Thakkar, Chinyumba named as 2019-2020 President and Vice President

Priyanka Thakkar and Manny Chinyumba have been named as Undergraduate Student Government (USG) President and Vice President, leading with 2093 votes despite nearly 200 votes lost to campaign violations. (File/The Daily Campus)

Priyanka Thakkar and Manny Chinyumba have been named as Undergraduate Student Government (USG) President and Vice President, leading with 2093 votes despite nearly 200 votes lost to campaign violations. The duo defeated running pairs Dylan DeMoura and Matthew Zancewicz, who held 566 votes, and Fabio Saccomanno and Talha Bhatti, who held 409 votes.

“Manny and I are extremely honored to be UConn’s next Student Body President and Vice President. We are so incredibly excited and ready to start working,” Thakkar said. “As students involved in so many different aspects of UConn, we truly have a holistic view of what this campus needs and how to attain that.”

Thakkar said she plans to focus on increasing USG’s public image and resolving some of the budgetary issues.

“We want to start re-branding USG and our public image, which we hope to do by being as accessible as possible to students and making sure we are pursuing initiatives that are helping students directly,” Thakkar said. “One of our main focuses is tackling issues that transfer students may face and trying to advocate for them as much as possible, as transitioning to UConn can be difficult. We are also hoping to pursue collaborations including with the recent Wellness Case competition.”

This year’s election was a contentious one, as several campaign violations were filed against both Thakkar and DeMoura’s campaigns, which led to a delay of nearly a month after the polls closed in early March while the USG Judiciary investigated.

“The Judiciary appreciates the patience of the University Community though the elections process,” Chief Justice Nandan Tumu said. “We warmly welcome our new President, Vice President, Comptroller and Senators as well as other elected officials, and wish them the best of luck.”

Saccomanno, who filed multiple violations against Thakkar, said he and Bhatti are “proud to have lost the election honorably.”

“We sincerely thank our campaign staff and supporters for all their dedication,” Saccomanno said. “[I] look forward to continuing to advocate for the students as a Senator in USG.”

Demoura and Zancewicz, who also filed several violations against Thakkar, did not reply to a request for comment on Sunday.

Dylan Nenadal has also been named as USG Comptroller, running uncontested, and Nandan Tumu was re-elected as the student trustee on the UConn Board of Trustees.

The Senator election results were also announced, with all nine CLAS seats being filled by Krishna Channa, Elizabeth Collins, Joshua Crow, Dalton Hawie, John Kelly, Holliane Lao, Anna Pratt, Joshua Resnick and Robert Shamirian. The two CAHNR Senators will be Caitlin Cannon

and Sarah Hill, with two seats left open. Both Multicultural and Diversity Senate seats have been filled by Rita Tsafack-Tonleu and, Nitya Yelamanchili, and two ACES seats are left open with Sean Roach and Will Schad filling the other two.

Alexandra Ose and April Lichtman filled both the Fine Arts seats. Kelsey McCormack and John Mosley took two seats for Engineering, leaving three seats open for the position. Damon Reynolds, Jacqueline Seras, Kevin Perrone and Luis Toscano have filled all four School of Business seats. Currently, the School of Education has one seat open, as does Ratcliffe Hicks and the School of Pharmacy. Two School of Nursing seats are also left open.

Generally, seats left open are filled in fall elections, as was the case in fall 2018.


Marlese Lessing is the news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at marlese.lessing@uconn.edu. She tweets @marlese_lessing.