The results are in for undergraduate student trustee on the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees, and Nandan Tumu won the position with 340 votes (51 percent), according to an email sent out by Christine M. Wilson, the Student Trustee Election Committee (STEC) Chairperson.
Tumu will serve as the undergraduate student trustee for the Spring 2019 semester to replace Christine Savino, the current trustee, who will be graduating this fall. Another election will be held in the spring to elect an undergraduate to serve from Fall 2019 to Spring 2021.
The Board of Trustees consists of 21 members, including the Governor, one graduate student and one undergraduate student, whose job is conveying the needs of the student body.
According to his bio on the Vote @ Uconn website, Tumu, a fifth-semester computer science major, had previously served as Speaker of the Senate of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and currently serves as the Chief Justice. He also cited his time with the UConn Consulting Group as experience that will enhance his competence for the trustee position.
“I think both candidates ran great campaigns and I’m looking forward to working with Dylan moving forward,” Tumu said. “I’m excited to have the privilege to represent the student body on the Board of Trustees and hope to do them proud.”
Dylan Nenadal, a fifth-semester management major, was the other candidate vying for the position, currently serving as a senator of USG. On his bio on the Vote @ UConn website, he cited the idea of an advisory committee and expanding student representation on Board committees as platforms for his campaign, among expanding other student service initiatives. He received 327 votes (49 percent). (https://vote.uconn.edu/undergradtrustee/)
“It’s not debatable which student position is most important on campus: it’s student trustee,” Nenadal wrote in an email correspondence. “I’m certainly at peace with the results, because my opponent is someone I respect and someone capable of representing the undergraduate student body effectively on the Board.”
Nenadal said he respects Tumu’s win for trustee, based on the latter’s prior experience and commitment to the student body. However, Nenadal also expressed his belief that he would have served as an adept trustee as well.
“I believe I was the most qualified candidate, as I already currently represent the undergraduate body on the University Senate Budget Committee and on the Provost’s Library Advisory Committee,” Nenadal said. “But I also believe Nandan Tumu is well qualified and a very upstanding individual… I look forward to helping Nandan forward his agenda in any way I can and I also know that he’ll use his position to forward my platform as a candidate as well. The student body is in good hands.”
Savino, who will be graduating this fall, said the position holds high importance for both students and other trustees on the board.
“It has been a privilege to represent the UConn undergraduate population and utilize the role to help others,” Savino wrote in an email correspondence.
Savino mentioned the notable progress that the undergraduate community had made during her time as a trustee thanks to more open communication with the administration, including expansion of handicap accommodations, “lobbying legislators during the budget crisis as One UConn and improving administration-student relations through policy creation and overall collaboration.”
“Both student trustees are of great importance and will especially be so as [Connecticut’s] fiscal state, and thus UConn’s, is increasingly hampered,” Savino said. “The future of the trustee bill is also in the hands of the student trustees as [USG] cannot lobby for it. The undergraduate population gets only one person to represent them in Board discussions… It is thus important to vote for candidates that truly hold your values and that you feel are qualified… behind the scenes, they are important in representing your interests during decision making.”
Savino felt that both candidates were extremely qualified for the position, and that the close results reflect the diverse qualifications of each candidate. Adding to an idea of further undergraduate student representation that both Tumu and Nenadal have expressed, Savino “implore[s] the administration to consider supporting the addition of an undergraduate on the Board even if they are ex-officious.”
Hollie Lao is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.