The University of Connecticut’s Tier III organizations have recently announced their top leader for the 2017-18 year.
These organizations are Nutmeg Publishing, the Daily Campus, the Student Union Board of Governors (SUBOG), UConnPIRG, UConn Student Television (UCTV), Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and WHUS.
For what may be the first time, women will fill all of these top positions.
“I am fairly certain this is the first time this has happened,” Jessica Glynn, Leadership Programs Graduate Assistant in the Department of Student Activities Leadership Office, said.
Tier III organizations are student organizations which receive financial support from student fees and are accountable to students. They also receive university recognition and support in areas such as funding and event planning.
Nutmeg Publishing’s 2017-18 editor-in-chief will be Elise Sotolongo, a sixth-semester sociology and English major minoring in criminal justice who currently serves as the organization’s yearbook managing editor.
Nutmeg Publishing is a student-run organization that produces the Nutmeg Yearbook and an online quarterly, the Nutmeg Magazine, Sotolongo said.
Sotolongo has participated in yearbook production throughout her time in high school and college, she said.
“In high school, I was in the yearbook club for two years, and was assistant editor-in-chief for one of them,” Sotolongo said. “So, when I got to UConn, I jumped at the opportunity to do it all over again. I've served as the yearbook managing editor for the past three years and being on the exec board for two years has really inspired me to take on this leadership position.”
Sotolongo said she aims to ensure the organization continues to create yearbooks far into the future, in light of its budget struggles over the past few years. She also hopes to raise awareness about the organization.
“My vision for Nutmeg is to set up the organization to prosper in future years. We have been struggling with our budget for a few years now so I really want to make sure that the org is able to produce yearbooks for as long as possible (ideally, forever),” Sotolongo said. “I'd also really like to get more campus awareness for our org, since a lot of students don't even know that UConn has a yearbook in the first place.”
Other 2017-18 leaders are Kavita Sinha, who will serve as yearbook managing editor, Jason Jiang, incoming business manager and Rachel Sarnie, who will serve as magazine managing editor.
The Daily Campus
Molly Stadnicki, a sixth-semester psychology and English major who currently serves as the Daily Campus’ associate news editor, will be the organization’s 2017-18 editor-in-chief.
The Daily Campus is a student-run newspaper that publishes a 12-page newspaper five days a week and updates its website and social media accounts on a daily basis, Stadnicki said.
Stadnicki has been involved at the Daily Campus since her freshman year in various roles as an editor, writer and copyeditor.
“I began writing as a campus correspondent for the news section, and eventually made my way to staff writer, and then senior staff writer by the end of my sophomore year. I also work as a copyeditor and worked in the DC’s business department last year. This year, I served as the associate news editor,” Stadnicki said.
Stadnicki said that she will work to ensure that the Daily Campus continues to provide quality content for the UConn community. She aspires to foster more engagement with students as well.
“My vision for the Daily Campus is to continue to facilitate a welcoming, interactive working environment for those in our organization, as well as to keep delivering important, interesting and relatable content to the UConn community,” Stadnicki said. “One of my long-term goals is to increase student engagement, both in the sense of gaining new membership in our organization and in the sense of further engaging our student body constituents, especially as we seek to advance our multimedia presence in a technological age of journalism.”
Additional 2017-18 executive officers are Stephanie Sheehan, who will serve as managing editor, Connor Donahue, incoming digital editor and Devon Castiello, who will serve as business manager.
The Student Union Board of Governors (SUBOG)
SUBOG’s 2017-18 president will be Julia D’Alessandro, a sixth-semester marketing major, communication minor who currently serves as SUBOG concert chair.
“We are the largest student programming board on campus. This means that everyone from our committee members to our president is a student at UConn,” D’Alessandro said. “SUBOG programs a variety of educational, cultural and social events throughout the year in order to enhance the experiences here at UConn.”
D’Alessandro said that she has been a member of SUBOG since her freshman year and has been a part of several of the organization’s committees.
“As a freshman in college, I started as a committee member for both the Marketing and Concert committees…towards the end of my freshman year, I decided to interview as a Marketing and PR Chair within the Concert Committee for the 2015-2016 school year,” D’Alessandro said. “I was fortunate enough to be selected to serve as UConn’s Concert Chair for the 2016-2017 academic year…I am extremely proud of what the committee has accomplished this year, especially when we decided to take on a 4th concert.”
D’Alessandro aims to increase students’ engagement with and trust of the organization.
“My vision for SUBOG for the upcoming 2017-2018 academic year would be to strengthen the trust between both the organization and the campus, especially the students. This vision can be accomplished a couple of a different ways, including creating even more inclusive events and by creating more outlets for students to voice their opinions,” D’Alessandro said.
Additional 2017-18 leaders include Haley McMullen, incoming VP for Policy, Megan Fainer who will serve as VP for Programming, Ashley Lane incoming VP for Programming and Nathan Seibert, who will serve as VP for Finance. Incoming committee chairs are Danny Zhu, Outreach, Emily Dodson, Outreach, Hayley Rowe, Arts, Nicholas Bartos, Comedy, Adam Sherif, Concert, Emily Chekmeyan, Films, Joey Spagnuolo, Lecture, Adelyn Lotito, Major Weekends, David Anastasio, Special Events and Wesley Lukas, Sports Promotion.
UConnPIRG’s 2017-18 chair will be Casey Lambert, a fourth-semester environmental science major who currently serves as UConnPIRG secretary and “Ban the Bottle” campaign coordinator.
“UConnPIRG is a student-funded, student-run advocacy group on campus. We aim to give students a voice and get them involved with the political process,” Lambert said. “We work to make tangible change on issues that students care about, like public health, protecting our democracy and (my favorite) the environment.”
