2022 Joint Elections Ballot Initiatives

Candidates Running for Office


Board of Trustees Student Representatives

Candidates for Board of Trustees Student Representatives: Graduate 

Candidate Personal Statement

Josh Crow, School of Law

Hey all, my name is Josh Crow, and I am currently a 1L at the UConn School of Law and I I hope to be your next Graduate Trustee. Before I was
a 1L, I graduated last spring from UConn undergrad with a degree in Political Science and Economics. One of our largest obstacles to being
heard by the university is that, after a few years, most of us move on while the university faculty, staff, and administrators stay. This has bred a
culture where the school will simply wait out our concerns, while prioritizing the interests of those who will be here longer. I hope to change that.
During my time in Undergrad, I participated extensively in the Undergraduate Student Government and developed strong relationships with
administrators that I can call on to this day. As a result of my experiences, I have been involved in many of the most prevalent student initiatives
in the last 5 years at UConn. Most of all, I know what it is to represent student voices in spaces where they are not commonly heard.
If elected, I hope to focus my efforts on graduate mental health. Graduate students face unique and significant pressures in their programs that
undergraduate students do not. I will work to make sure the university keeps this in mind as they work to make necessary changes to their
mental health systems. In this same vein, many grad students face a difficult lack of resources that stems from the fact that we go to class and
work in regional campuses. Whether it is me and my fellow students on the UConn Law campus, those students at UConn Heath, or others
working around the state in numerous programs, we face an even further lack of proper resources than the main Storrs Campus does. It is past
time that the university focused equally on all its branches. If I am elected, I hope to bring much needed attention to these campuses that can
feel as if they are separate schools entirely. I hope you will give me your vote and feel free to reach out at Joshua.crow@uconn.edu with any

Julianna Herman, Physiology and Neurobiology

Hello to the students of UConn- My name is Julianna and I am running for the Graduate student position on the Board of Trustees (BoT). I am a
graduate student in the Physiology and Neurobiology Department.
For the last three years of my graduate career here at UConn, I have been an active member of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS), the
president of the PHAGE student organization, and the current Parliamentarian for GSS. In each of these positions, I have worked closely with
the university administration and have served on several committees, each with an interest in advocating for student’s rights and ensuring that
UConn first and foremost supports its student body: undergraduate and graduate alike.
As Senate Parliamentarian, I am well versed in the history and details of student issues like parking, housing cost, and fees amongst others. In
my role on the senate, I have worked with the current BoT graduate student to discuss plans of action for each of these issues. Additionally, I
have already been attending and observing BoT meetings to ensure that I am up to date with the latest developments.
With my working knowledge of student issues and my history of service to the student body through the Graduate Student Senate, I believe I am
the best candidate to represent and advocate for graduate students with a seat on the Board of Trustees.
Thank you!

Candidates for Board of Trustees Student Representatives, Undergraduate 

Candidate Personal Statement

Christopher Bergen, Junior

As your student representative on the Board of Trustees, I will continue to advocate for every undergraduate student at UConn. We need
someone who brings an everyday experience of students to the Board—not just another wannabe student politician—and has experience
making real change happen at the University level.
I began my undergraduate degree by commuting to the Stamford campus, and transferred to Storrs after my freshman year. Through my work
as the Student Body Comptroller, I’ve made real change that directly benefited students. I made club funding more accessible, simpler, and
allocated millions of dollars towards advocacy initiatives on campus.
I’m excited to take my drive to the Board of Trustees, and appreciate your consideration.

Damani Douglas

My name is Damani Roosevelt Douglas. I am a Political Science and Communications Double major who is who has changed campuses twice. Today ask for your vote to be your Student Trustee here at UConn. Over my time here I have been privileged to serve the Student Body in so many different roles. I currently serve the student body as the President of NAACPUConn and as a member of USG.

You have already elected me 4 times to serve in USG and I have represented your interests in all three of its branches. I have served you as your inaugural Chief Diversity Officer a position in which I worked closely with both Students and Administrators to bring Diversity to the table. As a Senator and a Justice, I have completed 4 revisions to Funding including 2 overhauls. As the Director of Student Development, I facilitated an event designed to encourage female students to run for elected office here on campus and beyond. As the Director of External Affairs, I coordinated a campus engagement event for over 100 students across all five UConn campuses and three other schools.

I have served on the University level for 4 years as one of 5 Student members of the University Senate and I have sat on 3 of its committees. I am a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Policing and the Dean’s Advisory Group.

I know how this university works at a level that few people ever do. As the Board of Trustees hires a new president let someone who has been here longer than the last two combined represent you at the table.

Chase Mack, Junior

My name is Chase Mack and I am a third-year environmental science and political science dual degree candidate with a minor in history at the
UConn Storrs campus. I hope to represent the student body as a student trustee for the 2022-23 school year.
I pride myself on my deep commitment to the UConn community. I am involved in many on-campus organizations such as Ecohusky, of which I
am the interim president, and UConn club track and field, of which I am the secretary. At the university level, I have been involved in both
administrative and student-centered positions. I am currently serving on the Environmental Policy Advisory Council, which advises senior
administration on the environment. I am also an intern at the Office of Sustainability, which gives me insight into the inner machinations of
UConn’s operations. Finally, I am a resident assistant in freshman housing, which allows me to directly gauge student body needs.
Beyond UConn, I have been involved in both state legislative and policy processes. This past spring, I served as a legislative Connecticut
General Assembly intern for the co-chairs of the financial, revenue, and bonding committee and the environmental committee. Furthermore, this
past summer, I performed policy research for CT DEEP. The communicative skills I honed in these positions, in addition to my involvement in the
UConn community, make me a strong candidate for the position of student trustee.
As a student trustee, I would collaborate with my fellow trustees to better UConn’s environmental impact, as I feel the university has allowed
sustainability to fall to the wayside. Though sustainability has an environmental connotation, it also encompasses other concerns, such as the
mental health of the student body; university financial allocations towards research, athletics, and facilities operations; and the implementation of
a zero carbon infrastructure plan—all of which would help to create a better future for the students of tomorrow.


