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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A Chat With the New USG and GSA Elects


USG President candidate Katelyn Mitrano (left) and Sara Tariq USCG Vice President candidate Sara Tariq (right)

After the recent elections for the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) on April 13, Mass Media sat down with the elects to talk about the future of the University of Massachusetts Boston’s student body. The new elects will officially be sworn into office on May 3 of this year.  

Katie Mitrano, the president elect, is currently a sophomore studying criminal justice and eventually plans to go to law school to become a criminal lawyer. Currently, she is also a waitress and a hostess working weekends at Lucky’s, a restaurant in Boston known for its classic American-style diner decorum and its live-music nights. During her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and spending time outdoors at Harbor Point.

Mitrano and vice president-elect Sarah Tariq both stressed throughout their campaign that making the UMass Boston community feel smaller was one of their goals as president and vice president.

“We want to have students’ voices heard, and we want them to know that someone will be listening to them,” Mitrano said last Wednesday.

According to Katie, most students have expressed specific concerns for the current budget crisis and the ongoing campus constructions. Mass Media has been notified that Deputy Chancellor Barry Mills will be assisting Mitrano and the vice-president elect on the issue of the budget crisis.

“We recognized that we had an issue and that we have an issue, and now it’s being addressed,” Mitrano stated.

The elected student body president will also become a member of the university’s budgeting committee, where budget cuts will be brought forth to Mills on behalf of the student body’s voiced concerns. For this year, Mitrano clarified that the university will not be planning to make anymore budget cuts.

Tariq is in her second year studying political science at UMass Boston, and is currently enrolled in the university’s pre-med program. Tariq plans to pursue a career in the medical field as a neurologist. Although she is a political science major, Tariq described that she still has a passion for politics, and enjoys working as a representative for the student body. Currently, Tariq works as a medical assistant at the Health & Services and the Student’s Affairs offices on campus. During her free time she enjoys photography.

During the interview with Mass Media, Tariq stated that in recognizing UMass Boston as a commuter school, it can be difficult to get students involved on campus. This has also been a topic that Tariq and Mitrano reiterated throughout their campaign.

“We are open to all students’ concerns and ideas,” Tariq said Wednesday.

Tariq informed Mass Media that in order to get more students involved on campus, the vice president elect and the president elect will hold more open forums to inform students about their community.

Graduate Student Assembly Elect Vaibhav Sabharwal completed his undergraduate degree in international law and legal studies at Amity Law School in New Delhi, India. He graduated last spring and came to UMass Boston to pursue his Master’s degree in international studies. In the near future, Sabharwal would like to start a think tank in India, where he plans to work with international and national NGO’s and consult with the Indian government on matters of international development. He spends much of his time at the office but likes to hang out at the pool during his free time.

As the new president-elect, Sabharwal said last Wednesday that he wishes to continue his responsibility in “voicing the opinions of all graduate students.”

As the UMass Boston community has projected much concern about the community’s financial standing, Sabharwal also stated the organization will ensure that “no decisions are being made that put the students at a disadvantage.”

Graduate Student Vice President Elect Kirsten Christensen is currently a first year student pursuing her Ph.D in clinical psychology. Christensen enjoys researching youth mentoring, and finds interest in the ways that youth with marginalized identities can be helped or protected in their communities. Christensen hopes to become a professor, where she can continue to research social issues and the youth community.

As the vice president elect, she hopes to push for an increase in funding for students. According to Christensen, funding is a “pressing issue.” Regarding the way recent media outlets have portrayed UMass Boston, and considering the current budget crisis, Christensen stated that the GSA will “make a strong commitment to student success and well-being.”
Christensen reports that she is looking forward to working with the president elect and treasurer on the issue.