Student Elections are Coming

Carl Brooks

Did you vote for your student senators last year? No? That’s not surprising. Student government elections are the best-kept secret on campus, with a turnout in the low hundreds last spring. There are more than 8,000 students eligible to vote at UMass and even the generous estimate of Student Senate Vice President Fritz Hyppolite of 700 voters means that UMB enjoys a voter turnout of 8.75 percent.

That’s why, according to Undergraduate Student Senate President Susan Smith, it’s “time for students to take back their campus” and vote in the upcoming student elections. The elections are being held April 20, 21, and 22. All the voting will be done by e-ballot on the university’s website.

Smith and Hyppolite have an ambitious campaign to get students to the ballots next week, putting up flyers and trying to get permission to use computer terminals around campus to help students vote.

Of campaigning, Smith says, “We’ll be flyering, we’re running advertisements on the monitors, a link to the front UMass webpage. Right now it includes an advertisement, but it will include a link to the actual online elections.”

Smith and Hyppolite said they’ve made it a point to speak in their classes about the elections. Hyppolite says that he makes a practical appeal.

“The first thing I always tell people is that, ‘You all pay student fees and that community fee that you pay into is controlled by the Student Senate. So, the money that you pay and what happens on this university…[goes through the senate] and you should be involved, whether it’s directly involved by being a member of the senate or by voting.”

The student elections are held every spring and determine who sits on the Student Senate, which is responsible for $500,000 annually and disburses money to student clubs, special events, and proposals from students. The student trustee, who sits on the Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts, is also chosen in the election, and campus-wide referendums are placed on the ballot.

Only registered, fully matriculated students can vote, and they can only vote for the candidates that are in their college. For example, an English major cannot vote for a senator from the College of Management. Refer to the list of candidates at below to find out their college.

The only referendum up for a vote this year is whether or not to allow MassPIRG to remain on campus. MassPIRG is an umbrella organization that maintains offices in many campuses around the state. Although MASSPIRG is funded and directed by students, it is not a UMass Boston organization and needs yearly approval from the student body to remain in the UMB digs.

Referendums can be placed on the ballot by anyone who can get 150 signatures on a petition, but this option is rarely used, except for regular questions.

Last year, a referendum on whether or not to have the optional fee The Mass Media added to students’ tuition bills was on the ballot, and was approved by the few students who bothered to vote.

All the voting in this election is being done electronically, an echo of a growing trend across the nation. To vote, students should visit and log in, where there is “a standard html form and a script that records the votes,” according to Joe Peters, who maintains the university website. According to Peters, each student will log in with their student e-mail address and the last four digits of their student ID number, and after they vote, that student ID won’t work again. “That’s the other check that goes on,” explains Peters.

All the ballots cast are secret, so even though a student logs on with their e-mail and last four digits of their ID number, the vote is not recorded with any identifying information.

Peters says that printed logs of the voting, presumably without identifying information, can be made available if Student Life or the Student Senate requests it.

Paper ballots are also being made available in the Student Life Office in case of technical difficulties.

The following students are running for the Undergraduate Student Senate:

Vote Online Next Week, April 20, 21 and 22.

Arnab Chaudnuri-College of Liberal ArtsTara Delmonico-College of Liberal ArtsSarah Dolan-College of Liberal ArtsJenna Goldstein-College of Liberal ArtsArthur Guran-College of Liberal ArtsFrancisca Hernandez-College of Liberal ArtsFritz Hyppolite-College of Liberal ArtsHatim Jean-Louis-College of Public and Community ServiceColleen Marie-Kelly-College of Public and Community ServiceMatthew Lindsay-College of Public and Community ServiceTristan Lowe-College of ManagementErica Mena-College of Liberal ArtsPatricia Morales-College of Public and Community ServiceJamal Oufkir-College of Liberal ArtsJesse Solomon-College of Public and Community ServiceBrian Tse-College of Science and MathematicsStephen Waen-College of ManagementEliza Wilson-College of Liberal ArtsRachelWittman-College of Liberal Arts

Candidate Platforms:

College of Liberal Arts

Tara DelmonicoServing on the Student Senate has allowed me to become aware of the many positive features that this university has to offer. As a member of CCA, I would like to continue to promote activities and events to get more students further involved in creating a stronger campus community.

Erica Menano statement

Sarah DolanI have high hopes for what the student senate can accomplish for this upcoming year. As a member of the Campus and Community Affairs Committee I have been a part of a great effort to unite students at UMass Boston and would like to continue to serve this campus!

Fritz HyppoliteThe Student Government Association of UMass Boston was established to empower the students of this university. Through the Undergraduate Student Senate, we can begin to represent and address student interests and concerns regarding every aspect of this institution for the advancement of all.

Rachel WittmanMany students feel that there is a lack of socialization and unity on campus. While the campus center is one solution for this, there is another that I propose. This solution is to build a stronger partnership between the student senate and the student body for by working together, a great deal more can be achieved. Many students feel isolated from the decisions that are made on their behalf and are simply unaware of how the senate can make their experience at UMass a more beneficial one. The student senate is the perfect catalyst for change at UMass and I believe that I can continue to be a positive addition to the process.