Storrs Undergraduate Student Government

Candidates for Storrs USG: President and Vice President

Candidates Personal Statement(s)


Mason Holland and Peter Spinelli


If there’s anything that we’ve learned this year, it is that real change is not possible without momentum. Momentum comes from students like you. Students who dream big, who challenge the institution, and who dare to imagine a better UConn. Students are the reason … the reason that Husky Market has delivered over half a million dollars to over 1500 food-insecure students … the reason that over $80,000 of menstrual products have been distributed to over 700 students … the reason that dozens of water bottle stations are being built across campus … the reason UConn acknowledges racism as a public health crisis … the reason why the Pass/Fail deadline was extended … and the reason why we were able to guarantee free Plan B for all students at SHaW. The point is, USG has been busy this year, and we’re just getting started. Last year, you placed your trust in us to serve you, the students. We—Mason Holland and Peter Spinelli—ask for your trust in continuing to lead the Undergraduate Student Government, and the student body, by building upon the collective momentum to empower students. Students like you. Students like us.

Ryan Westervelt and Charlotte Chen

(Photographed: Charlotte Chen)

Ryan Westervelt: My name is Ryan Westervelt, and I am a junior Biomedical Engineering Major. In my time here, I have seen a number of times in which public statements are released by UConn that imply things will change for the better without actually altering any university policy in order to enforce that change. I believe that USG is one of the best platforms for students to influence how UConn works as a university and as an organization, and that it is important that this platform is used as much as possible. Over the past few years, it has been apparent that administration does not share the values of the students on a large variety of topics. It is important to me that students’ opinions are heard. The student body deserves to have a say in the way UConn is run and in how it presents itself. By working with administration, I think USG can help create a fun and fulfilling next two semesters and contribute to positive social change at UConn- something that has been needed for some time.


Charlotte Chen: My name is Charlotte Chen and I’m a sophomore Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Sciences dual major. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to become highly involved with many of UConn’s student organizations and interact with UConn’s vibrant student body. Regardless of mission or focus, the same complaints and issues are heard across the board: the current administration and its allocation of funding doesn’t adequately support or listen to the student body’s wants and needs. Simply put, the current structure makes it difficult for students to prioritize and balance mental and physical health, academics, and the success of their organizations. Without fundamentally altering the way in which interactions with student organizations are handled, balancing health and success will continue to pose a challenge to both members and leaders of these organizations. I believe that it is important to make changes to best support all members of the student body and I promise that I will make every effort to accomplish this.








Dibran Trepca and Christopher Bergen

Are you happy at UConn? Do you feel heard? While the University locked down campus and limited our activities, our student leaders stood by and did nothing. They neglected their responsibility for the last year. Dibran and Bergen are working to build back UConn’s sense of community. A community where students feel connected, accepted and loved. Our Presidency will elevate real student voices. Let’s Make UConn Happy.

Didi Schiet and Matthew Bernstein


UConn needs to change! We are sick and tired of how UConn is treating its students and things need to be changed for the better. No communication regarding COVID policies and when we can change colour, dining hall food being badly prepped, students who work on campus and are being underpaid and sexual assault cases not being properly addressed. All these things need to change and together with your help we want to make that change. Vote Didi and Matt for the change UConn deserves and together we can make it happen!

Candidates for Storrs USG: Comptroller

Candidate Personal Statement

Benjamin Keilty, Senior

USG is funded by your student fees, and its largest budget item (and primary job) is to fund student organizations. But ask any club leader—the USG funding process is a long, confusing mess. It’s time we simplify the process to make sure that your money is going to the right place. As your Comptroller, I will work to make USG, and especially USG funding, as simple and accessible as possible. USG shouldn’t be putting up roadblocks, it should be available to help all students and organizations get what they need. In addition, as a mental health advocate, I will make sure that USG’s resources are used to support students in need, helping students with the cost of expensive UConn mental health treatment and working to eliminate food, housing, and transportation insecurity. As your Comptroller, I will be your tireless voice and advocate, and of course, my door is always open. And besides, if you’re going to elect a money guy, why not make it the math major?

Edward Zelikman, Sophomore

Hello UConn! My name is Edward Zelikman and I am thrilled to be running for USG Comptroller. Every year you pay the Undergraduate Student Government $90— $90 which has sat in their bank account. As a result, our Student Government has accumulated over 3.1 million dollars. There is no reason that students should pay a fee that is not put to use. With millions of your dollars at stake, it is imperative that we make the most of them. As your Comptroller, I promise to do everything in my power to ensure that as much of this money as possible gets back to clubs and students. As a student in the School of Business, I have a strong academic foundation for the necessary work. This, paired with my experience as a student body senator and a student representative on the University’s Budget Committee provide me with the proper skills to responsibly and efficiently budget future initiatives, assist student organizations with funding, and supervise USG’s financial activities. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to getting YOUR money back to YOU!




