Avery Point Associated Student Government President Urmi Thacker feels that the biggest success of her term, which comes to an end after this semester, has been connecting the regional campuses together and with Storrs, via a workshop put together by her ASG.
“With the help of my ASG we put together a regional governments workshop,” Thanker said. “That was one of the big things I worked on this year.”
This workshop, which happened on March 25th, invited the governments of all the regional campuses to get together and discuss ways in which to make common concerns be acknowledged by Storrs or by their own campus administrations.
“It was more of a way to start getting to know them and start networking with them sooner,” Thaker said.
The meeting also discussed ways in which the regional campuses could become more connected with the Undergraduate Student Government at Storrs, which included making regional students feel that they are more connected to the overall university community.
“We had someone from Storrs come down and talk to us about how to get more connected with USG,” Thaker said.
Thaker said she and her ASG chairs connecting with Storrs was a major focus of their term, and she wants to continue to work on this in the future.
“We aren’t that well connected, I feel,” Thaker said. “I feel that we, as the elected positions, need to be in better communication with them.”
Thaker wants the various associated governments to continue getting involved with each other and with Storrs, be it legislatively or with university-wide issues, such as budget cuts. She also feels that the role of the student governments should be to take on the role as the student body’s voice.
“I’m like the voice for everyone,” Thaker said.
As president, one of her major jobs was to voice student concerns to Avery Point’s Administration, which included cutting down on majors, complaints about facilities and the ever present issue of parking fees and violations.
“We do let administration know how the students feel and their concerns, and they do take that into account,” Thaker said.
Thaker also feels the issue of students feeling disconnected to the larger UConn community is mostly due to them not seeing the unique opportunities their campuses provide them.
“I know a lot of Avery Point students don’t feel connected with Storrs,” Thaker said.
The main issue she feels is that students don’t see the campus as actually a part of the university community and this is something that the ASG has tried to alleviate.
“As much as ASG tries to put on events and get people involved, it’s hard to get everyone involved,” Thaker said.
Thaker wants students at Avery Point to see themselves as part of the larger UConn community while also embracing what makes their campus unique.
“Personally, I think (Avery Point) is the best campus, because I’ve (taken classes at Storrs), and you don’t get this type of view or these type of teachers,” Thaker said. “I feel like students’ concerns are, ‘Oh, I’m missing out on so many opportunities,’ but what they don’t realize is, there are so many opportunities here.”
Thaker wants to see students tackle the opportunities presented to them, like she had, gaining a leadership position in her sophomore year.
“If I was up at Storrs, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be president, the opportunity to work so close with administration,” Thaker said.
When she moves on to Storrs next semester, Thaker will become involved with USG, working on more ways in which the regionals can be represented with the university as a whole, and to help make campus-changing students’ transitions easier.
“Right now, I’m part of their External Affairs Committee,” Thaker said. “I plan to have a bigger say for regionals and work towards that more.”
Gino De Angelis is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.