Arthur GurayEvery student sometimes has trouble with homework. UMass Bostonstudents have trouble with homework because they’ve just finished aneight-hour shift on their feet. Every student sometimes has trouble getting to class. UMass Boston students have trouble getting to class because their babysittercancelled. Every student sometimes has trouble understanding lectures. UMass Boston students have trouble understanding lectures because theyonly began learning English three months ago. Every student makes her parents proud when she does well incollege. UMass Boston students make their parents proud not only because they do well in college, but because they’re the first person in their family to go to college. This isn’t just rhetoric: this is the reality of UMass Boston. More than half of UMB undergraduates are first-generation college students; more than a third are ethnic minorities. Last year’s graduating class spoke over 70 languages. 70% of us students work at least part time; a third work full time. Yet we’ve produced four Fulbright Fellows and a Marshall Scholar. UMass Boston graduates have gone on to Harvard, Dartmouth,Cornell, and NYU. UMass Boston alumni are CEOs, senators, and surgeons, as well as accomplished artists, teachers, and scholars. Some people ask how we students manage to achieve success with all these obstacles. I answer we achieve success because of these obstacles. UMass Bostonstudents have a character unlike students anywhere else in this city. It is a character worth admiration and advocacy, a character worth respectand ardent representation. No one can say we have not continued to succeed despite thebudget crisis of recent years, yet there is more we can do. The Student Senate need not be a glorified wallet; we have the power and resourcesto push for change, to be the united voice of the UMass Boston student. We can work to extend the affordable day care services of the EarlyLearning Center, to strengthen our ESL tutoring programs, and ensure that core arts and science classes, including science labs, are offered both day and night, so that our students can continue to seize the opportunities that are too often denied to them.

Arnab ChaudhuriNo statement

Jamal OufkirAs a student at UMass Boston and one of the biggest community seeking knowledge and defying all what life challenges us with, I am in forwarding this letter to you in order to nominate myself as a member of Student Government here in our school to be part of your team that seeks a best result for students’ life in their way to success. A silent crisis is sweeping our community today. An issue because many (graduates and undergraduates) students cannot have a convenient years in our school programs without a solution in response to their needs and I am willing to represent them by becoming part of your team to make the whole school satisfying their needs and future students as well. As a candidate, I will project the determination onto this important message. Because each one of us holds the key to success and lets make our School community more successful.

Janna GoldsteinI want to be a senator to represent the student body and be a link between students and administration. I want to address issues that are important to help students have their needs and desires met. I want to be more active within my community and contribute to making differences.

Eliza Wilson I see ways that the UMB community could link together more than it is now. I would like to create and encourage the involvement that exists and/or could potentially exist. I would like to run for senate to be able to forge a relationship with the administration and the student body. I believe that it is important for the student and the administration to be in a dialogue with each other to know what is going on, what the needs are and why. I believe that UMB has enormous potential to build on all its strengths. I know that I can work towards bringing UMB to the level it should be at.

Francisca Hernandez It’s time that we stop complaining about the University and its policies and procedures, it’s time for unification and change. Knowledge about student rights must be spread through out this campus. Change cannot just depend on a select few, but it comes from a conscious awareness of the issues by those it affects.

College of Public and Community Service

Hatim Jean-LouisNo statement

Colleen Kelly Since starting at UMB this January, I have gotten very involved with WaterWatch. I am excited to be a part of CPCS and an employee of the Campus Center, both of which offer interesting experiences/opportunities. I have a lot of passion for involvement in positive, open-minded, compassionate communities, like UMB.

Jesse SolomonNo statement

Matthew LandryCongratulations and good luck to all other candidates. I am currently a level II community planning major. I would love to continue my participation on the student senate and the SEOC (students events and organizations committee). I became involved with the Senate because of the large number of open seats this semester. It has been a tremendous experience and I can see the opportunity for CPCS to increase its voice in the University. Allow me to represent that voice with your vote.

Patricia “Trish” Morales My goals: to provide greater educational access to all by preserving low tuition and fees; to foster a sense of unity in the student body; to incorporate student input at all levels of decision making, and to ensure students have all services available to them. I will be your voice and advocate to protect your rights and interests.

College of Science and Math

Brian Tse The opening of the new Campus presents new opportunities for our community. However, with new opportunities also come new challenges. Students face rising fees and delays in receiving financial aid that threaten their financial stability. As Senator, I promise to work with the campus to fix these problems.

Adnan UsmanNo statement

College of Management

Stephen LucienNo statement

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Tristan LoweI am running for UMass Boston Student Senate because I feel that I can be a voice for the student population here at UMass Boston. I have been a student at UMass Boston since the fall semester of 1999 and since then have been involved in a variety of school activities. In that capacity, I have participated and worked closely with student centers, clubs, and feel that those experiences have prepared me for continuing to be a student senator.

Student Trustee

Adnan UsmanThe longer I live, the more I appreciate the force by which attitude has propelled me forward. To me, attitude is more important than circumstances, money or material items. Life is 10% what happens and 90% how I react to it. I am convinced that a man with the right attitude is what makes a good Student Trustee.

Tuan PhamBudget cuts happened yesterday, but its effects are lived today. The fundamental questions and services must still be answered and met. How satisfied are you with bursars, registrars, or career services? When is a fee increase unjustified? On 4.20, I need your vote for Trustee to DELIVER PROMISING RESULTS.