Rock the Vote: Who's who in this year's USG election

(Graphic/Francesca Colturi)

(Graphic/Francesca Colturi)

By Claire Galvin

Seeyashree Sodani

Seeyashree Sodani, a fourth-semester finance student, is running for the comptroller position in the Undergraduate Student Government.

Seeyashree Sodani (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

Seeyashree Sodani (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

Sodani is a member of the executive board for USG, and serves as the director of public relations. On the financial side, Sodani is involved with the funding board of USG. She serves as a co-Chief Financial Officer to a Tier II organization.

“Because of my experiences, not only do I understand the position of being responsible for student fees, but I also understand the implications of student funding for Tier II organizations,” Sodani said.

Sodani, who is from Farmington, aims to tackle three initiatives if elected. She wants to prioritize Tier II funding, eliminate wasteful spending and bolster accountability with USG.

Dylan Nenadal

Dylan Nenadal, a fourth-semester management major, is running for Undergraduate Student Government comptroller position for the 2017-18 year.

Dylan Nenadal (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

Dylan Nenadal (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

Nenadal, who is originally from New Milford, studied at the Avery Point campus last year and held the position of treasurer, a position he said is essentially the same as comptroller.

He is currently the president for Hilltop Halls and represents the community in the Undergraduate Student Senate. He is treasurer of the Friends of the Homer Babbidge Library group and represents the undergraduate student body on the funding board.

Most notably, Nenadal is the deputy comptroller as appointed by Rishita Jani, the current comptroller.

“It functions as an endorsement,” Nenadal said. “Essentially what she is doing is training me to be the next comptroller."

By Schae Beaudoin

Irma Valverde and Lysette Johnson

Irma Valverde (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

Irma Valverde (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

Vice President Irma Valverde is running for the University of Connecticut’s Undergraduate Student Government president. She said USG’s involvement needs to reach outside of the organization.

Valverde is a junior pursuing a dual degree in business management and political science. She’s also a programming intern at the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, a coordinator for Husky for a Day and a vice president of campus affairs at the Alpha Phi sorority.

Lysette Johnson(Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

Lysette Johnson(Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

If elected president, Valverde wants to reform student parking policies on campus, improve USG’s Funding Board and create a stronger relationship between students and administration.

Valverde said the number one issue students want addressed is the university’s parking.

“No one should be getting fined for possibly leaving their car because they’re too scared to walk from X-Lot to Buckley,” Valverde said.

Andrew Stern & Ven Gopal

Andrew Stern (Courtesy/Andrew Stern)

Andrew Stern (Courtesy/Andrew Stern)

As a candidate for the University of Connecticut’s Undergraduate Student Government president, Chief Justice Andrew Stern wants to build a stronger bridge between students, administration and Mansfield.

If elected president, Stern wants to improve university relations with Mansfield and hold the administration accountable, something he said can be done if better lines of communication are established.

“My theme here is building relationships,” Stern said.

Ven Gopal (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

Ven Gopal (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

Stern is a junior political science major with a minor in public policy. This is his third year in USG. He serves on the External Affairs and Academic Affairs committees in addition to being chief justice. He’s also a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and judges for UConn Moot Court’s competition.

As president, Stern said, he would want to establish weekly meetings with both Mansfield officials and administration.

By Christopher McDermott

George P. Wang

USG Speaker George P. Wang is running for undergraduate representative on the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees. As a leader and three-year member of USG, Wang said he’s an experienced candidate with expansive knowledge of how UConn operates.

George Wang (Courtesy/George Wang)

George Wang (Courtesy/George Wang)

Wang has served on the Title IX Task Force, contributed to university initiatives on spreading air conditioning in dormitories, and contributed to an initiative for bystander intervention training (BIT), which he said focuses on changing campus culture about sexual assault and intervention.

Wang’s platform focuses on representing students’ interests in a difficult financial time, increasing understanding of the board’s work and reaching out directly to student groups. Read more on George.

Christine Savino

Former USG Sen. Christine Savino is running for undergraduate representative on the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees. Savino described herself as a broadly connected and active student with experience around trustee meetings.

Christine Savino (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

Christine Savino (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

Savino was a senator of Undergraduate Student Government until Feb. 16, when she resigned amid allegations that an early draft of her platform for trustee was plagiarized from another candidate who dropped out of the race. Savino maintains the case was baseless, and she was given permission to use the other candidate’s content. Her platform has since been completely rid of the questioned content. 

Savino said she would push to reduce raises and salaries for higher-level administrators and redirect the money to mental health services and student development. Savino said she would work to establish personal and professional relationships with other administrators, which she said was essential to earning their respect.

Josh Wojtyna

USG Senator Josh Wojtyna is running to be the next undergraduate representative on the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees. Wojtyna describes himself as a lifelong Husky who will work to minimize the impacts of state funding cuts on UConn’s students.

Josh Wojtyna (Courtesy/Josh Wojtyna)

Josh Wojtyna (Courtesy/Josh Wojtyna)

Wojtyna’s platform focuses on three key issues: minimizing the impacts of state budget cuts, increasing advocacy and transparency and committing more of the university’s resources to renewable energy.

He proposed a regular panel for students to talk directly to administrators to increase transparency, plans to travel biweekly to the branch campuses to speak directly with students there and would work with other student organizations (including campus media such as WHUS and The Daily Campus) to better publicize the board’s work.


Claire Galvin  is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus.   She can be reached via email at claire.galvin@uconn.edu.

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

Christopher McDermott is the news editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at christopher.mcdermott@uconn.edu.