Undergraduate student government elections are underway at the University of Connecticut; voting for all offices opened on Tuesday, March 5 at noon. All undergraduate students are eligible to vote for executive members and for the senate seats within their respective college. Voting closes at noon on Thursday, March 7.
To vote, students can go online to vote.uconn.edu and will be automatically directed to the elections in which they are eligible to vote.
In the presidential and vice presidential race, Dylan DeMoura and Matthew Zancewicz, Fabio Saccomanno and Talha Bhatti and Priyanka Thakkar and Manny Chinyumba are the three current candidates, according to the Vote @ UConn website.
Running mates Dylan DeMoura and Matthew Zancewicz wrote they are running campaign platforms including mobilizing student government, fighting for renewable energy on campus, equivocation of marijuana and alcohol policy, open and affordable textbooks, holding administration accountable to students and the amplification of marginalized voices.
“The nationwide youth movement is growing, and students are more important than ever before,” wrote DeMoura and Zancewicz in their joint statement. “We believe that UConn students can make impactful change at the highest levels for the betterment of our state and university.”
Running mates Fabio Saccomanno and Talha Bhatti wrote that they intend to affirm USG’s position as the powerful force backing student interests on campus, responsible for providing invaluable services to UConn’s entire student body.
“Many of the activities and clubs students participate in would not be possible without USG,” wrote Saccomanno and Bhatti. “With that said, change is needed. With a new, young Senate, the TIME IS NOW to act. USG is not as efficient as it could be and many of its policies leave much to be desired.”
Running mates Priyanka Thakkar and Manny Chinyumba wrote that they have had experience with the inner workings of USG, and have demonstrated their passion to support and engage a diverse student body on campus through roles such as campus tour guides and volunteers for alternative breaks.
“We want to create triangular communication by linking students to USG, USG to administrators, and finally administrators to students,” wrote Thakkar and Chinyumba, “Connecting UConn we want to shape perspectives and empower leaders so we can make changes, together.”
The current comptroller race has only one candidate: Dylan Nenadal.
Nenadal wrote that he has years of experience working on both USG’s and UConn’s budget, equipping him to oversee the $1 million budget allocated to the responsibility of comptroller.
“I believe UConn needs a comptroller who prioritizes the student organizations and club sports teams that rely on USG funding each semester,” Nenadal wrote. “UConn needs a comptroller who isn’t interested in maintaining the status quo for comptrollers. It’s time to improve communication & simplify funding policies & procedures.”
Aside from the USG elections, Student Trustee elections began on Tuesday, March 5, and votes can be cast at vote.uconn.edu. Current Trustee Nandan Tumu is running for re-election, according to his Facebook election page, Nandan for Trustee, opposing Kulnoor Saini.
Tumu, who ran for trustee last semester and was elected in place of former trustee Christine Savino after she graduated, is currently a sixth semester computer science major. Tumu is running on the platform of curbing tuition increases, streamlining class pick times and enhancing the experience of regional students, according to his Facebook page.
Opposition Saini is an undecided business major committed to the engagement of younger undergraduates regarding issues such as future tuition rates or the need for better parking.
“My motivation to take on this position comes from my strong belief that it is important to have a leader and successful communicator on the Board to continue enhancing this outstanding institution and to implement necessary changes that speak to the needs of all students,” Saini wrote in her election statement.
In addition to the executive positions up for election, 21 students are running for various senate seats within USG, according to Vote @ UConn.
Open senate seats are in the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture, the NEAG School of Education, the School of Fine Arts, the School of Pharmacy and the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, ACES, the School of Business, the School of Engineering, the School of Nursing, Ratcliffe Hicks and Multicultural and Diversity.
Currently, there are 14 senate seats still without candidates. They can still be filled via write-in ballots by any undergraduate student belonging to the respective constituency, so long as that student garners 50 votes before the polls close.
Grace Burns is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .