Board of Trustees student representative addresses peers' concerns

Adam Kuegler held a town hall-style meeting Tuesday night September 27th to hear about student concerns from the University of Connecticut Storrs, Avery Point and Stamford campuses. (Akshara Thejawsi/The Daily Campus)

A Student Trustee held a town hall-style meeting Tuesday night to hear concerns from students from the University of Connecticut Storrs, Avery Point and Stamford campuses.

Adam Kuegler, the Student Trustee who organized the meeting, said he wants students to feel more involved with the Board of Trustees.

“The Board of Trustees has historically been something that students aren’t necessarily engaged with and that something that I’m trying to change this year,” Kuegler said.

Kuegler put out announcements in UConn’s Daily Digest, as well as notices to student leaders at regional campuses to try to involve UConn undergraduate students.

At both the Avery Point and Stamford campuses, parking is an issue for students.

Shahanara Shahjahan of UConn’s Stamford campus said their parking garage is in serious need of repair.

“Some of the pillars, I would expect to collapse any day,” Shahjahan said.

Urmi Thaker, president of Associated Student Government at UConn’s Avery Point campus, said she feels there’s a shortage of parking spots at her campus.

“[ASG was] told by some people that they’re out of spots and they have to park somewhere else because of it,” Thaker said.

Thaker added that ASG is looking into whether more parking permits were issued than spots in the parking lot.

Shahjahan and Thaker both expressed concern about where the money from student parking fees goes, if not for renovating Stamford’s garage and expanding Avery Point’s parking.

Administration engagement at the regional campuses was also a topic of discussion.

Freddy Santiago, a student at Storrs, said he feels administration focuses more on Storrs than the regional campuses.

“A lot of administration doesn’t travel to regionals. I spent two years in West Hartford’s campus. I can count on my hands the amount of times anybody that’s on the board was at a regional campus,” Santiago said.

Students discussed the schedule change to sync regional campuses to the Storrs campus as an example of frustration with UConn administration.

“That decision was made [at Storrs] and was kind of forced on the regional campuses,” Thaker said.

Kuegler ultimately wants to be able to appropriately bring up student concerns with the Board of Trustees.

“I can gain perspective on what students are thinking and students can, if they so choose, have the opportunity to learn about what’s going on on the Board, if I can provide insight into it, so it doesn’t seem like such a distant thing,” Kuegler said.

Kuegler hopes to hold the meetings monthly during the week of the Board of Trustees meeting, and open them to all UConn undergraduate students.

Schae Beaudoin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at