Election campaigns for 44 senate seats in the University of Connecticut’s Undergraduate Student Government kicked off on Friday at noon, when election packets were due.
Current applicants met for orientation this Sunday to learn protocol and details about the election process. This week, candidates will begin to display their platforms and reach out to their academic or residential constituencies to garner interest in hopes of being elected on Sept. 20, when elections open.
Applicants can run for academic seats to represent their college within the university, or they may run as a residential candidates representing their residential housing areas across campus.
According to internal sources from USG, the number of applicants this academic year has increased by a significant amount, making the process far more competitive for the candidates.
Members within USG are also encouraged to run for seats within the senate.
Parliamentarian Stephanie Goebel wants to run for the upcoming senate election to stay involved.
“I want to continue being involved. I think it is a great way to stay in touch and help further the development of the undergraduate student body,” Goebel said. “A lot of the work we do I think goes unnoticed, but it’s nice to help the students behind the scenes in USG and make this campus a better place.”
Goebel said there are new initiatives she hopes to introduce to the senate.
“I am thinking I want to do a project on mental help and de-stigmatize the need to ask for help for counseling in mental health services,” Goebel said.
Current senior and Academic Affairs Committee member Alexander Karl is also applying for this year’s senate.
“As a student I can actually do something, I can actually work with the student admin to make a positive change for our undergrads,” Karl said. “If elected to senate, I would like to see more resources given to the library. It used to be a very prestigious library, and due to funding issues, it has gone down a bit. With the right work I think we can keep it where it stands, if not even improve it for the future.”
USG is responsible for hearing the voices and concerns of the undergraduate student body as a whole. Upcoming elections help recruit students from all colleges and residential areas to voice these issues on a wide platform of experience.
Current freshman candidate for the Next Generation Connecticut Hall, Robert Lepore, said he wanted to establish a place in USG for the newly built community.
“As a current member of this new residential area, I want to help further the success of what we have built,” Lepore said. “We are proud to live in this new area and I want to establish and represent our goals of the Next-Gen community.”
“It’s all very new to me, but my goal is to voice the concerns of this residential community, and then blend it with the goals of the other residential areas to help the student body grow as a whole. I think that’s really what USG is really all about.”
Patrick Carignan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.