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UCS, UFB announce candidates for executive positions

Garcia ’18, Nelkin ’17, Nguyen ’17 to vie for president as Ittner ’18 runs unopposed for VP

By
Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Kevin Garcia ’18, Zachary Nelkin ’17 and Viet Nguyen ’17 will contest the election for President of the Undergraduate Council of Students next week. Tim Ittner ’18 will run unopposed for the position of vice president.

Jordan Ferguson ’17 and Adwa Habtu ’17 will run unopposed for Chair and Vice Chair of the Undergraduate Finance Board, respectively.

These executive candidates and those running for other positions on UCS and the UFB submitted petitions of candidacy and reviewed campaign regulations at the candidates’ meeting Tuesday.

Garcia, who currently serves as UCS Campus Life Chair, emphasized his background and experience as motivating factors for his run. “As both a local Rhode Islander and somebody who identifies as first-generation and low-income, I can approach UCS issues with a lot of sensitivity (to) everyone’s experiences,” Garcia said.

UCS should be a body accessible to all students and should “be a vehicle” for the needs of all, Garcia added. His platform will focus on student wellness and safety, specifically pushing for the abolition of the seven-session limit at Counseling and Psychological Services, he said.

Nelkin would work to make UCS “a more effective forum for student voices,” he said. He will reconstitute UCS as a fully elected body and will hold periodic referenda among all undergraduates on the existence of UCS, according to his platform.

Nelkin also emphasized a continued focus on mental health, a chief area of work for the current UCS executive board. “We need to be making sure that it gets treated in the same way as any other type of healthcare,” he said.

Nguyen’s platform highlighted his role in the creation of the new First-Generation College Students Center to be opened this summer as well as his service on a University committee to increase travel aid for international students. He seeks to hold “Brown’s administration accountable to all of its students,” he stated in his platform.

Nguyen will push to cut the summer earnings expectation for all students on aid and increase financial aid for middle-income students, according to his platform. He will also look to increase the number of off-campus living permits for juniors and require trans and gender-nonconforming education in all Title IX training for faculty members.

As vice president, Ittner would “push for the complete implementation of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan,” he said. He stated a commitment to ensuring physical accessibility for all new construction on campus and articulated support for ongoing efforts to eliminate socioeconomic barriers to success.

While both races for UFB leadership positions will not be contested, the two candidates approach the election with full agendas. Ferguson would bring two years of UFB experience to the presidency and seek to reduce transportation- and facility-related costs for student groups as well as implement the release of end-of-semester reports on UFB’s activities, according to his platform.

Habtu stressed transparency of UFB policies, pledging in her platform to send out campus-wide emails detailing UFB policies and changes.

Austin Lessin ’19 and Charlotte Merzbacher ’19 will compete for the position of Academic Affairs Chair. The races for Campus Life Chair (Kudrat Wadhwa ’19), Student Activities Chair (Naveen Srinivasan ’19), Student Wellness Chair (Britt Edelen ’19) and UCS Treasurer (Yuzuka Akasaka ’18) will all take place uncontested.

Aryan Chhabria ’18, Caleb Hersh ’17 and Drew To ’19 will also run for at-large seats on UFB.

Candidates for UCS President and Vice President and UFB Chair and Vice Chair will take part in a debate sponsored by the UCS Elections Board Thursday at 8 p.m. in Salomon Hall.