University of Connecticut Undergraduate Student Government (USG) vice presidential candidate Wawa Gatheru said, if elected, she hopes to increase USG’s transparency and retention rate.
Gatheru, a fourth-semester environmental studies major, previously served as McMahon Residency’s senator. This year, she is chairperson of the Student Services Committee.
“That committee really deals with issues surrounding student wellness, well-being, sustainability, transportation, dining services and mental health,” Gatheru said. “I run weekly meetings and meet with administrators a lot.”
Gatheru said the USG vice president’s role is centered around internal USG matters, and as such, she’s hoping to encourage people to stay in the organization.
“A lot of times people will get involved with USG and burn out quickly because there’s so much going on and a lot of work involved,” Gatheru said. “Sometimes you spend hours working on an initiative and it ends up not working. It can get frustrating so I want to put more structure in USG to help people through those processes and help them understand how to begin an initiative.”
Gatheru said her love of USG led her to decide to run for vice president.
“I genuinely can’t imagine my college experience without USG,” Gatheru said. “It’s given me so many opportunities to understand how the university works, I’ve been blessed with the people I’ve met and I’ve been able to create close relationships with administrators, which makes advocating for students that much easier.”
Gatheru said she also hopes to increase UConn students’ awareness of USG.
“I think a lot of people don’t know what USG is,” Gatheru said. “I get asked all the time what USG does. I’m constantly involved with USG things and surrounded by other members so I see how hard we work on various initiatives and people don’t know.”
Gatheru said though she believes some of that blame falls on the student body for “not keeping up,” she believes a lot of it is the fault of USG and is hoping to change that.
“We don’t do a good job of advertising, and I think we should be more accessible and more transparent,” Gatheru said. “I want to see that happen because I think it’s one of the best organizations on campus in terms of advocating for students.”
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.