Lambert said that she has held several leadership positions in UConnPIRG which qualify her to be the organization’s next chair.
“I joined PIRG because I needed service hours for my learning community. I lived in EcoHouse my freshman year. I began working on the new at the time campaign, Ban the Bottle, which PIRG started after an outside student came in and asked to run it,” Lambert said. “My sophomore year I was elected secretary of the organization and I actually took over the Ban the Bottle effort and became coordinator.”
Lambert said that she will strive to continue to advocate for the issues that students care about and to work more closely with other Tier IIIs.
“Despite being an ENVS major, I actually want to see us work on a more diverse set of issues in the next coming year, in order to better advocate for the grander scope of student interest,” Lambert said. “We also hope to strengthen communication and bring together efforts with other Tier III's in order to have a more positive impact on student life.”
Other 2017-18 officers are Walter Dodson, incoming vice-chair, Alex Pawlak, who will serve as treasurer and Emily O’Hara, incoming secretary.
Alexis Alvarez, a fourth-semester finance major minoring in communication who currently serves as UCTV’s general assistant, will be the organization’s 2017-18 general manager.
“UCTV offers a variety of outlets such as training, equipment, editing and the ability to produce your own content. We are UCONN's only TV station and broadcast local sports, news, current events and entertainment shows,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said that she appreciates UCTV’s emphasis on teamwork.
“UCTV offers a winning team oriented culture. I've been competitively swimming on a team since the age of eight, so working with diverse individuals with a common goal is a passion that I hoped to translate into a professional setting,” Alvarez said. “UCTV allows me to work with a passionate team, while utilizing elements of my finance major and communication minor to successfully run the organization.”
Alvarez aims to expand the reach of UCTV’s content and to maintain a good working environment at the organization, she said.
“This year we are searching for ways to create another outlet for the UCTV program. Members work tremendously hard to create content, so it would be interesting to find a new outlet to reach a larger audience,” Alvarez said. “Potentially working towards an App is a cool idea. However, my vision for the 2017-2018 year, is to keep the culture of UCTV friendly, welcoming and enjoyable.”
Additional 2017-18 leaders include Clayton Firmender, who will serve as finance manager, Alex Rouleau, incoming operations manager and Hunter Young, who will serve as productions manager. Incoming directors are Ben Buczek, human relations, Bianca D'Agostino, marketing, Matthew Bilmes, advertising, Julia Gorman, news, Junbo Huang, UCSPAN, Lucian Hatfield, entertainment and Kyle Barry, sports.
Undergraduate Student Government
Irma Valverde, a sixth-semester business management and political science major who currently serves as the USG vice president, will be the 2017-18 USG president.
“The Undergraduate Student Body is one of the governing bodies of the university and is the primary voice of undergraduate students,” Valverde said. “We actively partake in improving UConn through representation and advocacy, and look to work with the administration and any other groups to ensure the success of our initiatives.”
Valverde has been involved at UConn since her first semester through USG and several other groups, she said.
“Within USG I started as a senator, my sophomore year I served on the executive board as the chairperson for student development, and then got elected vice president for my junior year. Outside of USG this year I am a Husky Ambassador Coordinator and hold a position in my chapter. I was also a part of SUBOG’s Major Weekend Committee, was an FYE Mentor, an Orientation Leader, the Vice President of Campus Affairs for Alpha Phi, and a past programming intern for OFSL,” Valverde said.
Valverde said that her goals for next year include making USG as inclusive as possible and increasing student participation in the organization.
“I want USG to be a place for everyone because at the end of the day all students do want the best college experience. By being a part of USG you can have a hand in advocating for students and creating that real change on campus to ensure that positive experience,” Valverde said.
Valverde has selected executive committee members for 2017-18. They will officially become executive board members once confirmed by the USG senate on April 19, 2017.
These leaders are Vice President-Elect Lysette Johnson, Comptroller-Elect Seeya Sodani, Chief of Staff to the President Marisa Nazzaro, Chief of Staff to the Vice President Dustin Lavoie, Public Relations Director Caio Goncalves, Academic Affairs Chairwoman Ama Appiah, External Affairs Chairwoman Haley Hinton, Funding Board Chairman Jay Gala, Programs Director Malu Foley, Student Development Chairwoman Gabrielle Fazzina and Student Services Chairwoman Wanjiku Gatheru.
WHUS’ 2017-18 general manager will be Kailey Townsend, a sixth-semester communication and political science major who currently serves as the organization’s operations manager.
“WHUS Radio prioritizes as a non-commercial radio station. In addition, we cover all aspects of media including talk (podcasting), sports coverage, multimedia, live production, promotions, news writing, and of course, music. I'd like to say, we're an all-in-one,” Townsend said.
Townsend said that she has worked at WHUS since her freshman year in a variety of director and manager roles.
“As a freshman, WHUS was the only organization that I saw that would have people who would have more than just a slight interest in Joy Division so I headed straight there,” Townsend said. “I took on my first leadership position in my sophomore year as the Communications Director which lead me to run for a supervisor role as the Operations Manager for my junior year. My love (and work load) has only grown since, and last month, I ran for General Manager and here we are.”
Townsend said that she aims to increase student involvement with WHUS and to spur students’ creative expression at the organization.
“My latest vision is that we're going to become the next Pitchfork. Let's see how well that goes. On a more tangible note, my vision is for more students to utilize our plentiful resources and create content that expresses their individuality, not just their academic pursuits,” Townsend said.
Additional 2017-18 executive board members are Amanda Minicucci, who will serve as operations manager, Bobby Bickley, incoming program director, Ace Ricker, who will serve as training director and Vicki Chilinski, incoming promotions director.
Alexandra Retter is staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.