USG Fall 2021 Senate Election: Candidate Information

Candidates/ Position Personal Statement
Residential Senate Seat: Apartments
Ralph Williams, Sophomore

I am running to be the Residential Senator from Hilltop because I feel that I can bring a fair and necessary balance to the community. Born and raised in Connecticut, I graduated from Greenwich High School in 2019 before attending my first year of university in Colorado. After my freshman year, I moved to Venice, Florida, where I decided to become more involved in the local political environment, so I chose to run and was elected overwhelmingly to the position of Precinct Committeeman. I have served in that position for a little over three months and I know that I can take the knowledge and experiences that I have gathered and apply them to make this great community even better. I look forward to learning from and listening to the community so we can make important decisions, together.
Mitchell Kvedar, Junior

I’m running to be a senator of Hilltop Apartments, having served the same role last year. As a transfer student, I aim to represent the views of transfers or campus change students to the university. I served as part of external affairs last year, and hope to do so again, as I enjoyed the experience and work as the State Affairs Director. I have a lot of experience working outside of UConn within the political sphere and with environmental activist groups and lend such experiences to the USG, as both a political science and environmental studies major. I hope you will cast me your vote, please have a safe yet fun semester!
Residential Senate Seat: Alumni District 
Adam Benitez, Freshman

Hello everyone, my name is Adam Benitez. I humbly ask that you read through my message, and consider me for the position of Alumni Quad Senator. I am a Political Science major and proud member of the Leadership Learning Community, who is passionate about this school and the wellbeing of its students. Yet, being new to this campus, I recognize that some people might be skeptical of my candidacy. If you are one of those skeptics, please understand that my main goal in becoming a Senator is to give you all a voice. This race isn’t about electing a figurehead to sit idly in a desk during meetings, but to elect someone with the courage to speak up about the issues Alumni Quad is facing. If I’m elected, I’ll be that person. I will work hard to foster progress by establishing clear communication channels where, together, we can improve this great campus. In closing, and if I can be frank, a vote for me is a guarantee that your voice will be heard, and that positive change will come to the Alumni Quad and UCONN as a whole. GO HUSKIES!
Stan Z. Liang, Freshman

Greetings, I am Stan. I am electing for Senator at Alumni Quad. I possess great leadership qualities as well as academic abilities. I am good at cultivating and enhancing the pride of the community, which is indubitably one of the key qualities to being a successful senator. Denoting my abilities in a prestigious platform like USG would be an honor for me. As a senator, I will fight for the benefits of the student body at Alumni Quad and further spread the Husky Pride among the community. Furthermore, I excel at representing the student body of Alumni Quad. I have two ears and one month because I firstly listen to the voice of the people and then strive for it with my proficient abilities in communication. I will use my best endeavor to bring solutions to the problems that we encountered in our residential lives. Who wants washers that work? Who wants dryers that dry? Who wants AC? Vote for Stan to make them happen!
Benjamin Keilty, Senior

Hello! I’m Ben, and I’m running for re-election to the Student Senate. On the Senate last year, I advocated for better mental health services at UConn, academic transparency, and better responses to bias incidents and hate crimes across the University. As we bounce back from COVID, we need to rebuild our community and make UConn a better place for everyone. This semester, I want to continue the work I have been doing on UConn’s mental health steering committee, increasing affordability and access to counseling services on campus. I’m also going to follow up on some work I did last year in advocating for better support for LGBTQ+ students in housing and across campus. I’ve been working on an initiative to allow you to see the syllabus before you register for the class, and I really want to see that through to completion this year. I will always be available to you as your connection to the Student Government and to UConn’s administration, and I look forward to working with you on the issues that matter to you!
Residential Senate Seat: Buckley Mailroom District
Yuttichai “Eric” Sommala

