University News

UCS fills seven leadership positions

Chair of appointments, parliamentarian among positions filled in annual council elections

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Undergraduate Council of Students held annual elections to fill seven posts at its meeting Wednesday. Officers emphasized diversity and increasing the council’s presence on campus.

The Undergraduate Council of Students filled seven leadership positions through internal elections at its meeting Wednesday night. The positions of chair of appointments and parliamentarian were hotly contested, with three students running for each post.

Gabrielle Alcala ’19 secured the position of chair of appointments after citing her leadership experience as a Minority Peer Counselor and as a member of committees within Alpha Chi Omega. “I was on the committee to find the new dean of admission,” Alcala added. “I had the opportunity to not only work with students, … but I also got the opportunity to meet administration, to get to work with people like (Dean of the College) Maud Mandel.”

Alcala will focus on diversity within University committees and “making sure that low-income students and people of color are represented on these committees,” she said. She added that she also hopes to delegate tasks in the appointment process to promote transparency and ensure “that the general body also knows what’s going on in this committee.”

Austin Lessin ’19, a Herald sales associate, who was elected parliamentarian, was praised during the discussion of the candidates for his past service in the position and his knowledge of the UCS code of protocol and the council’s constitution.

“One of the big projects I took on last year was updating the code,” Lessin said. “So I had to go through the code, change all the sections and update it so that it actually reflects the protocol that we have today.” Lessin added that previously the code “was outdated and featured sections that weren’t really relevant anymore to UCS.”

The parliamentarian “asks you to follow the rules whether they’re convenient or not,” said Zachary Nelkin ’17, a UCS member. “In the long run that’s the most important quality of (a) parliamentarian — that you have to be willing to stand up for following (the) process no matter how inconvenient.”

Two candidates ran for the position of historian, with William Zhou ’20 emerging victorious. Zhou laid out two goals he intends to pursue during his tenure in order to “expand the reach of our history” and “make our history more useful to ourselves,” he said.

“One thing I want to do to increase the visibility of our history is to film a video series documenting the important moments in our history” by interviewing UCS alums, students and administrators, Zhou said. Zhou also plans to conduct debriefs after big events and the passage of major policies so the council can learn from its past initiatives, he added.

“The more presence our history has on campus, the more legitimate we become and the more students will actually want to be involved with us,” he said.

Brandon Lê ’18 ran uncontested to serve as webmaster, a position he has held for the past two years. Lê was present for the launch of the current UCS website and WTF Brown, a forum for student feedback. His knowledge of website development and creation makes his experience and skills “a valuable asset,” he said. He hopes to improve WTF Brown this year.

“I have also been involved in retrieving minutes from past UCS meetings and archiving them on our website,” Lê said.

“He has made our website a lot better than it used to be,” said Tim Ittner ’18, UCS vice president.

Savannah Johnson ’18, Peter Vo ’19, Julian DeGeorgia ’20 and Alesandro Walker ’20 were elected to serve on the Undergraduate Finance Board. Zafreen Siddiquee ’19 was elected to the position of alumni liaison in an uncontested race, while Sam Shipley ’20 also ran uncontested for the post of secretary.

Lisa Schold ’19 also won the position of UCS-UFB liaison in an uncontested race. Schold previously served on the UCS service group funding board.  “After my experience with that, I realized that I was really interested in allocating money for different groups on campus,” she said.

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