The incoming state board chair Kharl Reynado of ConnPIRG students looks forward to collaborating with other state chapters next year.
“I’m really excited,” Kharl Reynado, the next state board chair of ConnPIRG students and a fourth-semester economics and human rights major, said. “I was chapter chair here at UConn Storrs this semester, so I was really excited to take on a bigger role on the state level. I think we can do a lot on the state level,”
Reynado said that she aims to collaborate extensively with other ConnPIRG chapters.
“We have three chapters in Connecticut: we have one here at Storrs, UConn Hartford, and then one at Trinity College,” Reynado said. “So I’m just really excited to be working with the new, upcoming leaders in those chapters, and making sure that all three of the chapters are working together for the next coming fall.”
She said she also hopes to send more students to Hartford to lobby in an effort to “strengthen the state relationship.”
Reynado said that she will be responsible for state-level activities.
“I’m going to be in charge of handling our board meetings. So we would meet maybe only twice a semester, but we would probably get a lot of phone calls throughout it,” Reynado said. “We haven’t picked our lead campaign yet, but I guess one of my biggest responsibilities would be to make sure that the lead campaign is on track and that there’s state cohesion with the lead campaign. And we also handle the state budget.”
Reynado said that she earned her next position several weeks ago.
“We had elections a couple weeks ago, and we do it basically just how normal elections would be,” Reynado said. “I ran, I gave my speech.”
Reynado said that she looks forward to her work with next year’s full state board.
“There’s 10 board members on the state board, so there’s six representatives from UConn Storrs, two from UConn Hartford and two from Trinity,” Reynado said. “It’s just based on the proportion, so UConn Storrs is the bigger chapter, obviously, so we have the most people, but we have a full board this year, which is really exciting because we haven’t had a full board in a while,” Reynado said.
Reynado said that she participated in a number of UConnPIRG campaigns throughout the past year.
“Last semester during the fall, I ran the new voters project, and then this semester I ran the textbooks campaign,” Reynado said.
“They’re kind of really two polar opposite campaigns in my opinion because the new voters project was a lot of grassroots organizing and I got to work with a lot of really excited people, and textbooks is a really small campaign.”
Reynado will remain part of UConnPIRG next year, she said.
“I still plan to be around. I love the chapter, and I wouldn’t be able to get away from it even if I tried. Because we are the biggest chapter, I really want to take on an active role in connecting us to Trinity and Hartford,” Reynado said. “I’m still going to be the textbooks coordinator for next semester, so I’ll still be involved on the chapter level anyways, because I’ll be running that campaign.”
According to Reynado, the focus of the open access textbooks campaign in the upcoming year will be to raise students’ awareness about open educational resources.
“For next semester, we want to focus on students. So we want to make sure the students know that they have the option of getting more affordable textbooks,” Reynado said. “We want to kind of empower students to have the option to make cheaper, better choices, especially if they’re freshmen who might not know that they do have this option to get cheaper textbooks.”
Reynado said that she is proud to have witnessed student leaders mature at UConnPIRG over the past year.
“We’ve seen a lot of student leaders grow from just all of the work that we’ve been doing, and I think I’m most proud of the student leaders that we’ve kind of developed over the past two semesters,” Reynado said.
Reynado said that her efforts with UConnPIRG spurred her interest in activism.
“I started off pretty not into politics, or not into activism. I didn’t really know what it was, and I think UConnPIRG has really inspired me to take action in things I thought I couldn’t take action in,” Reynado said. “It has really empowered me as a student and I’m just really excited to keep moving forward with it. I love this place and I love the people in here and it’s one of my passions, and it’s something I want to continue to do in the future as well.”
Alexandra Retter is staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.