Hey UCONN! My name is Yuttichai Sommala, but you can call me Eric, and I am proud to be pursuing the senate seat for the Buckley & Shippee residence halls. With your vote, I will be able to carry out an agenda centered on constituent support, enhanced accessibility, and full-fledged representation. As a student, voter, and a team member, I value a leader who continues to remain connected with their base, keeps an open-door policy for their constituents, and acts as an unwavering voice for their community. I’ve served in national leadership roles that have emphasized the connection between the elected and electors, these experiences have shown me the value of maintaining a strong relationship between you and myself. Through the formation of town-halls, increase of connectivity with the RHA and Honors program, and expansion of direct and open lines of communication, I plan to uphold myself to these standards, if elected as the next Buckley & Shippee senator. As a learning community, an honors community, and a UCONN community, let’s make this year it can be, and I, if elected senator, will ensure it will be. Best, Yuttichai “Eric” Sommala
Aravind Adusumalli, Freshman


I’m running for Buckley/Shippee senate seat and what am I running for? Pretty much one thing. Making Buckely and Shippee a voice to be reckoned with. A vote for me is a vote for a solid voice on the senate for every person in the Buckley and Shippee. I will fight for our rights and will not back down from getting what is needed.
Adam Opin

Hi! I’m Adam Opin, and I’m running to be your USG senator. I’m running to make our voices heard. As your senator, I will fight for funding to address our issues, from textbook costs to laundry reform to club funding. I will work hard to advocate on your behalf, and harder to ensure that our needs are met. With your help, we can ensure that Buckley and Shippee gets the funding we deserve. I will help to increase funding for Student Health and Wellness, and promote policies that better students, such as free printing during midterms and finals. Together, we can make a difference. Together, we can create a UCONN that works for us. I will always work to represent your best interests, and make sure to fund clubs you care about. I know we’ve endured a lot throughout COVID-19, which showed the value of responsible leadership. If elected, I will work to answer your questions honestly and fairly, and to competently address problems facing the student body. If you have any concerns or ideas, feel free to email me at
Dylan Steer, Freshman

Running to make UConn for the students first and foremost. There is a need for student advocacy and representation based on fighting for students and resources available to them. Better resources and reform are paramount if we are to improve student life, with improvements to mental health and healthcare being especially important to creating a healthy community here at UConn. Advocacy for student needs will always be my #1 priority in serving as your senator.
Residential Senate Seat: Northwest Mailroom District 
Edward Zelikman, Sophomore


As a former commuter senator, I hope to use my experience in student government to represent Northwest Campus. I will ensure that my fellow students’ views and wishes are represented in the student senate, and will fight to improve the living conditions and general well-being of all students from Northwest campus. I pledge to be open and accessible to any ideas or requests proposed by those I am representing, and to bring them to the senate floor.
Jack LeBeau, Sophomore

My name is Jack LeBeau and I am from East Lyme, Connecticut. I am a sophomore transfer student here at UConn. I transferred to UConn because of the many opportunities within the university’s community and the endless ways to get involved around campus! I am dedicated to the interests and advocacy of the entire student body. I will work to engage all of my fellow classmates by promoting involvement in the student government process. We have a great ability at UConn to pursue our passions through clubs, organizations, and advocacy groups. My hope as a student senator would be to see those passions through to the best of my ability.
Arunima Chaturvedi, Freshman

Huskies, I’m Arunima Chaturvedi and I am running to be your Senator for Northwest. As a representative of the voices that reside in this area, it is my duty to actively seek and advocate any concerns or views that may arise. However, that’s just the surface level. The role of Senator goes beyond being a mirror to your interests and worries; it’s fulfilling the promise that everyone feels safe, welcomed, and appreciated. In an effort to meet and expand this perspective onto our community, I am willing to do whatever it takes. Whether it’s attending and participating in events held by all aspects of student life, or ensuring that there’s a friendly face around that listens with compassion and advocates with sincerity, I’m yours to count on. My vision is one of proactivity, change, and unity. More importantly, my commitment is to you, the student body. As your Senator, I promise to inspire and embody the love, diversity, and equality that will make the University of Connecticut a kinder and safer place for all members.
Residential Senate Seat: Putnam Mailroom District
Davis Cota, Freshman

