The University of Connecticut Undergraduate Student Government is made up of one of its most diverse groups ever, Elections and Outreach Commissioner Avolyn Nieves said.
“In the past, USG has been comprised of predominately white cisgender men, where women and students of color were extremely underrepresented,” Nieves said. “We have seen a steady increase in women and students of color over the years, however both this year's Senate body and Governing Board are very ethnically and culturally diverse as we have students from various ethnic backgrounds, religions, sexualities, etc.”
Nieves said this diverse group is crucial to representing all students at UConn.
“Diversity is essential to USG because we represent all undergraduate students at Storrs, no matter their socioeconomic status, race, gender identity, etc,” Nieves said. “We strive to allow all students to have a seat at the table and to have a voice to advocate for themselves and others. All students deserve to feel safe, included and valued on campus, which unfortunately is not always the experience for students from underrepresented or marginalized communities.”
Nieves said it’s important that USG is diverse not only for themselves from a decision-making standpoint, but in that it provides a platform for all UConn students.
“The student body benefits from having a diverse body represent them because different issues and concerns will be brought up that may often be overlooked by people who are not directly affected by those given issues,” Nieves said. “You can learn a lot from someone who may seem very different from you, however we all share the same goal of making UConn the best place for students, and making it better for future generations to come. UConn regularly prides itself in being diverse, however it is essential that diverse individuals have the opportunity and resources to leave their mark and make positive changes.”
USG has set aside seats in the Senate for this purpose.
“There are also Multicultural and Diversity Senators that are elected at large,” the USG Senate website said.
Luke Hajdasz is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.