USG holds first meeting of new school year

The Undergraduate Student Government met Wednesday night for their first meeting of the fall. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The Undergraduate Student Government reconvened Wednesday night for their first meeting of the semester.

Speaker of the Senate George Wang led proceedings and was joined by President Dan Byrd and Vice President Irma Valverde.

The conversation focused on revisions made to the election board packets used to determine the number of representatives per area or academic community.

“The elections oversight committee and I worked together to look for a way to represent students more fairly,” Wang said. “We wanted to balance both proportional representation [for the academic or residential community] and the rights of the minority voices [schools and areas with fewer students].”

The new system proposed by Wang uses exponential growth equations to calculate the proper number of representatives based on population percentages and interactions with other communities represented on campus.

“We are actually coming out of a constitution change last year during the March election where there was a referendum on the ballot whether or not to remove the 25 senator cap,” Wang said.

The 25-senator cap allocates 25 senators each academic and residential constituencies. Academic constituencies are the ones pertaining to the particular college a student is in, such as CLAS or Engineering. Residential constituencies are comprised of students from particular residential areas, such as Buckley/Shippee or Commuter students.

“The original system was unequal in vote allocation,” Wang said. “This system allows for more equal representation because USG does not have to worry about the 25 senator cap.”

The measure did pass, but not all of the senators were on board with Wang’s proposal.

“The new system enhances the voting power of individuals in smaller zones and reduces the voting power of individuals in larger zones,” Commuter Senator Samuel Surawitz said. “It moves away from equal representation of individual students and in the direction of equal representation of colleges and residential zones.”

All residential seats will be up for the fall election and packets will be due September 9th.


Elizabeth Charash is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at elizabeth.charash@uconn.edu.