I’m just a guy doing things.
Darren Mack, Sophomore

Serving as Alumni Senator during my freshman year and now as Parliamentarian of the Senate currently, I have always been deeply passionate about student advocacy on campus and remaining your authentic self while in service. As a member of USG Senate Leadership, it is my prerogative to uplift, empower and equip not only Senators but the Uconn community as well so that they may not only get by, but get ahead. Some notable accomplishments on my part include the organization of the Justice Now Initiative which saw acclaimed speakers such as Dr. Angela Davis and MLK III. In addition to this, I’ve recently spearheaded the creation of a USG Student Employee Advocacy Board and have passed legislation to allow the NAACP to be officially represented in the Senate. My current daily duties involve close work with Speaker Soteriou on matters pertaining to the Senate in addition to ensuring that Senators are maintaining their weekly commitments to USG. In closing, my agenda for the year is what it has been before and what it will always be: working with students, identifying problems and seeing through on meaningful results. #ReturnOfTheMack
Rj Streater, Sophomore

Welcome All! My name is RJ Streater (he, him, his) and I am seeking incumbency for the 2021-2022 Werth Tower Residential Senator position. I am committed to creating a safe, collaborative community, serving with integrity, and to encourage diversity and unity. I am very accessible and plan to hold frequent office hours to discuss any suggestions, ideas, or other items. We have all embarked on a long journey these past few years and I want to make sure that everyone is accounted for/heard. I am so excited to meet all of you and feel free to reach out even if you just want to chat! Diversity inspires unity. Embrace it, share it, celebrate it! Be the change and vote for RJ!
Melody Mohan, Freshman

Hi, my name is Melody Mohan and I want to work to actively advocate for the views of each and every student in my residence hall. But first let me tell you a little bit about myself. My family was born and raised in Guyana and I grew up with two brothers. Moreover, traveling and going on adventures has been something I learned to love. Now growing up I was always very competitive and enthusiastic, which correlates to one of the reasons why I am running for this position. I’m excited to push forth the opinions and ideas of all my fellow UConn students to the board and work tirelessly to make it happen. I will continually endeavor to push past any issues of your valued opinions in order to not only improve our quality of education, but also our quality of life at UConn. Go Huskies!!
Brandon Drummond,  Sophomore

Have you ever felt that UCONN could do better advocating for those who can’t advocate for themselves? Do you want our UCONN generation to make a lasting imprint for the next? Do you believe we are the future of UCONN? My name is Brandon Drummond, and this is my first time getting involved in any form of student government throughout my education career, so pardon me if my campaign doesn’t come with countless catchphrases and empty promises. It is fair to say that I am new to the UCONN family, especially since I am a sophomore. For the past year and a half, my entire freshman year was spent in isolation due to coronavirus. However, if you think about it, there is a massive benefit of choosing someone new to UCONN and its campus life. As your next student senator, I am committed to listening to everybody’s experiences and opinions on how UCONN can become more inclusive to everyone. Despite how deep and personal the topic may be, I vow to bring people together to address issues facing UCONN students every day. I am Brandon Drummond, and if I am elected, I will always have your best interest at heart.
Residential Senate Seat: South Campus Mailroom District 
Benjamin Olsen, Junior


Hi Everyone! I am really excited to be running for a position in the USG Senate, hopefully giving me the chance to represent all of our thoughts and concerns on how to make this year after online school the best it can be (starting with getting the Rome Game Room open again!) I am a Music Ed/Performance Major and I am going to be minoring in political science. I was apart of my student government in High School, and I am an Eagle Scout so you know that I am Trustworthy Loyal and Helpful! I also plan on being an active member of my local government following graduation. Follow me on Instagram: neb_neslo Thank you!
Residential Senate Seat: Towers Mailroom District
Luke Villani, Senior

Hello my fellow students, my name is Luke Villani and I would like to represent you this year in the USG Senate. I have previous experience with this post from before the days of covid, and have what it takes commitment and time wise to serve the communities here on the Eastern side of campus (Towers, Husky Village, and East) and address the many issues we as students face on a daily basis. If you vote for me I will push for change, bringing new resources to East, addressing issues like laundry, parking, food insecurity, preserving our UConn way of life for the future, and many other issues which you may tell me about at my constituent meetings I, and no other Senator, have held in the past. I have a good feeling about the change we can bring to this side of campus. So many new opportunities have come since covid, and you just need someone like me to utilize these to your benefit. If you want change, if you want to be heard, if you want someone who seeks your interest over anywhere else then vote for me. Thank you.
Matt Farago, Freshman