Candidates for Storrs USG: Chief Diversity Officer 

Candidate Personal Statement

Carter Newman, Sophomore

As Chief Diversity Officer of the Undergraduate Student Government, I will guarantee the UConn community a safe and equitable environment. I will prioritize student needs and ensure that every individual’s voice is heard. My prior work apart of the USG as a senator and Fiscal Manager made me aware that each student apart of the UConn community possesses special characteristics which makes this University one of the highest performing institutions nationwide. Because of this it is crucial that as CDO, I will make sure all students are apart of every event, policy change and initiatives I put forth. My goal will be to comprise a community of diverse individuals that strive towards justice, equality, and equal access to education. We are stronger together. Let’s finally address the needs of students, utilize and enhance student resources, and have pride in being apart of an innovative and progressive society. Huskies, I hope to work with you all in the very near future and confront the challenges we face every day.

Brandon Drummond, Sophomore

I’m running for USG Chief Diversity Officer because UCONN is worth fighting for! As I have spoken to many UConn students this past year, many have said the same thing — Uconn needs to do better. People are not happy with the dysfunction of the Uconn administration. Many people are dissatisfied with being ignored by the administration when they report an assault, a stalker, or a racist attack on campus. The perfunctory letters and emails sent out by the university stating “they’re sorry” are not enough. We cannot allow UCONN to ignore sexual assault survivors and expect them to initiate change. As the next Chief Diversity Officer, I will work diligently to ensure everyone has the proper resources to succeed. I will listen to sexual assault survivors and make sure every rapist and predators are thrown off campus, and I will hold the UConn administration for ignoring the needs and wants of the students. I will work tirelessly for Uconn – it’s how I approached every day in USG this year as student senator.

Ahenkan Akuffo-Parry, Sophomore

Before coming to UCONN, I previously lived in three different countries. I have been in communities where diversity was revered and I have seen how successful each individual and the community was as a result of such diversity. With my background and experience in communities such as these, I have strived to promote and even learn more about diversity wherever I go. It is important to see how people from around the world, from different backgrounds, interact with each other. It helps one to understand how one can form a common ground between different identities. One of my goals is to help UCONN become a safe space for people to not only explore and discover their individual identities but also feel comfortable enough to interact with people of other backgrounds and identities in order to come together and attain a common interest. We can’t learn how to work together and create a richly diverse campus if we are only satisfied to sit in our own spaces. We need to be able to go out and explore other cultures, identities, and backgrounds if we ever want to contribute to help make our campus a place where everyone can freely be themselves.

Candidate for Storrs USG: Academic Senator: ACES

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Makenzie Robinson, Freshman

Hello, my name is Makenzie Robinson and my hope is that you will re-elect me as an ACES senator. I would like the chance to continue working through USG, and progressing through USG. Last semester, I was lucky enough to be on the Diversity & Outreach Committee, and I’ve recently been appointed to the university senate Curricula & Courses Committee. Coming in as a freshman last semester, my main goal was to stay involved and because of USG, I’ve been able to complete my goal and advocate for my constituencies and the student body. It’s allowed me to actively push and work for the things I’m passionate about. If re-elected I will continue this path and the work that I’ve been able to do.

Candidates for Storrs USG: Academic Senator: Business

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Alyssa Perugini, Junior

To serve as a Senator representing the School of Business would be both an honor and a privilege. I understand the importance that this role holds to the learning and growth of UConn students, and I know that I’ll be able to represent the views and ideas of each student on a macro-level. As Senator I’ll positively influence the academic experience for my peers by providing both enriching and enlightening opportunities derived from a deeper understanding of the needs and goals of students. My leadership experiences have provided me with a foundational base for success in my ability to represent my peers and colleagues. I currently sit as the President of UConn’s ALD International Honor Society, where I’ve learned and understood the value of receiving feedback from my board and my members as to how I can lead them in the best way possible. I believe that there’s always things that can be improved and as a leader I hope to always serve my members to the best of my ability. If I’m elected to serve as the School of Business Senator, I will continue to carry this mentality and work ethic into the duties and responsibilities of this position.

Pranav George, Junior

I am running for re-election for a USG Senate seat representing the School of Business. My goal remains to improve the business school experience by providing students with more ways to supplement our education. I will continue to work with administrators and students to understand different perspectives and introduce ideas on the Senate Floor that will help business school students find more opportunities during our time at UCONN. Like I have mentioned before, networking and making connections is crucial, especially in the school of business. I believe it would be a huge advantage for the students if we can provide them with more resources. I will continue striving to reach this goal if re-elected, and I hope to do it with the support of you all. In addition to this, I will be open to hearing any suggestions students may have as to improve the quality of life on campus, and will voice the frequently suggested opinions on the Senate Floor. I will try to represent the student body to the best of my abilities and am looking forward to continuing working on these goals I have proposed.


Candidates for Storrs USG – Academic Senator: Engineering

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Marinella Salinas, Sophomore

As an Engineering senator, I aim to create a more inclusive and equitable learning environment for underrepresented students in the School of Engineering, specifically students of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. By designing new programs that support underrepresented students in engineering academically, socially, and financially, I will be able to increase both minority student representation and student retention. As a former board member of the School of Engineering FOCUS group and the STEM Scholar Executive board, I have a passion for creating a platform for the new and diverse voices within the School of Engineering in order to address the great lack and women and BIPOC representation within the academic school. Being a woman, Latina, and a Computer Science and Engineering student allows me to bring a unique perspective to USG. I am excited and ready to listen, share ideas, and make UConn a more welcoming and diverse environment for all students.

Likhitadevi Athina, Senior

Hello Huskies! My name is Likhitadevi Athina and I am a Computer Science and Engineering major. In the past, I’ve served as an Engineering Senator, Deputy Director for Academic Affairs, and as a member of the University Senate body, wherein I worked to uplift student voices and advocate for various issues that affect us all. If elected, I will continue to advocate on behalf of all UCONN students and make sure that students feel included in the UCONN community and supported by its policies. If there are any questions or concerns that you have, please feel free to reach out to me. Thank-you!

