Voting for the University of Connecticut’s graduate student trustee position is now open online and will continue until Oct. 3.
The two candidates running are Kailee Himes, who is seeking a Master’s in higher education and student affairs and Justin Fang, a PhD student in biomedical engineering. Both candidates were contacted, but Fang was not available for an interview.
Himes works closely with Higher Education & Student Affairs (HESA), and decided to run knowing she has the full support of her team.
“Being in the HESA program puts me in a really unique position because there are nearly 30 other people working with students across the campus and working [with] other graduate students, professionals and administrators,” Himes said. “So I think I’m going to be able to bring their voices onto the table efficiently and be able to get an idea of what students are thinking and feeling across campus in a way to best represent the student voice.”
Himes plans to look to the student body to guide her decisions if elected.
“Once I understand the vibe of the board I would go to my cohort and other students I know across campus and just see how they’re feeling about initiatives,” Himes said. “I am the type of person who likes to get input from the people I represent before coming to a quick conclusion, so I think being able to have those connections … would serve me and the student body well.”
The time Himes has spent at UConn has fostered a deep sense of love for the university.
“To be quite honest, I think having gone here for undergrad and being so invested in the school separates me because I know what it’s like to be a student as part of both the undergraduate and graduate population which will just allow me to represent both sides, and I work with students daily so it gives me a larger perspective which I think is really unique,” Himes said.
Himes encourages students to vote, so they can have a voice and be represented on the Board of Trustees.
“I think it’s important to vote because UConn is in a great state of transition right now with the new president and with things changing so rapidly in terms of industry, so having the student voice represented in the room is always important,” Himes said. “Whether or not that person is me, I think that just having a representative to identify those ideas, thoughts, feelings and concerns in the room may not otherwise be presented if there wasn’t a student in there.”
Naiela Suleiman is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.