Hi, I’m Matt Farago (he/him) and I am freshman here at UConn. I am running for the Undergraduate Student Government senate and representing Towers in the senate. I believe I can bring a lot of good to the University by helping express the wants and needs of the Towers residents. I want to run for the senate to make sure that the voices of Towers are heard and represented to the fullest. As a freshman, I have a fresh perspective and relate to many of the underclassmen living in Towers. Although I may be new to the University of Connecticut, a fresh pair of eyes and ears may help to see and hear the voices and the people of Towers better. Vote Matt Farago for Towers Senate.
Jide Anifowoshe, Freshman

Hi, my name is Jide Anifowoshe, and like many students in towers, I’m just trying to figure things out and find my place at UConn. If given the opportunity to be your Towers Senator, I will work hard to provide you with a platform so your voices will be heard and ensure that issues affecting your experience are addressed. During my high school career I served as class president all four years, served on my town’s board of education for two years as a student rep, and served on my school’s student board of advisors. Holding these positions has allowed me to work in close proximity to school administration, local government, and most importantly the student body. If there is one thing that all those positions have taught me, it’s that as students we must stick together and look out for each other, because if not us then who? I hope to be given the opportunity to serve as your senator and help us all strive for a better Towers, thank you!
Spencer Dicembrino, Freshman

Hello, I am Spencer Dicembrino, and I am excited to announce my candidacy for USG Senator of Towers! For those who don’t know me, I am a freshman from Westchester, NY, and a Pre-Sports Management major. In high school, I actively participated in numerous clubs and sports. Most notably was my time with the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) where I held the positions of New York State Vice President, New York State Treasurer, and Chapter President. In my State VP and Treasurer positions, I was responsible for overseeing around 10,000 members, Program of Work, budgeting, financials, obtaining sponsorships, and making FBLA more affordable. Alongside FBLA, I was the President of NHS at my high school. During my term, I was responsible for increasing and developing mental health awareness and solutions. Through my background, I feel that I have the experience and ability to fulfill my mission of increasing mental health and interaction within Towers. My goals include: 1. Represent the multiple needs of Towers in the Senate. 2. Improve timing of bus transportation. 3. Send all Towers residents surveys to inform me of issues they want improved. Go with the ‘Fro! Vote Spencer Dicembrino!
Residential Senate Seat: McMahon Mailroom District
Kazi Begum, Freshman

Looking for a representative who can provide a fresh set of eyes for USG? My name is Kazi Begum (she/her) and I am a first-year English major hoping to serve as your next McMahon Mailroom District Senator! I have long been interested in, and also frustrated by the “ivory tower” of academia; it is difficult to navigate and to bridge the gap between students, faculty, and the institution itself. With four years of student government experience, I know firsthand the tireless yet rewarding work it takes to advocate for the students I represent to ensure their education is nothing short of liberating. My focus will be on listening to my constituents’ concerns and working towards critical pedagogy—meaning education that fosters healthy, communicative relationships between faculty and students. Remember: We inherit the world of tomorrow, so cast your vote towards the direction of radical change!
Residential Senate Seat: Off Campus 
Ramya Rajesh, Senior

Hi everyone! My name is Ramya Rajesh and I’m currently a 5th year student pursuing a Political Science and International Studies Bachelors Degree. A fun fact about me is that I am a huge foodie – Mediterranean would have to be utmost favorite cuisine. I’m so excited to announce my intent to run for the USG Senate for this term! One of biggest reasons I plan to run is so that I can ensure that any undergraduates experience be an academically, enriching fun-filled experience. My specific goal is to ensure that students regardless of their respective schools, residential status, or backgrounds should have a wonderful time here. Given the uncertain times we live in, it is imperative that students feel comfortable speaking to members of USG about concerns they have on and off campus. At the end of the day, we are the Husky Nation – focused on the wellness of each other and our amazing community. From our sporting events to the various club activities UConn offers, I believe that UConn is already pretty great school but I believe that my background and experience in the political world will allow me to bring a unique perspective to the current governing body.
John Ross, Senior

