The University of Connecticut Undergraduate Student Government (USG) approved the placement of members in various leadership positions, discussed amendments to its constitution and bylaws and said its goodbyes to graduating seniors at its final meeting for the 2017-2018 academic year.
USG approved the next election oversight chair, summer recess committee members, judiciary members and chief justice, as well as the sworn-in president, vice president, comptroller and senators.
Omar Taweh, Josh Wojtyna and Damon Reynolds were approved as summer recess committee members. Brendan Carroll was approved as election oversight chair.
Bret Olson, Janae McMillan, Jase Valle, Meghan Truong, Nandan Tumu, Nicholas Teeling and Nicole Gagnon were approved as justices with Tumu approved as chief justice.
Ama Appiah and Wawa Gatheru were sworn in as president and vice president, respectively. Priyanka Thakkar was sworn in as comptroller.
Finally, the 2018-2019 Senate was sworn in. Their first task as senators was to elect Josh Crowe as speaker and Fiorella Contreras as parliamentarian.
Gatheru, a sixth-semester environmental studies major, said she’s looking forward to a new year with the elected officers.
“I am really excited to meet the new senators. It feels like the personality of USG changes every single year,” Gatheru said. “My freshman year versus this year are two entirely different senates composed of two totally different sets of people, and I am sure this is going to be the same way this year.”
In addition to nominations and approvals of next year’s leadership, the senate voted to carry on the discussion and vote on an “Amendment to the Undergraduate Student Government Constitution regarding Rank Choice Voting” for the next senate year.
The amendment, presented and authored by Senators Franklyn Barrueco and Noah O’Connor, said rank choice voting would ensure majority rule, discourage negative campaigning and create incentives for more candidates to run.
The senate then passed the revised bylaws of USG which made several changes to the formatting of the bylaws, membership responsibilities and voting on legislation in recess committees. The revised bylaws also changed the titles of executive student staff, chief of staff and communications director.
While new USG members took on a role in the senate for the first time, graduating members were sent on their way through an annual legislative “roast.”
Tumu roasted former Election Oversights Chair George Wang.
“Whereas George P. Wang will drive you to the airport and thank you afterwards,” Tumu said in parliament manner. “Whereas George P. Wang hasn’t slept in four years.”
Former Senator Haley Hinton roasted former Chief Justice Andrew Stern.
“Whereas, at the very least, Andrew did not arbitrarily decide the presidential election while chief justice, and that should count for something,” Hinton said.
Seniors also provided words of advice to those USG members filling their roles.
“Remember when discussing with students and hearing issues your constituents face, to listen to them and take it seriously,” former USG President Irma Valverde said. “Remember many things don’t happen overnight, or a month or even in a year. Initiatives takes patience, positivity and leadership.”
Lillian Whittaker is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.