Breakdown of USG Senate Candidates

USG holds its biweekly senate meeting in the Student Union on Feb, 22, 2017. (Jordan Richardson/The Daily Campus)

Voting begins today for academic seats in the Undergraduate Student Government Senate.

Students can vote online at vote.uconn.edu.

School of Engineering

Adam Burns

Soumya Kundu

Prince Nwaohuocha

Justin Schroeder

Priyanka Thakkar

Adomous Wright

The School of Engineering race is the only competitive USG senate race. With six candidates, there are five available seats. Kundu, Schroeder and Thakkar are current engineering senators running for reelection. Kundu also serves as current USG deputy speaker.

Wright said his priority, if elected, is improving USG funding to Tier II organizations.

“For many organizations on campus, funding is critical to the success of the group and USG should keep groups informed on the resources that they have access to and how they can use them,” Wright said.

Kundu said he wants to make connections between USG and engineering students.

“I plan to … [continue] to perform outreach to ensure that engineering students are aware of the opportunities that USG provides to let them enact change on this campus,” Kundu said.

While he is a newcomer to USG, Wright said his experience in UConn Taiko and the Cambodian Student Association gives him experience as a recipient of USG funding that he could bring to the organization.

“I believe that having the experience of running a student group will allow me to identify issues that these organizations encounter and find solutions that will benefit both USG and student groups,” Wright said.

Kundu said his experience gives him an edge in the race.

“I believe that my constituents should vote for me as I have a vast amount of experience in USG and Senate, having served as a senator for the past three years and as the deputy speaker of the Senate for this current year, throughout all of which I have actively participated in the legislative process,” Kundu said.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS)

Ama Appiah

Zachary Corolla

Richa Jain

Crystal Klicin

Emily Manchester

Isabelle McCarthy

Vinaya Rajahraman

Kristin Von Ohlsen

Colin Walker

CLAS is the largest constituency in USG senate, with nine seats. With nine candidates, the race is not competitive.

Appiah, Jain and Von Ohlsen are current CLAS senators running for reelection. Additionally, Rajahraman and Klicin are current senators for NextGen and Alumni, respectively.

Rajahraman and Von Ohlsen both said USG’s moves to establish UConn as a sanctuary city was a big reason they decided to stay with USG.

“When the legislation stressing the importance of the safety of undocumented students was passed, it showed me that I was with a group of students who really cared about inclusiveness at UConn and I would like to continue to work with them to keep doing great things,” Rajahraman said.

Von Ohlsen said sponsoring the legislation and seeing its passage was “gratifying and humbling.”

Both senators also acknowledged the diversity and large size of CLAS.

“The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the largest and most diverse school within UConn and because of this, CLAS students as a group have unique needs,” Von Ohlsen said. “I hope to continue to bring my focus on our academics into the continuing dialogue of senate and represent all 50 majors housed in our school to the best of my ability.”

Rajahraman said changing constituencies from NextGen to CLAS represents a challenge and will require a different mindset.

“I now represent students from all over, both on campus and off campus. I will have to think about issues students face in all areas of their lives, and take a more academic perspective,” Rajahraman said.

Corolla said he will bring a unique point of view to USG and as a senator, wants to focus on diversity on campus.

“As a queer American I feel very passionately about diversity and respecting our diversity and I hope that my experience as student at UConn will only serve to make it better for everyone,” Corolla said.

Additionally, Corolla said he wants to focus on making UConn’s student body more aware of preferred pronouns and consent.

School of Business

Francesca Caruso

Kelly McKeown

Shivang Vora

The School of Business race is non-competitive. With three candidates, there are four open seats, leaving one seat unfilled.

School of Education

Benjamin Murray

The School of Education is also non-competitive. There is one candidate for one open seat. The School of Education currently has no representation in USG Senate.

Additionally, many schools will have no representation after the race is over, including the Academic Center for Exploratory Students (ACES), the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR), Fine Arts, Nursing, Pharmacy and Ratcliff Hicks.

Northwest, Busby, East, Charter Oak and Northwood currently have no representation in Senate as well. All residential seats are up for election in the fall semester.


Schae Beaudoin is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at schae.beaudoin@uconn.edu.