Hi all, my name is John Ross and I’m a transfer senior and political science major. Having served last year in the senate, I’ve gotten a grasp of how our student government operates, as well as how our campus can be improved. I’ve been an advocate for veterans communities (Stop Soldier Suicide, Travis Manion Foundation, and PB Abbate), students facing financial hardship (Husky Market), as well as a strong supporter of mental health services on campus. I would like to advocate for the underdogs this year as well. The students who feel like they aren’t heard or just haven’t found their home away from home yet are going to be number one on my list. I feel you and I hear you. Feel free to reach out to me any time for help.


Elizabeth “Eli” Collins, Senior


My name is Elizabeth (Eli) Collins, and I’m a senior linguistics/psychology major running for a commuter senator position. I was a senator for CLAS for my freshmen and sophomore years, where I sponsored legislation and statements that: called for more water bottle refill stations on campus; denounced bigotry and racism on campus; aimed to preserve historical buildings/sites on campus; detailed a student bill of rights; expanded representation in USG; and more. This year, I strive to be a voice for fellow commuters; as someone who drives almost 40 minutes to campus each day, I understand how isolating and inconvenient the experience can be. I hope I earn your vote and be your representative. 🙂
Joe Sanford, Senior

If I am elected to the USG senate, I will make my priorities clear. I intend on cooperating and orchestrating with my colleagues in order to make the University of Connecticut a friendly, inclusive environment so that any and all students are eager and prepared to graduate and begin successful lives. I am a senior political science student beginning the transition to law school, now that Covid-19 isn’t keeping me away from campus, I yearn to contribute to the student-led organization that has fostered me into a happy, successful husky!
Academic Senate Seat: ACES
Makenzie Robinson, Freshman

Hello, my name is Makenzie Robinson and my hope is to hold the ACES senate seat. In high school I was heavily involved with student government and coming in as a freshmen my main goal is stay involved. This position will allow me the chance to actively push for the things I and my peers are passionate about. For me, one of those things would be mental health; during quarantine a few people and I started a non-profit with the purpose of raising spirits and imploring unification. If elected I will continue down this path and work on bringing things of importance to light.
Academic Senate Seat: CAHNR
William Hamill

My name is William Hamill and I’m a standing senior in my last year at Uconn. I transferred to Uconn my junior year and also lived off campus then. Im looking forward to getting involved and representing the off campus community. Im interested in progressive initiatives that focus on transfer and commuting students, but also the USG body as a whole. I was involved in government in my school that I transferred from and Im interested to see the rest of the communities ideas for change. I offer a perspective of both transfer and commuting students that will provide a different commentary and viewpoint for meetings.
Academic Senate Seat: School of Business
Peter Spinelli, Sophomore

Hi Huskies! I am Peter Spinelli, a sophomore Business Management and Communication double major from Shelton, CT. Here on campus, I work as a tour guide at the Lodewick Visitors Center and I am also heavily involved in the Honors Program as a Stamps Scholar. This past year, I have served as a residential Senator within the Student Development committee of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG). I currently serve as a member of the Diversity & Outreach Commission within USG, which is responsible for ensuring all student voices within the organization and the student body are heard. I plan to apply this same responsibility in representing the School of Business as one of your Senators. As a past recipient of the Management Up & Coming Award, I have a deep respect and appreciation for the School of Business here at UConn. As your Senator, I want to ensure that any and all of your concerns are heard, and that necessary change is made. I hope to be an accessible advocate for you, your education, and your entire student experience here at UConn. Go Huskies!
Quinten Walliser, Junior

