250 Students Participate in USG 2022 Election

The incoming USG candidates discussed their plans for office and their hopes for the new administration

The+USGLC+elected+officers+for+the+2022-2023+academic+year+stand+together+on+the+plaza+after+inaugurating+the+newly+elected+students.+

DANTE ALEJO

The USGLC elected officers for the 2022-2023 academic year stand together on the plaza after inaugurating the newly elected students.

By DANTE ALEJO

Elections for United Student Government at Lincoln Center (USGLC) were held on Sept. 27 through 28 to fill vacancies and elect first-year senators for the Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) positions as well as senator for Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC). Also on the ballot were senator positions for all academic years and two chairperson positions, one for the diversity, equity and inclusion committee and one for the committee on sexual misconduct.

The availability for positions and elections was announced through an email from the Office of Student Involvement on Sept. 14 followed by an Instagram post on USGLC’s account on Sept. 15. The window to vote began on Sept. 27, with USGLC notifying students with an email on Sept. 28 of the poll’s closure. Election results were announced on Sept. 30 through a post on USGLC’s Instagram which detailed the candidates and the percentage of votes they received. 

The most competitive of these elections were for the first-year FCLC senator positions, with 13 candidates on the ballot for only three spots. Tony Wu, FCLC ’26, led the race and received 19.6% of the votes followed by Gabriella Gutierrez, FCLC ’26, who claimed 11.5% of the votes, and Nathanael Rodriguez, FCLC ’26, who earned 10.6% of them. Six candidates ran for the GSBLC senator election, but only one seat was available for the GSBLC senator representative, which is now occupied by Allison Ye, GSBLC ’26, who won the first-year ticket with 31.1% of the votes. 

Pulatani estimated the total voter turnout to be around 250 students out of an undergraduate population of 2,353, and suggested that members of the student body attend general meetings or USG’s office hours if they want to voice complaints about the election policy.

Two seats were available for the FCLC junior senators positions, which are now occupied by Supriya Bohara and Shadman Sakib, both FCLC ’24, with Bohara securing 50% of the votes and Sakib securing 45.5% of the votes; the other 4.5% of the votes went to write-in candidates who are not specified on the results.  Rodrigo Pedraza, FCLC ’25, was elected as the representative for the sophomore class, and Free Altar, FCLC ’23, for the senior class.  

Lydia Williams, FCLC ’25, is now the chairperson of the committee on diversity, equity and inclusion, and Tanzema Fazal, FCLC ’24, is the chairperson of the committee on sexual misconduct, a position that was previously occupied by Djellza Pulatani, FCLC ’24 and current president of USGLC. 

Since the spring 2022 election, the USGLC administration began disclosing percentages to the public and not the exact number of votes. Megha Thyagarajan, FCLC ’25 and vice president of USGLC, explained that this is done to prevent unfriendly competition and create an inclusive environment. Pulatani estimated the total voter turnout to be around 250 students out of an undergraduate population of 2,353, and suggested that members of the student body attend general meetings or USG’s office hours if they want to voice complaints about the election policy. 

Despite the low voter turnout, Thyagarajan and Pulatani described the first-year senators as enthusiastic about creating and fostering a community at Fordham. 

“I think focusing on the facts rather than broader statements such as ‘vote for me for change’ or ’vote for me because I’ll promote diversity’ is what set our campaign different from my fellow students.”  Tony Wu, FCLC ’26

First-year senators Ye and Wu both acknowledged that social media was an integral aspect of their campaign’s success. They noted that Instagram in particular was useful but that word of mouth was also essential. According to Ye and Wu, social media enabled the two of them to be as accessible as possible to potential voters. 

Wu centered his campaign on finances and a campaign grounded on hard numbers and statistics. He ran on the campaign titled, “Creating a Fordham that represents the working class and lower class students.” 

“I think focusing on the facts rather than broader statements such as ‘vote for me for change’ or ’vote for me because I’ll promote diversity’ is what set our campaign different from my fellow students,” Wu said. 

Ye shared that her primary goal as a representative for GSBLC was to help students create a network that reaches out to alumni to support their post-graduate careers. She added that USGLC has a lot of resources to help her create said network. When asked why she wanted the student government to achieve this goal, Ye noted that “there are a lot of resources in there and a lot of people who can help (her) achieve that”. 

An overarching principle in both Ye and Wu’s winning campaigns was the desire to make Fordham resources more accessible to students. The new representatives plan on hitting the ground running to achieve their campaign goals with Ye planning to establish herself in the committees to create connections for the student community at large and Wu focusing on budget reconciliation as the optimal path to achieve a more equitable Fordham experience. 

The inauguration of the newly-elected 2023 USGLC Senate was held on Oct. 6.