The results of the Undergraduate Student Government spring 2017 elections were announced on April 21 in an email from USG president Myesha Jemison ’18. The seats up for election were the class officer positions of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and social chair, as well as ten spots on the U-Council.
The importance of class unity was a common theme among the newly elected class presidents. Class of 2018 president Brandon McGhee ’18 noted one of his goals for next year is to “[continue to] foster class unity, spirit, and [promote] a class identity.” He added this notion of class identity is especially important to him in representing the senior class.
“Senior year is a phenomenal time, and senior year is what people are going to remember for the rest of their lives,” McGhee said. “There are so many milestones that occur during your senior year, and I think it’s very important to have a very cohesive, very strong, and very friendly class government that is planning events throughout the entire year.”
McGhee explained that events such as Pub Nights, where the senior class rents out Triumph Brewing Company, and monthly class dinners will serve as reminders that “although you have your own personal journey as a senior, you also have the 2018 journey together.”
As Class of 2019 president Christopher Umanzor ’19, who was re-elected, explained, “I really do just want to keep generating class unity, showing all … the rising juniors now that their class government is one that cares about them.” He mentioned that one way to achieve this goal is by paying close attention to what it means to be a junior.
“With every new year, really, the class government is kind of prompted to think of new kinds of events that work better for whatever class year it’s serving," Umanzor said. "So, it’s really about kind of seeing where we fit and making sure that the juniors now have a really great year, feel like they have community within their class year, and I’m excited to see what kinds of events we create to fit that function."
For Jackson Caputo ’20, his role as Class of 2020 class president will be his first time serving on USG. With that in mind, Caputo stressed how he hopes to learn from others in order to achieve the best outcomes possible.
“One of the things I’m going to start out by doing is trying to meet with a lot of the program leaders, past presidents, things like that, to see what’s worked in the past and see what hasn’t,” Caputo explained. “From there, I will try to create a couple of … initial events planned out for the fall."
Caputo is a news contributor for the 'Prince.'
Caputo also wants to ensure his peers that he plans to be very accessible throughout his term as class president.
“I want to make sure that I’m very approachable and that if anyone has anything to say … or they feel that there is something that I could be doing better, I want to be very approachable and I want people to be able to give me their opinions,” he explained.
In terms of goals for the upcoming year, many of the officers interviewed are excited to continue work started this year while also coming up with new events to cater to their classes needs. Returning U-Councilor Pooja Patel ’18 noted that she is particularly looking forward to continuing her work with USG task forces. She described the task forces as opportunities for students to be able to voice their concerns and develop solutions, as the nature of task forces involve “bringing in students from all across campus, allowing them to speak with their representatives directly and kind of work together to craft solutions or come up with ideas for us to pursue,” she said.
In her junior year, Patel organized a task force on sexual misconduct on campus.
“It’s an issue I care a lot about, and I think that’s one of the most important reasons I wanted to stay on USG was to really work on that project and make sure that there was someone advocating for that issue,” Patel explained.
Samuel Vilchez Santiago ’19 is looking forward to contributing his voice on issues pertaining to first-generation and minority students in his position on the U-Council. He mentioned that one of his goals for next year is to work with the admissions office in order to create a preview program geared towards minority students.
“This is a program that other universities have, and [it] has been particularly effective in getting minority students and people of color to actually attend the University after getting accepted,” he said. Among his other hopes for next year include working with University departments to promote ethnic studies.
According to Jemison's email, the elected officers for the Class of 2018 are McGhee (president), Anyssa Chebbi '18 (vice president), Yash Patel '18 (treasurer), Kevin Liu '18 (secretary), and Vincent Po '18 (social chair).
Representing the Class of 2019 are Umanzor (president), Susan Liu '19 (vice president), Nicole Kalhorn '19 (treasurer), Carly Bonnet '19 (secretary), and Chelsea Ng '19 (social chair).
For the Class of 2020, the officers are Caputo (president), Alaa Ragab '20 (vice president), Juston Forte '20 (treasurer), Ben Musoke-Lubega '20 (secretary), and Ellen Scott-Young (social chair).
Additionally, the U-Councilors are Patel, Vilchez Santiago, Olivia Grah '19, Ethan Marcus '18, Diego Negrón-Reichard '18, Ben Press '20, Lucas Ramos '19, Miranda Rosen '18, Nick Wu '19, and Wendy Zhao '19.
The newly elected candidates will begin their terms at the start of the 2017 fall semester in September.