Dwaritha Ramesh, Sophomore 

My name is Dwaritha Ramesh and I’m a sophomore Mechanical Engineering and French dual degree student in the International Engineering Program. As senator, my priority would be to advocate for all engineering students and act on ensuring the university community at large can access the opportunities UConn has to offer. I know first-hand the academic rigor associated with being an engineering student, and I’m heavily involved in engineering leadership. In my role as President of International Engineering, I’ve worked tirelessly to connect, engage, and grow the network of Eurotech, Technopole, and ESP students and alumni; as Treasurer of AIAA, I work closely with project leadership to facilitate smart budgeting and financial management; and as Company Relations Officer for the Society of Women Engineers, I serve as the main point of contact with visitors and recruiters to bring unique professional development opportunities to women engineers. I also bring engineering project experience to the table, as I play a key role in AIAA’s Design, Build, Fly aeronautical engineering project. I would be honored to have the opportunity to use my skills, interests, and experiences in different engineering circles to serve the UConn community and the School of Engineering as your representative.


Candidate for Storrs USG: Academic Senator: Fine Arts

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Benjamin Keilty, Senior

Hey guys I’m a music major too!

Candidate for Storrs USG: Academic Senator: CLAS

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Srimayi Chaturvedula, Junior

It’s important to me to facilitate pathways for other students’ growth, encourage and embody inclusive leadership, and solve student problems in creative ways. Through my work as the president of the UConn Law Society, I’ve realized that students find it difficult to access many key pre-professional opportunities, such as internships, networking, mentoring, and career advice. It’s important to me that students have the resources they need not only to succeed in college, but to succeed after. I’m running for this position because I believe in USG’s mission of serving students, and I hope I get the chance to work on initiatives that are for students and by students. As a student leader, I want students to have what they need to go above and beyond the status quo.

Kamara Nyahuma, Freshman

Hello CLAS students, my name is Kamara Nyahuma and I want to be your Senator. I have ideas on how to improve our academic experience and ways for professors to teach us more effectively. Last semester I joined the Student Advisory Group for the CLAS Associate Dean. We presented the school with well-informed information that may be implemented in the coming semesters. As a Senator, I will be able to advance our education in a timely manner and have more of an influence on the school’s procedures. I know you are all serious about your academic endeavors, and I want to help you achieve your goals in a pleasant and successful environment. I want to be your voice and communicate everyone’s opinion to the appropriate authorities so change can be effectuated. UConn is evolving every day, and the input of students holds significantly more weight than it did in the past. I will ensure that the school acknowledges your viewpoints and takes action to implement new solutions. I promise to help ensure that each and every CLAS student graduates from UConn as a well-rounded individual ready to compete and succeed in the world.

Ethan Stone, Junior

You don’t want to read 200 words. Vote for me. I do good.

Christopher Thompson, Junior

My name is Christopher Thompson and I am a biology major on the pre-dental track in my junior year. Im currently the vice-president of Uconn’s predental society, and president and training coordinator for UConn Rescue. I run and organize all of the CPR and Stop the Bleed classes on campus, and have served as an honors UNIV facilitator. Throughout my years thus far at UConn, I have strived to improve our community through strengthening our student body’s knowledge of basic life support and preparedness to act in a time of need. As a senator I would like to continue my efforts in representing and supporting our student population and will do my best to respond to the needs of those involved in CLAS.

Araceli Tello, Sophomore

My name is Araceli, I’m a sophomore Biology major here at UConn. A large part of my past educational career has been working behind the scenes organizing programs and fundraising events. It was an experience I enjoyed and want to continue by serving my community. I’m a first generation student and I feel so appreciative to be here so I would love to be involved in the change that we can trigger as students and make my fellow huskies proud 🙂

Suraj Kalaria, Sophomore

My name is Suraj Kalaria and I want to be your voice in representing CLAS. While CLAS houses some of my biggest academic passions like many of you, I’m sure we’re all aware, it is anything but perfect. From ambiguous requirements to advising difficulties, to name a few, there lies much potential for improvement — initiatives I am excited to spearhead if chosen as a senator. My outgoing nature and well-connected network of peers through all four undergraduate classes will help me be and serve as an avid listener for the changes we, the student population, wish to see reflected. Within USG, not only will I strive to make sure CLAS’s voice is heard, but also look beyond towards other schools’ successful policies and programs to implement within CLAS. College is inherently associated with stress from time to time, but I believe that the structure and support of our school, CLAS, should work to alleviate some of that stress — not be the source. As your trusted senator, I hope to achieve just that and have the honor of representing one of the most diverse and populated schools here at UConn.

Irene Soteriou, Junior

My name is Irene and I’m running to represent you again in the USG Senate. I’m a small-town girl from Middletown, CT, whose parents came to this country as refugees in search of a better future. Growing up here and going to UConn is a privilege that I hope to make the absolute most of, and that for me means advocating for our experience to be the best that it can be. You’ve trusted me to represent you for the past two years now, and during that time I’ve gone door to door speaking with you to make sure that our voices are heard. My peers in the Senate have elected me to serve as Speaker of the Senate for the past year, and in that capacity I’ve not only continued to work with all of you, but I’ve also worked directly with all 60 other Senators to decrease student costs, prioritize mental health, improve dining hall conditions, increase representation, simplify funding processes, and address sexual assault. It has been an honor, a privilege, and a joy to represent you, and I hope that you’ll trust me to do so again by voting for me one final time this spring.

