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The Mass Media

Upcoming Student Elections: USG Hosts Debate

USG+President+and+Vice+President+pair+candidates.+From+left+to+right%3A+Vice+President+candidate+Mohammed+Uddin+and+running+mate+President+candidate+Wyatt+Doyle%3B+Presidential+candidate+Katelyn+Mitrano+and+running+partner+Vice+President+candidate+Sara+Tariq

USG President and Vice President pair candidates. From left to right: Vice President candidate Mohammed Uddin and running mate President candidate Wyatt Doyle; Presidential candidate Katelyn Mitrano and running partner Vice President candidate Sara Tariq

This week, general student elections will be held from Monday, April 3 (starting from 8:30 a.m.) until Thursday, April 6 (closing at midnight). By accessing the SA Group website (umb.collegiatelink.net), students will be able to cast their vote during that time period.

Undergraduate Students will be able to cast their vote for candidates who are running for USG President, Vice President, and Senators. Moreover, both undergraduate and graduate students will vote for who will be representing the whole student body in the position of Student Trustee. Graduate students will also cast cast their vote to fill the vacant seats of the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) President, Vice President, and Treasurer.

Due to these upcoming elections, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) held debates on March 29 between various running mates to give the students the opportunity to hear from their student candidates directly. Current USG President Ciro Castaldi and Speaker Caio Alvim were the moderators of this event. Over the course of the debate, they asked questions of the candidates and timed their answers.

The first debate was between the two pairs of candidates who are competing for the positions of USG President and Vice President: Katelyn Mitrano (P) and Sara Tariq (VP), and Wyatt Doyle (P) and Mohammed Uddin (VP).

Mitrano is a sophomore student majoring in criminal justice in the pre-law track, while her running mate Tariq is a sophomore double-majoring in Political Science and Biology. Both talked about their experience in the USG and representing students in general, as KMitrano currently hold the position of USG Vice President and Tariq is a USG Senator and a student representative of Vice Chancellor Gail DiSabatino’s Student Advisory Board.

The other ticket running for these positions consists of Doyle, a junior in the College of Management with a concentration in Accounting, and Uddin, who is a sophomore double-majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. Doyle currently serves as the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee in the USG and as a peer mentor in the College of Management, while Uddin holds the position of Vice Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, and also works as a peer mentor.

When describing their priorities and goals should their ticket win the election, Mitrano said, “transparency and involvement” will be very important to them. She emphasized that especially since the University of Massachusetts Boston is going through a budget crisis right now, it is important to keep students involved so that their concerns are being heard.  Mitrano pointed to her and President Castaldi’s past efforts to directly connect students with the administration by introducing a student to the Budgeting Committee.

In his speech, Doyle explained that he and his running mate Uddin have three main priorities should they be elected: “community-building, advocacy, and focusing back on the students of today.” He addressed the problem of the lack of connections between students and the campus community. Additionally, he pointed out that another current issue is that the school’s focus is often times directed at future students, rather than the students who are currently attending the university.

The second debate of this event was between the two candidates running for the position of Student Trustee: Gray Milkowski and Gilary Arias.

Milkowski currently serves as the Chair of the Student Events and Organizations Committee, and is double-majoring in Political Science and International Relations in his second year at UMass Boston. Arias is a junior double-majoring in Public Policy and Social Psychology with a minor in Economics and she has served the USG as a Senator.

Regarding the goals should he be serving as Student Trustee, Milkowski emphasized that he want to continue working on increasing transparency on campus.

“I think there needs to be a better bond between the administrators and the students on this campus,” he said, and added optimistically that he thinks that “there is room for dialogue.” Another main concern for the candidate is to represent students’ needs, such as graduating on time, in the midst of the ongoing budget, which might lead to more cuts in academic aspects of UMass Boston.

Arias also pointed out that transparency is an important goal for her.

“I believe that the students in this community deserve to know what the Student Trustee does,” Arias said. She also added that she intends to work closely with the administration, “in order to come up with ideas that will benefit our students.”