Joe Sanford elected USG Parliamentarian, USG passes resolution and bill

Screenshot of the resolution passed by the USG

The University of Connecticut Undergraduate Student Government (USG) held its parliamentarian election at a USG Senate meeting Wednesday night. In a close 19-18 vote, UConn student Joe Sanford was elected as parliamentarian.  

The other two candidates were UConn students Stan Liang and Ramya Rajesh. During the evening’s first round of voting, Rajesh and Sanford earned the most votes. Due to the proximity in votes, another vote was taken immediately after to determine the winning candidate. Due to attempted voter fraud, a re-vote was taken, with 19 votes for Sanford and 18 for Rajesh.  

In his opening statement, Sanford emphasized a desire for communication and teamwork.  

“No one single committee can handle these issues on their own, and we must work together,” Sanford said. “We must quell internal conflict for a peaceful, respectful and friendly perspective, moving forward in a political climate. My goal, my job and my promise to you as your parliamentarian is to be communicative, to be friendly [and] to be in your face when you don’t want it.”  

Sanford also pointed out that the large number of new senators in USG this year means more effort is required of the senate.  

“Another thing we have to acknowledge is that there are a lot of new senators in this organization, myself included, and that’s not all bad,” Sanford said. “And after all, the position does not require experience. But we are going to have to work together to tackle a lot of delicate issues, some of those we are very passionate about. A lot of those issues intersect and affect a lot more students than we may know.”  

When asked the first word that comes to mind when thinking of USG, Sanford answered with responsibility.  

“We have a large body of students, all of whom are very diverse, and they’re going to need a large understanding body of senators who will accurately represent them,” Sanford said. “Our responsibility is to make the students here feel like they can graduate, like they belong and like this is a place for them.”  

After the parliamentarian election, the senate passed a resolution and a bill, each with 25 votes in favor.  

The resolution, called “A Resolution Concerning the Creation of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission at the University of Connecticut,” was prompted by UConn’s recent declaration of racism as a public health crisis, according to a press release.  

The resolution asks the administration to “work in collaboration with students, faculty and staff to identify structures and forms of racism within the community and address them with meaningful long term, impactful solutions.”  

The bill, called “A Bill Concerning the Establishment of a One-semester Grace Period for CSD Accommodations,” calls upon the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) to grant a one-semester grace period to students experiencing impairments and requiring accommodations.  

The bill also mentions the university’s declaration of racism as a public health crisis, stating that access to accommodations is part of the crisis.  

“Racism was declared a public health crisis at the University of Connecticut and the University of Connecticut has committed itself to fighting against racism in its community,” the bill states. “Disability and access to accommodations, is a piece of that crisis, which is supported from a data report presented by the National Disability Institute.”  

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