Julie Reynolds, Junior

My name is Julie Reynolds and I am a junior chemistry major running again for Academic senator under the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Over the course of this past year, I’ve not only been honored to represent the student body within the Senate but also as a member of the Academic Affairs Committee. In being a third year STEM student , I firsthand understand the effects of the academic rigor being thrown at us as we pursue other obligations. Leading as a current executive board member of UConn’s Alpha Lambda Delta chapter, a nationwide organization centered around academic success, I’ve been able to exert representation in being accountable for the communication between thousands of undergraduates and also recognize student needs at a broader level. Being able to represent CLAS, which comprises nearly half of UConn’s student body, has allowed me to understand the need to not only create success in the classroom but also in the wellbeing of each and every one of us as individuals. I’ve been privileged to advocate on behalf of such constituents in need of the support necessary to thrive in such a demanding environment and hope to continue to pursue such advocacy.

Allison Petkis, Freshman

Hello, my name is Allison Petkis and I am running for a seat in the undergraduate student government Senate, representing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Politics and government are not only two of my greatest passions but subjects I have studied throughout my life, ultimately leading to my decision to run for a position in student government. As an individual, I have continuously strived to connect with others. My internal values of compassion and open-mindedness have allowed me to become involved and understand the concerns of varying social networks. I understand that Uconn is an extremely large university, and commit myself to representing all students fairly and equally. In recent weeks, it has become more apparent than ever that the internal processes of this university need work. My life experiences as a woman would enable me to properly articulate the desires and needs of this community across various policy areas. If elected, I promise to fight for all students. I will utilize the tools at my disposal to ensure Uconn reaches its fullest potential. I pledge to work tirelessly to fulfill the responsibilities of this position with passion and leadership. I am ready to get to work!

Candidate for Storrs USG: Academic Senator: Nursing

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Allison Vilano, Freshman

Hi everyone! My name is Ali Villano and I am running for re-election! I am the current senator for the School of Nursing. I am a second semester freshman and on top of being the SON senator, I am also the Deputy Speaker of the Senate within USG! I am active in club sports on campus, participating in club field hockey and track! I am also involved in activist clubs on campus such as UConn PRAXIS with the Women’s Rights, Affordable Textbooks, and the Public Health campaigns. I have learned a lot this past semester and I am excited and ready to help advocate and be the voice for the SON! A few things I would like to accomplish this semester is taking direct input from nursing students to help write legislation that will improve our experience here, and have open and honest communication with administration and staff! I am super grateful to have been able to serve all of you this past semester, and I hope you’ll have me back for another! Please do not hesitate to reach out, my email is allison.villano@uconn.edu 🙂 Go Huskies!

Candidate for Storrs USG: Academic Senator: Multicultural and Diversity Senator

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Aanya Mehta, Junior

Hi everyone! My name is Aanya Mehta and I am currently a Multicultural and Diversity senator running for re-election. Over the course of my term, I have been fortunate enough to participate in several initiatives to improve our campus for minority groups, including the reinstatement of to-go containers to improve accessibility of food, calling on administration to reevaluate UConn’s response sexual assault, and fortifying our sexual assault education to establish a safer and healthier campus culture. I am also a member of the Diversity and Outreach Commission, wherein I have worked with USG’s Chief Diversity Officer and other commission members to ensure USG as an organization is as equitable as possible. Should I be re-elected for another term, I intend to focus on how to improve mental health resources, using an intersectional approach, as well as initiatives aimed at reducing the amount of police-student interactions to keep minority students safe. During my time as an MCD senator and member of USG, my passion for advocacy has only grown stronger, and I hope you vote for me so I can continue this work in another term. Thank you!

Karen Lau, Sophomore

My name is Karen Lau and I’m a Multicultural & Diversity Senator. I’m double majoring in political science and economics with a minor in Asian American studies. Recently, I co-authored legislation to advocate for fair, equitable, and inclusive tenure practices for faculty who are Black, Indigenous People of Color. During my time in USG, I was proud to witness my fellow Senators pass legislation to protect survivors of sexual assault, declare racism a public health crisis, and create a mental health awareness day. Voting for and co-sponsoring these phenomenal resolutions has been an empowering experience. I strive to continue working with my peers to serve the student body. My experiences within USG, the Academic Affairs Committee, and the Sustainability Committee have taught me to overcome institutional barriers and ensure the administration values racial equity and climate justice. If re-elected, I will continue working to increase the recruitment and retention rates of faculty who are Black, Indigenous People of Color. Another goal of mine is to pass legislation to support faculty’s efforts to build a federated ethnic studies department with tenure power. I’ll always be your advocate and fight for a better future for the UConn community. Please vote for Lau!

Winta Mekonnen, Junior

Make the Implicit, Explicit!

Stamford Student Government Association

Candidate for Stamford SGA: President 

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Nahum Valiente, Sophomore

Hello Stamford Community, my name is Nahum Valiente and I’m running for President. I am a Sophomore majoring in Political Science, minoring in Communications, and currently, I serve as the Vice President of the Student Government Association. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many issues were exposed that we continue to see on campus. One issue is our student activity decreasing. The campus must have an active student life for there to be a sense of community. Many clubs disbanded after our campus was shut down and students are no longer participating in what always have been enriching experiences. If elected, one primary goal would be to “restart” our student life and return student life to what it was before. Food insecurity also is another ongoing issue on campus. As President, fighting food insecurity through any means possible such as working with faculty and a Special Committee, is key to helping our student’s well-being on campus. 

