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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

USG Election Committee Calling Students to Participate in the Upcoming Election

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Ignacio Chaparro, President of the election committee of the Undergraduate Student Government

Ignacio Chaparro and Benjamin Whelihan, respectively chair  and co-chair of the election committee of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), talk about the importance of USG and call to the student body of the University of Massachusetts Boston to participate in the upcoming USG election.
“Election always matters,” says Vice-President Whelihan. “It is the only democratic procedure where everyone is truly equal.” He adds that participating in elections allows students to choose leaders whom they can identify with and who can represent their best interests and advocate for their needs.
The USG Senate plays a key role in advocating for the needs of the student body on campus. It ensures that student’s voices are heard and their rights and privileges are respected. Its advocacy includes, but is not limited to, working alongside Sodexo to ensure proper dining service, guaranteeing easy parking and transportation, and working with public safety to ensure students’ safety on campus and in the surrounding area.
“We address any issues that pertain to students,” says President Chaparro. “We also work alongside the school administration. We have representatives in the students council who are currently looking at the Writing Proficiency Exam,” Chaparro adds.
Thanks to the activism of undergraduate student government this year, the University Health Services will now accept MassHealth. Students who have MassHealth will no longer be compelled to buy the school insurance. This will allow most students to save almost $3,000. “We[‘re] really involved across the board,” Chaparro says.
Whelihan and Chaparro explain that this upcoming USG election is important because elected senators will have to represent more than 13 thousand students. In addition to the rise of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in our shore, which will present a lot of leadership opportunities, there is the university’s 25-year master plan, and a lot more ongoing construction on campus. “All these need students’ input,” says Chaparro.
The election will see 33 students contesting for senatorial positions at the USG. “There is going to be a huge transition of leadership,” says Whelihan.  “It will be an opportunity for a new type of leadership in the student’s government as well,” he adds.
Chaparro and Whelihan express their hope of having a pool of candidates—from different backgrounds and areas of study—that will be committed to the cause of the student body on campus.
“The more students we have from different backgrounds of study, our conversation will not be limited,” says Whelihan. “We are hoping that we will also have candidates that will bring both openness to new ideas and willingness to listen to the student body.”
Both the president and the vice president invite the UMass Boston community members, especially the student body, to get involved in this upcoming election. Whelihan said “getting involved is the best way to represent your student clubs and advance your agenda.” Chaparro added that students’ votes will be decisive in choosing the best candidate to represent the student body and the university as a whole. “Vote. Every vote will count.”
The first debate is schedule for April 1, 2015.  Elections will proceed April 6-9.