On March first and second, we will have the opportunity to elect the next President and Vice-President of the Undergraduate Student Government. I write to encourage my fellow students to vote Andrew Stern and Ven Gopal to these positions, respectively.
I have known both Andrew and Ven for three years. First as colleagues, then friends. In that time, I have come to admire and appreciate their tremendous efforts in improving the undergraduate student experience at UConn.
As a freshman, Andrew initiated dialogue with Community Standards about the possibility of having student representation in matters of disciplinary proceedings. His efforts were almost immediately rebuffed by the committee. Undeterred, two years later through meetings with Community Standards, he developed a comprehensive and actionable plan for student representation, and is continuing to work with the administration towards its implementation.
Ven has served in USG as both a senator and for the past two years, as Chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee. Under his leadership, the committee was able to extend Homer Babbage Library’s hours until 2 a.m. during the week and expand the twenty-four-hour study space. Whether as the co-creator of a mentoring program within USG or as an active member of the Asian American Cultural Center, Ven exemplifies USG’s principals of diversity and inclusion and has continually worked to bridge the gap between USG and other student groups.
From supporting open source textbooks to petitioning against state budget cuts, Andrew and Ven have tirelessly acted in the best interest of students. As much as they are exceptional leaders, they are also exceptional people. Both have always gone out of their way to help others, and as President and Vice-President, their ultimate goal will be to ensure that each and every UConn student has access to a safe, enriching, and productive educational experience.
When voting, keep in mind that every time you encounter a problem or frustration with the administration; from parking services to community standards, dining services to curricula and faculty, the President and Vice-President of the student body should be your number one advocates. I say, heartedly and unequivocally, that Andrew and Ven will be the advocate’s students need and the ones they deserve.
Hilltop Apartments Senator