Every USG Senate Position Filled for First Time in 9 Years

A combination of online and in-person campaigning intensified the competitive USG elections this year



This year, the most number of students ran for a USG position, filling every role. Candidates reflect on how social media proved to be a vital tool in communicating with fellow students.


United Student Government (USG) elections for the 2021-22 academic year broke the record for number of student candidates running. It was the first time in nine years that every elected position was filled, including all six open senator positions. After three cancelations due to technical difficulties, the final results of the election were posted on Oct. 2.

Megha Thyagarajan, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’25, and Kennedi Hutchins, FCLC ’25, were elected as the first-year FCLC senators; Vivian Iburg, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC) ’25, was elected as the first-year GSBLC senator; Rachita Mehta, FCLC ’24, was elected as the sophomore FCLC senator; Mia Matziaris, FCLC ’23, was elected as the junior FCLC senator; Benjamin Grambs, GSBLC ’23, was elected as the junior GSBLC senator; and Sonal Rai, GSBLC ’22, was elected as the senior GSBLC senator. 

Candidates mostly relied on social media as a campaigning tactic to encourage more students to vote for them.

“I thought social media would be the best way to spread information about my campaign. I took to Instagram and Snapchat stories to circulate things quickly,” Matziaris said. “The Q&A feature on Instagram was very helpful; I would have people ask me questions about whatever they wanted to know, so that was a very direct way to communicate.” 

Hutchins took a similar approach to campaigning

“Social media was my main source of campaigning; I was able to share more about myself and infographics on my page to spread information regarding my candidacy,” Hutchins said. She also said that she learned about the first-year senator position through Instagram.

Mehta echoed the use of social media to directly reach out to her classmates. She direct-messaged “hundreds of people” on Instagram to introduce herself and posted flyers on her Instagram story as well. 

“Not only did I get the word out about my campaign, but I got to meet such amazing people.” Rachita Mehta, FCLC ’24

“While that proved to be helpful, I also went door to door from floors 10 to 20 (of McMahon) and introduced myself while sharing my platform,” she said. “It was such a good experience; not only did I get the word out about my campaign, but I got to meet such amazing people.” 

Thyagarajan preferred talking to students through social media.

“My goal upon coming here was to try and meet everyone, regardless of student government,” Thyagarajan said. “This helped me in the long run because I was able to reach out to connections I made previous to running.”

Although the elections were a success, members of USG expressed that they wish students would continue participating throughout the year and not just during elections. 

Grambs said he strongly believes that more participation is the only way to create lasting change at Fordham Lincoln Center.

“Similar to how students have a civil obligation to participate in actual elections, I’d certainly apply the same principle here. Students should want to see change here,” Grambs said. “What affects you the most is what happens in this school, and the only way students will get a direct say in that is by either voting in elections and participating in student government.” 

“It is so easy to stay out of the loop, and it is so important to exercise your right to share your thoughts and opinions if you come to us.” Mia Matziaris, FCLC ’23

Matziaris feels strongly about recruiting more students to be involved in USG as well. 

“I think it is really easy for students to go to campus, attend classes and leave,” she said. “As for someone that commutes now, I find myself wanting to be on campus more and hang out. If you are a little more apathetic towards that, and you want to be more involved, USG is a great way to immerse yourself in a more typical college experience.”

Newly elected USG senators are motivated to implement their campaign promises. First-year senators Hutchins and Thyagarajan hope to foster a stronger sense of community on campus by working in USG.

Grambs said it is easy to get involved, and students should “just show up” to club meetings and “all of your advice and concerns will be taken to heart.”

Matziaris reaffirmed Grambs’ sentiment: “I think it is so important to know what is going on. It is so easy to stay out of the loop, and it is so important to exercise your right to share your thoughts and opinions if you come to us.”