Hi everyone! My name is Quentin Walliser, my pronouns are he/him/his. I am a Junior double majoring in Finance and German. I am passionate about the environment and international business relations because I am a German citizen and I have a love for nature and the outdoors. You should vote for me because through my position as a School of Business Senator, I will advocate for sustainable business practices at UConn. I will author legislation to ensure UConn has clean, accessible water refill locations in a variety of places around campus to minimize the use of disposable plastic water bottles. And I will initiate the inclusion of more local products from farmers and other local businesses in our dining halls. It is necessary for UConn to do it’s part to be more ecologically aware as our climate situation worsens and I am excited to be a part of that change.
Pranav George, Junior

I am running for a USG Senate seat representing the School of Business. My goal is to improve the business school experience by providing students with more ways to supplement our education. By working with administrators and listening to the concerns and suggestions students have, I plan to introduce ideas on the Senate Floor that will help business school students find more opportunities during their time at UCONN so they will be better prepared for the future after UCONN. Especially in the business school, networking and making connections is an important part of the game, and it will be a huge advantage for the students if we can provide them with more of these resources. This is the main goal I plan on pursuing if elected, and I hope to do it with the support of you all. In addition to this, I will be open to hear 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 working on these goals I have proposed.
Academic Senate Seat: CLAS
Muneeb Ali, Senior Together, we’ll finally try to make parking services more bearable.
Ishika Soni, Freshman

Hey. My name is Ishika Soni and I am a first year undergraduate student at Uconn Storrs.I believe I would be the best candidate for the CLAS Senate position because of my passion for USG and Arts & Sciences. I participated in USG in my high school and in my volunteering program back in New Jersey. I strive to listen to my fellow peers and make sure the environment we choose to further our education in is close to perfect and comfortable for everyone. Academically, I will work with USG to provide the best learning environment and experience for all UConn students. A few fun facts about me would be that I have been dancing competitively since I was 4 years old. I love to play sports and to be involved in my community. I am Indian and am fluent in Gujarati and Hindi.I am majoring in PNB on the pre-med track and wish to become an Emergency Physician. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. I hope you make a great choice and vote for me. If not, the other candidates are most likely great people as well. Thanks:)
Julie Reynolds, Junior

My name is Julie Reynolds and I am a junior chemistry major running for Academic senator under the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Like the majority of students at UConn, I firsthand understand the effects of the academic rigor and want to make it my obligation to not only create success in the classroom as students but also in the well being of each and everyone of us as individuals. 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 of nearly 4,000 undergraduates. In being a senator, I would make it a priority to advocate on behalf of such constituents in need of the support necessary to thrive in such a demanding field of academics, one that holds nearly half of our student body. Being in CLAS, together we are all students of UConn and together we have the capability of changing its future.
Eleanor Gelb, Freshman

My name is Eleanor Gelb. I am a Political Science major from Chicago, IL. If I were to be elected one of your CLAS senators, I would work above and beyond to maintain a level of care and control within the college. Different ways to achieve this goal include CLAS events, office hours, and individual meetings. Not only would I work carefully with my fellow students, but also with the other senators to make sure that the USG is improving as a whole. I stand for clean and fair representative democracy, meaning I will vote to represent my constituents and their wishes. I am running to give the power of choice back to the people.
Julia Walton, Junior

Hey Huskies! I am looking to represent all CLAS students as a senator in USG. As your senator I would be a vehicle to bring your interests and issues before the Senate. I believe that a senator is only as important as the difference they can make in their community. I aim to work side-by-side with you to help you be seen and heard on campus. Nothing I could do as a senator matters if it is not in your best interest. I hope that with your help we can work together to make this school better for everyone. Thank you for the chance to serve you as your representative.
Mohammad Al Zouabi, Senior

My mission as a CLAS Academic Senate is to represent CLAS students as well as the student body as a whole. During my time at UCONN, I proudly have joined multiple events and programs from all aspects of student life. My hope from being a student senate is to improve the equality of your experience as a CLASS student and as a valuable Husky at UCONN. One of the things I value the most is diversity, we all are coming from different racial, ethnical or religious backgrounds, but that only serves to unite us as a one community.
Academic Senate Seat: School of Nursing 
Allison Villano, Freshman

Hi! My name is Ali Villano and I am running to be the senator representative of the School of Nursing! I am a nursing major currently living at Kingston and I have a lot of experience with student government. I was the secretary of my high school student body and was an active member in our student council. I helped organize volunteer events around the community and helped my class and school stay organized and connected. I helped set up can drives and Christmas sponsors for children in need, as well as an annual Thanksgiving raking day where we would clear the leaves of the elderly in our town. I am super excited to be at UCONN this year and want to make it a great one! I would love the opportunity to represent my fellow Nursing peers for the 2021-2022 year, so please vote!


