News, University News

UCS fills five positions in second meeting of year

General body members vote to fill leadership positions after short speeches by candidates

senior staff writer
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Undergraduate Council of Students held internal elections for five management and executive board positions in its general body meeting Wednesday night. Jonathan Powell ’18 was elected chair of academic affairs, Alex Song ’20 was elected treasurer, Chiaka Ibe ’21 was elected chair of alumni relations, Lisa Schold ’19 was re-elected as the UCS liaison for the Undergraduate Finance Board and Elizabeth Wang ’21 was elected secretary.

“I applied for the treasurer role because I feel like I have some slightly unique experience,” Song said, citing his involvement in the finances of a nonprofit organization that provides prescription sports goggles to special-needs athletes. Song also mentioned that he served last year on the UCS student activities committee.

Running for the chair of alumni relations, Ibe brought up her experience as a student mediator for the alumni board at her high school as well as her involvement in “High Schoolers Without Boundaries,” a club in which she “contacted recent graduates who work in health fields and connected them with students who had similar career path interests,” Ibe said.

As a senior, Powell mentioned his extensive experience at Brown dealing with faculty, his work as a teaching assistant and his involvement in the founding of Mosaic+, a student-group that seeks to promote “diversity in computer science,” according to the group’s website. “For academic affairs, I am definitely prepared to see what that means for students on a larger scale outside the computer science department,” Powell said.

Four candidates ran for chair of academic affairs — one of four primary chair positions — which was left empty last year.  Similarly, four candidates contended for the positions of treasurer and chair of alumni relations. Two candidates ran for the post of UCS-UFB liaison and one candidate ran for the position of secretary. Any UCS general body member, including first-year members, were encouraged to run.

Candidates were given a minute and a half to deliver brief speeches about their qualifications and goals for the positions. Since Wednesday’s meeting was only the second UCS meeting this year, many first-year candidates also used their speeches to introduce themselves. Competing candidates were asked to wait outside the room during the speeches and the questions that followed from UCS voting members.

Candidates were then led outside while the UCS general body members briefly deliberated. While candidates were outside the room, general body members were asked to speak up if they felt particularly strongly — either positively or negatively — about the candidate.

All UCS general body members were allowed to vote, including the 25 new members that joined at the start of the term. To become a general body member of UCS, a student must collect 100 signatures before the start of the first UCS meeting of the year. Elections are not part of the process.

General body members who did not run for or were not elected to positions will soon choose to serve on one of four UCS committees: student activities, student wellness, campus life or academic affairs.

At next week’s general body meeting, UCS will continue to fill leadership positions with internal elections.