The Undergraduate Council of Students elected Ashley Kim ’24 as the new student activities chair in an internal election Monday night. According to Student Government Association Elections Chair Eli Sporn ’24, the previous student activities chair left the position due to time commitment issues.
According to UCS President Mina Sarmas ’24, the student activities chair “handles all of the new student group applications and the recategorization applications.” They serve on the Undergraduate Finance Board and oversee the Student Activities Committee, which meets with student groups to understand their requests before UCS makes a decision.
The application was open to all second-, third- and fourth-year students, according to an Oct. 20 SGA email to the Brown community. To apply, candidates needed to obtain 25 signatures, answer four written questions and complete an in-person interview, Sporn said.
Fifteen UCS executive board members were present on Monday night to vote on four candidates, Sporn said. Kim was elected “near-unanimously” in an anonymous vote.
“Given that it’s pretty late in the year, we did want someone that could easily step into the role,” Sarmas said. “We were also looking for someone with proven dedication to activities and student life on campus, and also just approachability.”
Kim has been a member of the student activities committee since her first year at Brown. During COVID-19, Kim addressed the various challenges faced by student groups “dealing with University regulations” and “met with group leaders to advise them on new-group applications and recategorization applications,” she said.
As student activities chair, Kim hopes to address problems that may arise when “the amount of student groups that Brown can support in a meaningful way” has reached its “ceiling,” she said.
“It’s tricky because we want to make sure that (decisions) are being made in a way that best represents the decisions of our student body,” Kim added.
Kim hopes to “bring more clarity and transparency to the decisions (UCS is) making and what’s going on behind the scenes,” she said. “We can do that by bridging a gap between our student leaders, the University and student government organizations.”
“Through this, I’m hoping that we can all gain a better, more holistic understanding of student activities,” she added.
Kelvin Jiang is a section editor for University News and Science & Research at The Herald. Born in Illinois and raised in Palo Alto, CA, Kelvin is concentrating in math-computer science and applied math. He enjoys anything tech-related, being outdoors, and spending time with his cat.