Graduate Trustee Election and SSW GSO Constitutional Referendum

This semester we are holding a special election.  The current graduate trustee is graduating and therefore unable to fulfill the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semester of the term.  The person elected in this special election will fulfill the balance of this term. Another election will be held in Spring 2020 to elect a graduate student to serve for the next two year term (Fall 2020- Spring 2022). School of Social Work Graduate Students will also be able to vote on a Constitutional Referendum for the Graduate Student Organization.


About the Graduate Trustee

There are two student representatives to the Board of Trustees, a representative of undergraduates and a representative of graduate and professional students.

• For the term, attend all meetings of the Board and meetings of Committees to which they have been assigned.
• Prepare for meetings beforehand by contacting affected parties prior to meetings to discuss questions and answers you or they may have.
• Vote on every resolution after careful consideration of the possible effect on both the students and the University.
• Be professional, ethical and responsible in personal behavior. Students look up to you. Be worthy of their respect.
• Advocate for the University as a whole, and particularly as a student. Advocate for the long-range good of the whole.
• Be accessible to the students, the general public, attend functions and events. Stay informed of issues by becoming acquainted with as many people as possible who are associated with the University.
• Be accessible to the media, but always vigilant to present views fairly.
• Establish and maintain regular contacts with regional campuses and professional schools. Remind students that they have a voice through you.
• Communicate on a regular basis with students, faculty, and staff.
• Maintain the confidentiality of executive session discussions and materials and other sensitive matters. Never betray a confidence.
• Be an enthusiastic supporter of the University, and advocate on its behalf at all times.
• Vow to make the experience of representing the students a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

Minimum Requirements:
• Must be a full time student at the University of Connecticut while holding this position (as per Connecticut state law).
• Must be in good academic standing.
• Must not be on conduct probation or suspension while a candidate or while holding the position.

For more information about the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees, visit

Graduate Trustee Candidates

Justin Fang

Photo of Candidate Justin FangI am Justin Fang, and I am currently attending UConn as a PhD student in Biomedical Engineering, at the Storrs campus. Many of you may also know me as the President of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS). In my capacity as the President, I have worked closely with the previous Trustee, Sam Surowitz, on a number of issues that concerns the Board of Trustees (BoT), which affect graduate students. With Sam on the BoT, and my efforts in the University Senate, we have worked together to promote graduate student interests. I am running for the Graduate Student Trustee position on the BoT because I have been working on a number of initiatives that I believe would greatly benefit graduate students at UConn, and I would like to be able to bring them to the BoT.
One initiative that I have been working on with the previous Trustee, is expanded parking privileges for graduate students. I have lobbied the UConn administration on this issue, and there has been progress. Other initiatives involve increased resources allocated for graduate students, in the form of travel funds, research grants, and other financial support infrastructure. When Sam took a military leave-of-absence in January 2019, I began attending BoT meetings to ensure that there was a graduate student present at these meetings and to ensure that graduate student interests are recognized. My attendance at previous BoT meetings demonstrates that I already have a working background history and nuanced understanding of many contemporary issues. In addition, in my capacity as President of the GSS, I have regular contact and a great working relationship with the university administration. I have shown a willingness to advocate for graduate student interests during my presidency of the GSS, as well as a demonstrated advantage in that I have attended all BoT meetings since January 2019. If I am elected to the BoT as the Graduate Student Trustee, I will continue to advocate for all graduate students on all UConn campuses.

Kailee Himes

Photo of Candidate Kailee HimesAs the Graduate Student Trustee, I will be able to give back to the institution that gave so much to me. I completed my Bachelor’s degree in 2015, and have since returned to the university, after spending three years working in corporate, to pursue my Master’s degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs. I am grateful for the opportunity to invest my time and energy bettering the experiences of the UConn community and advancing an institutional mission I wholeheartedly believe in. During my undergraduate career, I gained valuable experience working with Undergraduate Student Government (USG). The most rewarding aspect of my experience with USG was authentically representing the student voice. In my role with USG, I advocated for all students by actively seeking out students’ concerns, opinions, and ideas. This value remains a priority to me and would guide my actions and decisions as the Graduate Student Trustee. The values that have motivated me to seek out a career in higher education also align with my aspirations to serve in the Graduate Student Trustee role. I believe that higher education is critical in providing thoughtful, supportive, developmental and innovative opportunities for students and our communities. I believe this so much so that I quit my job working in corporate to focus on becoming a Higher Education and Student Affairs professional. Much like I will do in my future career, in the Trustee role, I will be able to advocate for the university and its students. As the Graduate Student Trustee, I hope to be able to make UConn the best it can be for Huskies past and present. I will support the University and its community and hope to be able to contribute to its legacy. UConn has truly become my home over the last eight years. If I were to become the Graduate Student Trustee, I would advocate for the University and its students just as I would advocate for my family and loved ones. Because UConn is family, UConn is home.

Documents and Important Deadlines

Special Election Documents:

For an overview of the responsibilities of the position, detailed special election schedule and timeline, campaign rules, application and financial statement materials, Student Trustee Elections Committee (STEC) bylaws and members, please see the following STEC Packet.

Graduate Student Trustee Election–Special Election Full Packet


More specific deadlines can be found in the STEC Packet.

  • September 13, 2019 at 12:00 noon: Intent to Run Forms (Application Part 1) “Candidate Statement” and “Petition for Nomination” (Application Part 2) are due.
  • October 1, 2019 at 12:00 noon to October 3, 2019 at 12:00 noon: Voting Period
  • November 3, 2019 at 3:00 pm: Campaign Financial Statements and supporting documents due to the Storrs Campus, Department of Student Activities Office (Student Union, Room 209). Candidates may also submit all materials via fax to 860-486-1689 or email (if you fax or email, call 860-486-8151 to confirm that your application was received)
  • November 3, 2019 at 3:00 pm: Deadline to submit alleged campaign violations, via email, to the STEC Chair: