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Jason Carroll ’21 elected UCS President

Akilesh Raman ’22 to serve as UFB chair, student body passes meal swipe donation, Disability Justice Cultural Center, internal UCS referenda

Updated 11:57 a.m. April 7, 2020 

Jason Carroll ’21 was elected president of the Undergraduate Council of Students and Akilesh Raman ’22 was elected as chair of the Undergraduate Finance Board in this year’s elections, Elections Board Co-Chairs Alex Song ’20 and Mary Stack ’21 announced in a Zoom video conference open to the student body Monday night. 

Summer Dai ’22 will serve as the next UCS vice president, and Anika Ahluwalia ’23 will serve as the next UFB vice chair. All elected candidates will begin their terms in the fall.

A meal swipe donation program referendum, proposed by UCS Chief of Staff Melissa Lee ’20 and Nell Salzman ’22, passed with 96 percent of the vote. The proposed program would donate the cash value of students’ leftover meal swipes to local food banks. The referendum also encourages the University to release in-depth financial data from Brown Dining Services, such as the number of unused meal swipes at the end of each semester.

A referendum to create a Disability Justice Cultural Center, proposed by Chair of Student Wellness Shivani Nishar ’20 and Vanessa Garcia ’20.5, passed with 88 percent of the vote.

The support for the referendum represents an incredibly important step in helping DJAB continue the momentum to establish a DJCC at Brown,” wrote Nishar and Coordinator of student group Disability Justice at Brown Sumera Subzwari ’21 in an email to The Herald, noting that “it has certainly been an uphill battle to convince the administration that a DJCC is necessary for the disability community.”

UCS’ own referendum that proposed moving out-of-date logistical elements of the UCS Constitution to the Council’s bylaws to enable more efficient updates to the council’s procedures passed with 94 percent of the vote.

The University is not obligated to take action based on a referendum outcome, The Herald previously reported.

Roughly 37 percent of the student body voted in this year’s elections, with 2,508 out of 6,752 students participating. This voting rate is a 16 percent decrease from last year’s rate of 44 percent. UCS is grateful to all the students who voted, “particularly in light of the public health crisis and students not being on campus,” Song wrote in an email to The Herald. The video release marked a change in format, as election results are normally announced on the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center steps to celebration and applause.

Carroll, who currently serves as vice president, defeated Chair of Campus Life Zanagee Artis ’22, earning 73 percent of the vote. Artis earned the remaining 27 percent of votes. “I am beyond humbled and excited to serve as the next UCS President,” Carroll wrote in an email to The Herald. “In light of the COVID 19 pandemic, we on UCS will need to be even more active in our role of supporting and representing the needs of the student body,” he added.

Dai, who is currently UCS treasurer, won 60 percent of the vote to defeat Co-Appointments Chair Sam Caplan ’22. Caplan earned 40 percent of the vote.

Raman and Ahluwalia both ran uncontested for UFB chair and vice chair, winning 97 percent and 98 percent of the vote respectively. The remaining votes went to write-in candidates.

Deepak Gupta ’22 will assume the role of chair of academic affairs, and Claire Brown ’22 won the race for chair of student activities. Jai’el Toussaint ’22 will serve in the newly-created chair of equity and inclusion position.

Grace Johnson ’22, who serves as secretary, will be chair of student wellness, and Zane Ruzicka ’23, who serves as first-year representative, will be chair of campus life.

Kushagra Agarwal ’22, Gianna DeVincenzo ’22, Nimo Ismail ’21, Mahira Khan ’23, Mukul Khanna ’23, Amienne Spencer-Blume ’23 and Harshini Venkatachalam ’23 were chosen as at-large UFB representatives.


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