announced on April 24 the results of the 2023-2024 Student Senate elections, in which 14 senators were elected to various positions.

Notably, the election results named the new Student Senate Leadership Team. Jaraad Afroze Ahmed (‘25) and Natalie Neff (‘24) were elected President and Vice President, respectively, while Hannah Roesler (‘25) was elected Secretary. The election committee also named new senators to the Senate Executive Board, new Class Representatives and new Diversity Representatives.

The Treasurer position and two positions on the Executive Board were announced as being re-run; the voting for these positions closed on April 26. All Hall Representative positions and the Freshman Class Representative position will be elected next fall. A full list of elected senators and open positions can be found here.

Prior to being elected President, Ahmed served as the International Students and Allies Association Senate Representative, as well as being the Chair of the Campus Betterment Shared Governance Committee. Ahmed and Neff were sitting together in a physics lab when they found out they were elected, which he called a “surreal moment.”

“[Being elected] showed how strong of a support system this community continues to be for me,” Ahmed said. “[It also served] as a reminder of the community’s trust in me to lead progress that sustains.”

Neff was the Junior Class Representative for 2022-2023, and also served as the student representative for the Board of Regents. Neff states that the campaign’s main goal is to create more transparency between students and the administration.

“There can be many frustrations and misunderstandings for students because of [a] lack of communication,” Neff said. “Oftentimes, these issues are being worked on, but students are unaware. We hope to find a way to have more access to administration for students.”

Dean of Student Engagement Ashley Benson, who advises the Student Senate, expects Ahmed and Neff to do “a wonderful job leading the Luther student body into the future.” Benson, who assists in training all newly elected Student Senate leaders, will have regular meetings with both Ahmed and Neff throughout the 2023-2024 academic year to address any concerns and to continue their development as leaders. She highlighted their success serving the Student Senate this past year, and expects the two to succeed together in their new leadership positions.

“Being elected by their peers to lead the student body means they are trusted to have the skills needed to work with people on various levels,” Benson said. “I believe in their leadership and am excited about the work ahead.”

With the newly-elected senators and the recently updated Senate bylaws and constitution, Benson believes that the Luther community can expect a lot from their senators for the upcoming year.

“The Luther community can expect more student connections amongst student organizations, better engagement with various student identities in an effort to improve retention on campus, improved connection with President Ward’s cabinet, and a commitment to understanding the concerns of fellow students and student organizations,” Benson said. “The future is bright for the Student Senate and the Luther College community.”

The initial reason Ahmed ran for President was to build community, which set his own expectations high for the coming year.

“Every single individual at and beyond Luther, as I quote the Norse Creed, are Luther Norse,” Ahmed said. “To me, this position is an opportunity to uphold our mission and values through collaboration and systematic support, [and] it is an opportunity for myself to lead others into a more inclusive and productive Luther.”