Candidates for Stamford SGA: Vice President 

Candidate Personal Statement

Chelsea Valdez, Senior

I am a senior, enrolled in the honors human development and family sciences program. I will be running for Vice President of the Student Government Association. As the current president of Huskies for Charity, I have experience in planning events to raise awareness for different causes. I am also a current program director in the Student Government Association. My current leadership roles exemplify my ability to plan events and advocate for others. As Vice President, I anticipate a semester filled with activities that students look forward to while promoting engagement and connectedness on campus. I plan to be the voice for students to foster a supportive community.

Vaughan Piccirillo-Sealey, Junior

My name is Vaughan Piccirillo-Sealey and I am currently a Junior studying financial management and am involved in countless clubs/organizations. As a programming director for Student Government, as well as my other experiences, I have been given the understanding, experience, and vision needed to be a successful Vice President. My aim is to inspire a more connected community by linking the disconnect between the average student and their student government.

Candidate for Stamford SGA: Chief Administrative Officer

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Ananya Viswanathan, Junior

My name is Ananya Viswanathan, and I’m running for Chief Administrative Officer of SGA. As the current CAO, I appreciate being able to work with SGA to help implement initiatives and assist in maintaining communications. I’m also currently Vice President of the Indian Student Association and the PATH Mentoring Coordinator of the Honors Student Leadership Board, where I oversee the mentoring program within Honors. As the future CAO, I hope to help SGA’s members serve UConn Stamford students and represent the community. 

Hartford Undergraduate Student Government

Candidate for Hartford USG: Vice President 

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Andrea Faith V. Ybanez, Junior


Happy election season, UConn. My name is Andrea Ybanez and it is with great pleasure that I run for another position here for UConn Hartford’s USG. I will be running for the Vice President seat in the Undergraduate Student Government. I am interested in taking on this leadership position because I believe that I have the drive and the passion to make positive change on our campus. I want to foster a place where students feel comfortable and at home with not only other students, but also with the staff and administration at UConn Hartford. On taking this Vice Presidential position, I think that I would bring a different perspective to the students and to the administration.

I can dive right in and tell you about my qualifications for this position, but I would first like to extend a glimpse into who I am as a person. I am majoring in psychology, minoring in human development and family sciences, and this is my third year at the UConn Hartford campus. I am currently an elected member of our USG Senate, the Chair of Programming in USG, the secretary for Hus-Keys A Cappella, and a HuskyTHON Campus Affairs Captain. Prior to coming into these positions at UConn, I was the Vice President for the French National Honors Society as well as the secretary and social media liaison for the class office in high school.

In addition to my prior experience, I have attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth leadership Conference. During this conference I was able to work with other students who were passionate about making a difference in their community through volunteering and social effort. It is because of this experience that I find myself longing to create a space on campus where through leadership, we can change the UConn around us. I learned many valuable and lifelong lessons during my time at the leadership conference.

If elected to be the Vice President of the UConn Hartford Student Government, I will continue to strive for a better connected UConn and I will continue to help find ways to get the campus bustling and active again. For those students who do not plan on moving up to Storrs, but still want to be a part of the clubs and activities, I propose to USG that we find ways to creatively host similar experiences and/or events that happen up at Storrs here in Hartford.


Candidates for Hartford USG: Senators

Candidate Personal Statement

Ishika Soni, Freshman



To start off, the main reason I want to be a part of USG is to aid in making a difference here at UConn. I was a treasurer for my student government back in high school and I really liked how we worked together and helped solve some issues regarding the school. My responsibilities didn’t always involve handling finances and money as a treasurer would do, but I put in ideas for events, merchandise, fundraising and other things as well. That is the main thing I like about USG, everyone always listens to each other’s ideas and plans and we branch off of that. Working in a team setting helps you realize that other people might have other opinions or paths to reach our goal which can be better. Additionally, I think I would be a great candidate for Senate because I am responsible and I know what my priorities are when it comes down to it. Also, to be a good Senate, you need someone who is hard-working and reliable and I am just that. I have worked in team settings before which gives me more experience about how everyone relies on each other and teamwork is really important. Now, when it comes to qualifications, I have been a part of student government before (as I mentioned above) and have also worked at Dunkin Donuts during my highschool career. I took care of customer service and made sure everyone communicated on our team so everything was handled well and safely. Additionally, I understand college student government is a bit different from highschool but I believe I can adjust quickly and start putting in ideas of how to improve our school and handle everything. As of now, my main plan for USG activities can be something for freshman coming in at Hartford (maybe doing a Storrs/Hartford split schedule, like me), where we can have a social/event where we provide food/games and a little intro of what USG does and how they can also get involved. This can also be a way for them to meet new people as they are coming into a new school. Additionally, it can raise interest in our freshmen about what we do and if they would want to join and be a part of the student government here. I have already spoken to the financial committee chair and she had told me a lot about what they do which makes me realize that I would be a great addition to USG and a great fit for this position.


Germaine Green, Freshman

“Drive.” “Change.” “Impact.” “For better or for worse.” “A brighter tomorrow.” “Making UConn Hartford a better place” All empty cliché terms and phrases that (some)  candidates use to spice up their speeches just to make it stand out against others. They would usually come up with some sort of cheesy tagline/catchphrase along the lines of  “I want to make the campus a better place” or “I want to be able to change this campus for the better” knowing for a fact that they’re making empty promises they won’t be able to fulfill to get a vote. As the person I am, I refuse to be one of those false candidates that flutters up their own letter with empty promises and false hopes just to be in power.

My name is Germaine Green Jr. and I’m proud to say that I am running for a seat in the USG Senate.  Aside from technically already being a board member of the Undergraduate Student Government, I have had experience in highschool being a part of a summer program called summer youth employment that has taught me alot about being an entrepreneur and starting a business off the ground, creating budgets and budget requests, event planning, etc.. I have not done anything in this setting, but I am more than sure that I will be able to apply those skills to this. I’m able to catch myself up to speed in almost any setting. On top of that I am very involved around campus, in fact I have been a part of UConns Acapella group since the beginning of the (school) year and As I’ve stated before, I’m an active programming member of the USG.

