Joshua Crow, Graduate Student Trustee
Recently, Governor Lamont proposed a budget leading to a surprising level of division in the University of Connecticut community. On Feb. 15, over 700 students marched to the halls of power and declared that our university is worth further state investment. In response, a few members of the community have chosen to undercut those students, not just by dismissing this protest, but attacking the premise that meaningful change can be achieved by students allied with the university.
Let us be clear: the assertion that working within the system is not an effective avenue of change has no basis in reality. This paper’s own reporting rejects it, showing us exactly what change can be brought: Irma Valverde organized rallies and applied pressure to the state government when the state legislature was considering slashing UConn’s budget by $300 million. Haley Hinton, Colin Mortimer and Damon Reynolds fought back against the town of Mansfield zoning regulations, with some of them literally running for town office. Derek Pan, Dennis Mema and Rebecca Feldmen worked with the university to fund JED Campus and build connections between SHaW and students. Wanjiku Gatheru pushed for the Environmental Literacy Requirement as a Gen Ed. Ethan Werstler, Will Schad and Alexis Charles worked with a coalition of student organizations to create Husky Market, which would deliver food to over 1,500 students in just two years. Priyanka Thakkar and Walter Dodson changed the infamous Rec Center dress code policy so students could wear what they felt most comfortable while working out. Katherine Spinnato and Likhita Athina led the charge during the COVID-19 pandemic to push back the pass/fail deadline to help students during this difficult time. Damani Douglas passed amendments to student government funding policies that gave all organizations easier access to funds to travel around the country, representing our university.
This paper’s Editorial Board has claimed Undergraduate Student Government efforts last week were misleading and part of a greater trend of misleadership by student leaders. It is ironic that the Daily Campus asserts this of USG while continuing to argue a position that is refuted by their own past articles. I would encourage you, the reader, to search the Daily Campus’ own archives, to discover that countless students, beyond those I named above, have solved problems big and small. Our duty as student leaders is not to stir grievances and fuel vitriol, it is to make the lives of our fellow students better.
Didn’t you resign as president of USG because of complaints of discrimination within the org? You deserve no voice in any matter pertaining to campus politics, let alone your position as graduate student trustee. Law school should’ve taught you better than to post a 400 word pile of garbage.