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The Mass Media

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Undergraduate Student Government Presidential Debate March 22

Right: Budget and Finance Chair Jesse Wright. Left: Student Events and Organizations Vice Chair Gary Uter.




Ahead of the April 2 elections for the next president of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), the candidates, Gary Uter and Jesse Wright, will square off in debate on the first floor terrace of the Campus Center, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on March 22. Both candidates spoke with The Mass Media.

Wright, a finance major, has been a UMass Boston student for one and a half years. He has been Budget and Finance Chair of the USG since May 2011. His vice presidential candidate is Kayla Worthey, a freshman and the assistant coordinator of the Black Student Center.

“I could sit here and tell you 15 things I would do as president, but it is just words,” Wright said. “Students should look at what I have accomplished this semester as Budget and Finance Chair. I think my work shows that I know how to, and have the drive to get things done.”

If elected, Wright says he will focus on the expiring contract with Sodexco, the campus’s food provider. “We will take the opportunity to find the best options for students as far as price and food quality,” Wright said.

Another major focus of the Wright administration would be the issue of student representation on the Board of Trustees. He said, “We would fight for voting rights for all the UMass student trustees. We would end the cycle of voting power so that each campus had voting power on every issue.”

Uter has been a UMass Boston student for three years. Currently the vice chairman of the Student Events and Organizations Committee (SEOC), he is a history and political science double major. His vice presidential candidate is Ignacio Chaparro, a freshmen political science major and the current chairman of SEOC.

“Communication and awareness is our number one priority,” Uter said. “Too many students go through their careers not knowing what the USG is, and what it does and can do to improve campus life for students. We want to change that, and foster student engagement and a UMass Boston culture.”

Uter has a plan to improve not only the look but also the function of student identification cards. Uter would like to follow the model of many other colleges, turning the IDs into keycards and cash cards. “As we move to a residential model, we will have to be more concerned with security,” he explained. “Turning the IDs into keycards increases the ability to secure [the] buildings and make them accessible exclusively to students. Also, why carry an ID and a Sodexo go-card when the ID could serve both purposes?”

Uter claims his administration would also focus on fostering traditions and building a UMass Boston culture. “We want to give students an enjoyable experience. We want to increase the presence of student groups at orientation. We want to create a sort of bucket list of activities for students to engage in before graduating. This will give students added awareness of what UMass Boston has to offer.”

Voting will be open from April 2 through 5. An email will be sent to all student accounts with a link to the voting page. Students will also be able to find the link on the USG and Mass Media websites.