Not only do I have these skills at hand but Enabling me to be able to not only be a part of, but allowing me to be able to participate in the decision making process would be an honor. it would be ground breaking to have a Person of color be able to take part in the decision making. I know I’m most likely not the first, second, or even third POC to take or be appointed to take part in UConn hartfords students government, but it definitely been long awaited. Recruiting me to be senate would make room for  so many doors at UConn hartford to be open in the POC, especially black community of students for ideas and concerns to be placed on the table. I can be the spokesperson on behalf of the undergrad POC community. The possibilities of adding to the board are endless; But don’t just take my word for it. Allow my reputation and morality speak for itself.

Kha Ngo, Freshman

Hi! My name is Kha Ngo and I am an undergraduate Freshman majoring Financial Management at UConn Hartford, with an intended Statistics double-major and real-estate minor. I’m originally from Southington High School.


I am running for Senator for Spring 2022 because of my desire to get involved on campus as well as to make an impact on the school by giving a voice to underrepresented students who think their voice doesn’t matter. As part of the Undergraduate Student Government here at Hartford, I want to bring up issues that are important to these students, and to make them feel like they are being heard.


Currently, I am a finance intern at the Office of the CT Secretary of State, where I worked in various divisions such as the Foreign Investigation, Accounting and Budgeting, and Business Services divisions. I have also had work experience at American Eagle Financial Credit Union, where I briefly worked as a Teller. I’ve been a consulting assistant intern at Casparian LLC, as well as a real estate intern under Chi Le SP. I’ve also had a management internship in Vietnam. At UConn, I am a member of the Investment Banking Society, as well as part of the Vietnamese Student Association. I’ve also been placed on the UConn Dean’s List.


My proudest and most important achievement, however, has been my role as the Founder and Director of Kha Delta Group, a non-profit private charitable organization that I started in Vietnam which is focused on poverty alleviation for vulnerable groups such as the homeless. Through my involvement at Kha Delta Group, I have formed partnerships with local firms and raised money for the organization, which has now helped feed and clothe countless people over the previous few years.


As a Senator for USG Hartford, I plan to make the Student Government accessible to everyone, and to do my best to serve my fellow students in whichever way I can. I want to be approachable and friendly, so that more students can feel comfortable in raising issues and concerns to me, so that we can address it and make a difference. I also intend to promote more student involvement here at Hartford by supporting new student organizations on the Hartford Campus, which I believe will make UConn Hartford a more fun and engaging place to be.


Although I’m not perfect, and I make mistakes, I have a proven track record of working hard, and I will do my absolute best to make the fullest of the responsibilities that are entrusted to me as a USG Senator. I thank you for your time and consideration.


Kevin Baffour, Freshman

Hi! My name is Kevin Baffour and I am an Undergraduate Freshman. I intend to major in either Business or Engineering at UConn Hartford, I’m also Originally from East Hartford but recently moved to South Windsor this year.

I am currently running for Senator for Spring 2022 because of my dedication to bringing awareness and leadership to new college students such as myself, I believe being involved whether it clubs, sports, community services, or whatever seems to be your interest is a good way of showing how active you are as a person and how much you want to be involved with different people in different communities. Ever since I was introduced to the USG I realized what leadership I could bring to the table, even though I don’t have the most experience being a leader, I was once involved in a club back in my high school East Hartford High, which was called the Iron Hornet Club.

This club known as the Iron hornet club was a club led by a group of youth volunteers to organize and delegate tasks to ensure smooth event operations, which was held once a year around May. This event was a fundraising event to benefit disabled American veterans who sacrifice their Independence just for us and have people talk about how important it is to accept those who put their lives on the line for others.

A community like this was something I stood by for four years, starting in 2017 when I first began high school all the way through my graduation in 2021. This club to me felt more than just gaining hours it felt like a whole family trying to achieve one goal in order for those to be happy and successful with their lives, just seeing new recruits joining every year trying to make a change for these disabled veterans made me felt like an actual leader by showing them simple rules on how to operate different types of things and how to build relationships with different people because no matter what you’re in involved a club or around different communities, it will require you to build relationships and see how you fit in various situations.

I hope by expressing this statement it will not only show how passionate I am about being a senator but it will show the potential I have to be a leader to the student government program, although it is not certain that I will be chosen to be the senator I will still put in the effort and hard work giving my ideas and expressing my thoughts through this club. I am truly grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to see how things go from here.

Zul Khan, Freshman

Hello fellow UConn Hartford undergraduate students. My name is Zul Khan and I am a freshman majoring in biological sciences at UConn Hartford. I’m currently working towards a career in medicine. I’m originally from Vernon, Connecticut, but I grew up in Pakistan. I am currently running for a position as Senator for Spring 2022 in the Hartford UConn Undergraduate Student Government. I have a passion for becoming involved on campus as well as to make a positive impact on everybody here in some way. I want to raise cultural awareness and make UConn a more accepting, tolerant, and socially active place. As a Senator, I want to raise issues about many things that impact all kinds of people here. I want to know what people care about and learn about what they think should be done to fix problems, and as a Senator I want to be able to take up important social issues.


In the past, I worked at a company called Casparian LLC as an intern, and I learned a lot about business and dealing with other people. This internship taught me to critically analyze data, be able to differentiate what people say and what they mean, being able to think fast and thoroughly before making decisions, and many other life skills that I carry on with me even though that internship was a long time ago. In the past, I’ve also worked many other small jobs that, although small, I believe have helped shape me into the person I am today, making me more adaptable, more tolerant of others, and more understanding, as well as resilient.