Multicultural and Diversity Senate Seat
Carlos Hurtado Munoz, Junior

Hello fellow huskies. My name is Carlos and I am currently a Junior in the Biomedical engineering program. I am running for senator in the multicultural and diversity position because I believe that our campus should embrace all the different backgrounds that all of our students have and uplift them. UConn should be a safe space for everyone, social issues have impacted our campus in negatively and the time to change that is now.
Karen Lau, Sophomore

My name is Karen Lau and I’m running to be a Multicultural and Diversity Senator. UConn students reflect the world’s vibrant cultures and heritages. Together, we will confront inequities faced by our communities and create systemic solutions. As a USG Senator, my goals are to diversify the hiring of faculty and staff; build and implement curriculums featuring multicultural literature and history; support our cultural centers’ programming and funding; and create avenues for students to report discrimination, racism, and xenophobia. I will advocate for a more inclusive, sustainable environment where students can thrive without institutional barriers to equity. Representing students of all backgrounds and listening to your concerns about issues you face at UConn will be my top priority. In my advocacy for racial justice, I’ve organized community forums with my local police department and residents, led town halls about community policing and criminal justice reform, moderated panels about Black history and Asian American Heritage Month, and helped draft the Norwich Public Schools Racial Equity Policy. These experiences in leadership and activism will help me represent you. I’m also the Secretary of the UConn Human Rights Symposium, a proud Goal Patrol member, and a Bennett Research Assistant. Vote for Karen Lau!
Afnan Hassan, Senior

Good day, Huskies! My name is Afnan Hassan, and I’m running for your Senate seat on the Multicultural and Diversity Committee. Prior to transferring to UConn, I was a member of my campus’s student government, and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. For all of Freshman and Sophomore year, I had the privilege of serving as class secretary. I’ve found something I enjoy doing and extremely passionate about. Every day, I enjoy meeting new people, planning events, and most importantly, working hard to represent all your interests. Being a leader, means being genuine, accountable, and approachable. I plan to continue reaching out to all of my new and returning students in order to better understand their perspective and hear your voice. All while striving to be unselfish, devoted, empathetic, and most importantly, authentic. I wish to uphold our student body’s vision and to listen to your new suggestions for improving our future.
Fleance Raphael Gauat, Junior

Every student deserves a system that will serve their needs, and for that, I am excited to run as a Multicultural and Diversity senator for UConn’s USG. As a member of the school’s community, I aspire to be a voice for inclusiveness and change in the university. I firmly believe everyone has the right to world-class education and college experience no matter who they are or where they come from. To help create an environment where everyone can live and learn, I will push for policies that ensure students feel safe, including anti-bias legislation or mental health reforms. Regarding mental health, I will push for programs that will make mental health services more affordable and readily available for students. I will also work with my colleagues to create opportunities for under-represented students and have their voices heard in any form. If elected I will devote myself to helping every student have their voice heard and to act in the best interest of our community!
Cathy Chang, Junior

Hello my name is Cathy Chang. I am Chinese-Taiwanese American and a sophomore here at Uconn. Since my freshman year I have been passionately involved in Asian interest clubs and organizations including the Asian/Asian American Mentoring Program, Chinese Undergraduate Student Association, and Ascend. Outside of organizations and clubs, I love learning, interacting, and supporting people of backgrounds, ethnicities, and races different from mine. I am always enthusiastic to listen to the adversities and opinions of those around me and help provide a solution. Through my experiences working with people in my community, I feel that I am well-suited to advocate for them as a