The Undergraduate Council of Students hosted special elections for the position of Undergraduate Finance Board at-large representative at its first general body meeting of the spring semester Wednesday evening.
The majority of the UCS general body abstained from voting in favor or against Richard Dong ’23, a copy editor for The Herald and the sole candidate running for at-large representative, after a two-minute speech and a five-minute question and answer session. The election was postponed to a future meeting.
During its final general body meeting last semester, UCS hosted internal elections for the vacant Undergraduate Finance Board vice chair position following the departure of former Vice Chair Claire Brown ’22. Previous UFB Representative Mukul Khanna ’23, a photographer for The Herald, was elected, leaving an opening, according to UFB Chair Akilesh Raman ’22.
In his speech, Dong emphasized his exposure to politicians and his ability to connect with influential figures. During the question and answer session, Chair of Academic Affairs Zoe Fuad ’23.5 asked Dong what specific experience he has that pertains to the role.
“What I can bring is that … when it comes to talking with others … I always keep my calm,” Dong said. “I know what the mission is … I know the preparation that needs to get done.”
The UFB representative works and regularly meets with around 20 student groups to assist them with submitting budgets. They also attend weekly meetings and participate in UFB’s decision making process, according to a Feb. 1 email from UCS.
Also at the meeting, UCS Secretary Justin Li ’24 announced that UCS will reinstate its pre-COVID attendance policy. Effectively immediately, the policy states that “multiple unexcused absences (approx. two or more, depending on your position and circumstances) may result in your permanent dismissal from UCS.”
UCS also discussed how the University’s three student government groups — UCS, UFB and the Class Coordinating Board — will interact going forward. “This year, UCS, CCB and UFB are officially operating together as the Student Government Association,” UCS President Summer Dai ’22 said. “Because of that, we are standardizing the election scope throughout the branches of student government.”
UCS also discussed ideas for other initiatives. Some initiatives discussed include the creation of a Disability Justice Cultural Center and increased focus on first-year advising. Transfer & Resumed Undergraduate Education Representative Max Karpawich ’23 also proposed hosting another staff appreciation event with a different time and location following last semester’s attempt.