As a USG Senator, I want to be able to serve the undergraduate population by making it accessible to everyone. I want to be the most accessible Senator on campus, because I care a lot about the wellbeing of my fellow students. I’m a very casual person, and I want to be able to walk down the halls saying hi to everyone and for everyone to feel comfortable enough to break the ice with me and tell me about themselves. I’m also planning to cofound a club on campus that I think will be of interest to many students, and I hope to be able to connect to students that way. I know that many students, including some of my friends, feel that there are not enough clubs and activities available on campus, and I want to be able to change that and make UConn Hartford a far more interactive and vibrant community by advocating for student interests and promoting involvement.


I admit that I’m not perfect, but I don’t think being perfect is a good thing. Being perfect, or at least the thought of being perfect, separates people from you, and makes you distant and unapproachable, and it’s okay to be imperfect because that’s what makes us human. However, even though I will make mistakes, I will never let down my fellow students because I passionately care about them and only hope for the best for everyone. If given the opportunity, I will do everything I can to make UConn Hartford a better place for everyone here, regardless of their background, regardless of who they are, regardless of anything other than the fact that they are my fellow students, that they are a part of my community, and that’s all that matters.

Thank you so much for reading my candidate statement and I hope to be able to serve you as best as I can in the future. – Zul Khan


Stephanie Ruby Latorre, Freshman

My name is Stephanie Ruby Latorre, a first-year Biology Major with a minor in Music and  Chinese. I intend to be running for a senator position as I want to be more involved in our  university’s community. I also want to connect our student body to our administration and be  sure that no one is deprived of voicing their concerns.

Our student body needs to become more united; all our uniqueness and all our similarities  need to be empowered. From our religions to ethnicities, and race, to everything else that  makes our student body, I want to represent every husky that I can.

People usually sit down to criticize or highlight negative things, and this happens in our  community, our society, and educational environment, but there are very few who would like  to contribute to change by promoting strategies that help unite the points of interest of each  one.

I would like to be part of that effort through the opportunity in the Senate of USG as a  spokesperson for minorities such as Hispanics and women, understanding the needs that exist  and that are often concealed to the student population in general but are very affecting for  minorities. With this, I say that I want to serve everyone including minorities since we all have a  common goal; educating ourselves to achieve professional goals, family goals, and societal  goals. Since we depart our academic preparation to enter the world of work and become part  of those who contribute with knowledge to everyone’s daily life.

In my experience, I have been able to lead individuals towards a common goal with teamwork  and communication, self-adaptation, and education. Whenever I have been given a leadership  role or had to assume one, I have always respectfully advocated for every individual involved  and others as well.

Currently being a member of UCONN’s only regional a cappella group, Huskeys, while of course  being a UCONN student, I’d love to take on a new role to further enrich our community. In the  past, I have organized multiple community service and volunteer opportunities like a  community gathering catered to the Hispanic New Haven area community, where food, music,  first responder education, welfare advocacy, and overall community unity were given. Another  volunteer leadership position I was given the opportunity to be a part of, was creating reading  plans for younger students in the New Haven area, to enrich their education while they fall in  love with learning and reading. These, and other experiences have taught me about leadership,  and the importance of working towards making a change in our community together.

If I get the opportunity to be elected as a senator, I will ensure to advocate for every member of  our student body including minorities by implementing more inclusive ideas and promote unity  strategies, as well as work towards being part of good change and improvement of the same.


Avery Point Associated Student Government

Candidate for Avery Point ASG: President 

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Zachary Boudah, Freshman

This past fall, I was elected Vice President of the Associated Student Government. In this post, I have played a hands-on role in planning and executing all events that are funded by the ASG budget. It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has been unrelenting, and as a result, we have not been able to do everything we’ve wanted. That said, I have witnessed a small group of dedicated students work studiously to deliver a more inclusive and vibrant campus experience for each of you. Many of those students are leaving Avery Point this Spring, leaving numerous posts unfilled. Those who are returning, including myself, will need to make use of our experience to deliver next year – and I want to lead those efforts.

President Julia Horlitz has done an incredible job in her time here at Avery Point. She has taught me new ways to be a better individual, a better friend, and a better leader. I want to make use of those lessons as the next President of the ASG.

To conclude, I believe my thorough experience in Student Government across various schools and levels of education as well as my direct footing in ASG this past year makes me a suitable candidate to follow in Julia’s footsteps. If you would be willing to place your trust in me, I will accept the title of President graciously.

Thank you for voting, I wish you the best, and Go Huskies!

Candidate for Avery Point ASG: Comedy Chair 

This race is uncontested.

Candidate Personal Statement

Fatimah Mansour, Sophomore

I’d like to continue my work making campus a fun place as comedy chair.

Candidate for Avery Point ASG: Special Events Chair 

Candidate Personal Statement

Nicole De La Cruz, Freshman

My name is Nicole De La Cruz
I’m a freshman here at Avery Point
I’m 19 and I’m from Peru
Since I was little I like to help others and I’ve been building organizational skills. Which has allow me to work in groups by putting together ideas for events. Since the ASG is looking for inclusion of the Avery Point Community in each of its events. In addition, I can bring ideas in which the Hispanic community can be involved. I hope I can help

Enaa Zakaria, Sophomore

My name is Enna. In the fall of 2022, I will be a sophomore majoring biology. I am seeking for this position because I was a member of the student government and I enjoyed being a part of it. I enjoyed organizing activities for the students on our campus to keep them entertained, and I aim to continue doing so and making a difference on our school.