University News

UCS fills positions through internal elections

First-year students win six of eight open council leadership positions at Wednesday’s meeting

By
Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, September 18, 2014

Maahika Srinivasan ’15, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students, welcomes new members to the council’s first general body meeting of the semester and briefs them on internal elections procedures.

The Undergraduate Council of Students filled eight leadership positions, including two positions on the executive board, during internal elections at its first general body meeting of the semester Wednesday night. 

Andrea Wistuba-Behrens ’16 was re-elected UCS secretary, a role on the executive board that entails keeping records of UCS general body meetings. In her candidacy speech, she said she would continue to prioritize her platform from last year of improving the connection between the executive board, the whole council and the student body.

For the other executive board appointment, former UCS Treasurer Alana Bhatla ’16 was elected UCS media director. Bhatla said she would pursue a specific agenda, starting with “a massive clean-up of our online presence,” including an active UCS Twitter account. She added that she hopes to create posters advertising UCS general body meetings and show them to student groups who deal with issues relevant to the meetings’ discussion topics.

Minoshka Narayan ’18 won the position of UCS appointments chair, in which she will select representatives to serve on several University committees. UCS Vice President Sazzy Gourley ’16, who was UCS appointments chair as a first-year, described the role as an influential post that requires a great deal of planning. “Organization is really important because you have to set up the whole schedule for these committees — the interviews, the applications,” Gourley said.

Narayan characterized herself as “hyper-organized,” citing her credentials as a student government coordinator at her high school in Mumbai, India.

Kevin Garcia ’18 was voted UCS Corporation liaison, which involves facilitating interaction between the council and the Corporation, the University’s highest governing body. “Even though we only have access to the Corporation three times, we have a much bigger commitment to that,” he said.

As UCS alumni relations liaison, Helen Ding ’18 will seek to interact with alums and coordinate fundraising. “It would be really interesting to … get alumni who have been successful in their occupations to come and talk to students who are interested in pursuing similar careers,” she said.

UCS-UFB Liaison Faith Moses ’18, who will coordinate the council’s efforts with those of the Undergraduate Finance Board, said she believes “preparation” and “decisiveness” are two key qualities that student group leaders should possess when requesting funds from UFB. “If people aren’t prepared, they might not get that funding,” she said.

Aryan Chhabria ’18 was chosen as parliamentarian pro-tempore. When familiarizing himself with the council’s procedures and code of operations, Chhabria said he would seek to make the UCS constitution “understandable,” adding, “Even though it seems daunting … all of those [documents] can be simplified, and it’s not something to be afraid of.”

In the last internal election of the night, Brandon Le ’18 was selected as webmaster of the UCS site. “I hold a job at the IT service center, so I do have a lot of experience with … whatever issues that visitors of our website might have,” Le said.

UCS President Maahika Srinivasan ’15 emphasized the influential role held by general body members, including new members. The council “brings a lot of people from very different corners of this university into this space so that we can have a conversation about Brown,” she said. “You can very much bring your own ideas, your own projects, your own thoughts and we’ll help you develop them into something that can create change.”

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  • uhhhh?

    a bunch of freshmen in key positions would seem precarious to me.

    • au contraire

      Irrelevant people in an irrelevant organization. Perfect fit, really.

  • johnlonergan

    Would the BCS like to take the lead in reforming how Brown educates its students, ala Magaziner-Maxwell? If so, we’re looking for more recruits.

    Or is it just a talking shop?