Mei wins Class of 2026 Presidency, 4 more Representatives Elected
Updated: Sep 13
Images for this article were gathered with permission of each winning candidate. Gathering of photos was done by Daniel Rodriguez, contributing photographer, and Madison Lazenby, Editor-in-Chief.
SADOVE STUDENT CENTER, Student Activities Village—Hamilton’s student elections for the Class of 2026 concluded this Friday, with results announced Sunday afternoon. Seven candidates for class year representative competed for four open seats, and three more candidates competed for the position of class president. The results were unexpectedly stalled, and while the election schedule featured on the Student Assembly website dictates that winners would be announced at 11:59 PM on September 10, a day after the polls closed on Friday, Saturday came and went with no update from the assembly. Student Assembly Vice President Marvin Lopez ‘23, who was responsible for running the election, informed The Monitor Sunday morning that results would be posted later that afternoon, though the reason for the delay was unclear. Results were subsequently announced to the Class of 2026 just before 3 PM on Sunday.
The Class Presidential Race
Ting Mei was elected the 2026 Class President with 95 votes. Bringing three years of experience as high school Student Body Vice President, Mei expressed a desire in her candidate platform to “not only talk big words but do something practical, organize student activities, protect the rights of each student from all backgrounds.” She described her role in student government as that of a “listener, executor, and problem solver, diving into the people's needs and trying to negotiate with the school, and actively solving the problems with full consideration.”
When asked to name the most pressing on-campus issue in a pre-election survey, she described the difficulty of first year students in finding a solid community as something that should be further addressed, that “this is natural but I would like to propose a series of events from dorm decorations, hand-crafting activities, outdoor games … allowing students to meet and become friends with different people.” She highlighted a variety of additional priorities as well, including bee-hive removals, carpet cleaning, and expanding the dining menus.
Mei could not be reached for comment after the election results were posted.
The Four Winners for Class Representative Include:
Quentin Messer (He/Him)
From Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Quentin Messer proved the most popular candidate in the elections, securing 176 votes. On the class of 2026, Messer wrote in his candidate platform that “the job of representing such a group requires the utmost authenticity and enthusiasm. As your class of 2026 representative, I will advocate for you and work with our President to ensure our voices are heard, and our presence is felt throughout Hamilton’s community.”
In the pre-election candidate survey conducted by The Monitor, Messer highlighted social transparency and social mobility as some of the most pressing on-campus issues, writing that “Student Assembly is the most influential tool students have to raise concerns … Its role should include accountability for the good works done and working collectively to fix more problematic issues.”
Reached for comment after the results were announced, he offered his congratulations to all new Assembly members and gave the following quote:
“There’s a lesson to be learned from everything, whether good or bad! Today was a good lesson about patience and trusting a plan of action. A lesson was learned about authenticity and the power of a simple hello. There was a lesson never to underestimate the power of a green bucket hat. Most importantly, today has given me the ability to learn lessons about leadership, cooperation, inventive thinking, and problem-solving. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to serve as a Class Representative for the Class of 2026. It’s not something I take lightly, and I am excited to serve and work for the Class of 2026! We are an amazing group of people representing not just one singular identity, and I can’t wait to bring our voices to the larger community!”
Ailis Hayden (She/Her)
From Athens, Ohio, Ailis Hayden was elected with 140 votes. Hayden has extensive experience in student government, including service on her high school student council for all four years and as Class President in her senior year. Her platform described her interest in a range of issues, “especially those of gender, sexuality, race, and religious equality,” and her hope to be a “voice for marginalized groups on campus.”
In the pre-election survey, Hayden emphasized the importance of student government institutions, arguing that “the ability for student representatives to highlight and communicate the voices of the study body, as well as affect change they see fit on the college, ensures a healthier campus culture.”
Hayden did not respond to request for comment.
Adan Corea (He/Him)
From Miami, Florida, Adan Corea was elected with 123 votes. In his platform, he wrote that he strives to create a “feeling of home on campus … mak[ing] sure that everyone's voices are heard and everyone feels comfortable.”
In his pre-election survey, Corea highlighted several different experiences that prepared him for the role, including prior student government positions and many volunteering activities in high school, namely his work fighting coastal pollution for an environmental nonprofit and organizing community toy drives for a seasonal holiday charity.
Muhammad A. Rao (He/Him)
Muhammad Rao, who goes by Rao, won on the slimmest of margins—beating his closest opponent by just a single vote. With 93 votes total, he narrowly secured victory against rival Gael Javier, who earned 92 votes. From Lahore, Pakistan, Rao is one of two international students elected to the Assembly.
In his pitch to the class of 2026, he emphasized his role as a servant of the people, writing: “Ultimately, you are the force. My job is to make sure you are heard and your force is felt.” He further emphasizes his “responsibility to make first-year experience inclusive for every one of us.”
Reached for comment after the election, Rao writes: "I thank the class of 2026 for putting faith in me, and I look forward to developing a relationship with each and every one of you in order to better serve your needs and cater to your interests."
The first Student Assembly meeting with these newly-elected student representatives for the class of 2026 is Monday, September 12.
Updated 9/13: Added Ting Mei's picture after securing her permission.