Editorial: UConn students must use their voice in USG elections

The Undergraduate Student Government elections are from March 2-4 and will determine USG president and vice president for the upcoming year. (Amar Batra/Daily Campus)

Starting Wednesday, the University of Connecticut’s Undergraduate Student Government will be holding their Spring election. During the election, which ends Friday, the UConn undergraduate student body will select students for various positions, including school senators, a student trustee for the Board of Trustees, as well as student body president and vice president.

Over the past few years, USG elections have been filled with controversy, with this year continuing the tradition. However, unlike recent elections, this year’s presidential election has produced multiple candidates, allowing the student body to actively choose their new chief representative. Considering the rarity of multiple candidates, it is more important than ever for UConn undergraduates to cast their vote between Wednesday and Friday.

Beyond voting for the top positions in USG, students must also consider the impact all members of USG have on campus life as a collected body. USG constitutes the elected student voice on campus, as well as those responsible for delegating a six-figure budget to UConn student organizations.

UConn is home to thousands of students and hundreds of clubs and organizations. Undergraduates must seriously consider voting in this week’s USG election to ensure the most deserving and hardest working students are entrusted with the decision-making process involved with distributing such a large and important budget.

Though the presidential and vice presidential race tend to draw the most attention and campaigning on campus, general positions within USG, as well as the student representative to the Board of Trustees, are all on the ballot. These positions all demand the election of a responsible and levelheaded undergraduate student. The failure to cast votes leaves valuable voices out of this conversation and decision.

The representative for the UConn Board of Trustees is perhaps the most impactful position on the ballot. A student trustee represents UConn students on the board, providing voice to an otherwise underrepresented population. While students may think of the USG elections as being unimportant or as not being impactful, the student trustee position itself rebuffs this assumption. The student trustee is involved with voting on important measures, such as the recent 31 percent tuition increase. Choosing this position is not a trivial matter.

During the USG elections, students will elect school senators, a president and vice president, student trustee and comptroller. While voting in USG elections may not figure into a list of important things for most UConn students, the results of the vote have real impact on undergraduate life. Taking the time, between Wednesday and Friday, to go online and vote in the election must be a priority for students throughout the UConn community.