The 2012-2013 USGA Election

Isaak Kifle

The Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) is a large organization with a wide variety of functions and purposes.

The Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA)

The USGA represents the undergraduate student body at UNH, serves as a forum for student concerns and suggestions, manages the student activity budget utilized by clubs and organizations and functions as a liaison between students and the UNH administration. The organization is comprised of a five-person executive board, a senate, and a house of representatives, as well as many additional representatives who sit outside of the house. While three of the five executive board members are appointed by the legislature and the representatives of the house are selected within the clubs and organizations they represent, the USGA president, treasurer, and senators are elected by the student body each year in March.

The USGA President provides general direction and management to the USGA, presides over meetings, creates the USGA committees, oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization, communicates with the student body, and promotes goodwill within the university community. The USGA Treasurer serves as the financial manager of the USGA derived from the student activity fee paid by every undergraduate student, renders a statement on the condition of the budget at every USGA meeting, collects financial requests from clubs and organizations, and chairs the budget committee, which is in charge of approving those requests and allocating the USGA budget to clubs and organizations (however, beginning in the fall, the position of budget committee chair will be held by a separate individual). The USGA Senators represent the student body by sitting on the legislature that votes on issues involving the undergraduate student body, as well as chairing the various USGA committees that all students are welcome to join.

Campaign week for the 2012-2013 USGA Election, coordinated by the USGA elections committee chaired by USGA Executive Assistant Shawn Tremblay, took place the week following spring break, with voting taking place the week after. The most competitive position in the election, USGA President, had three highly qualified candidates running: Patrick Kelland, John Capozzo, and Arnold Lane. Patrick Kelland, a junior political science and criminal justice double-major, is the current USGA vice-president as well as a brother of Sigma Chi and also works as a resident assistant on campus. John Capozzo, a senior mechanical engineer major, is the current USGA sergeant-at-arms and a brother of Kappa Gamma Rho. Arnold Lane, a junior psychology major, currently serves as a USGA senator as well as the president of the Black Student Union and treasurer of the Caribbean Student Association.

The first event of campaign week was “Meet the Candidates Night” on Tuesday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge. At this event, candidates for all of the positions had the opportunity to introduce themselves to attendees and give their platforms. The next event of the week was the President and Treasurer Debates on Thursday, March 22 at 6:00 p.m. in the Bartels Programming Space. Candidates for those positions took turns answering questions by current USGA President Scott Kazar and current USGA Treasurer Danielle Palladino, who then opened the floor to allow questions from the audience. Polls were originally going to be open Tuesday, March 27 to Thursday, March 29, but an issue in the election caused the date to be pushed back to Thursday, March 29 to Saturday, March 31. On Thursday, students who found and voted at the USGA golf cart driving around campus had the opportunity to receive a Five Guys gift card and election t-shirt!

The election results were announced to the campus community early on Monday, April 2. After an intense and extremely popular campaign, which broke the record for the most voter turnout in USGA history, Patrick Kelland was elected to be the 2012-2013 USGA President. In addition, senior criminal justice and accounting double major Tim Farmer was elected as the USGA Treasurer for next year. The individuals elected into the 2012-2013 USGA senate were Jonathan ‘Drew’ Beliveau, Nazly Bokhari, Connor Briggs, Shenika Burton, Dayne Clarke, Enrique Cruz, Daniel Davies, Chris Drobinske, Tom Harris, Zani Imetovski, David Janovsky, Connor Johnson, Isaak Kifle, Spencer Poulin, James Pusz, Emily Sellar, William Sheehan, Dylan Taylor, and Ross Weiner.

Lastly, several changes to the USGA constitution that were put up for vote were approved, and will become policy beginning in July when the new elected officials take office. USGA meetings this semester are Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge and the meeting time for the fall will be announced within the coming weeks. Thank you to everyone who voted and made this year’s USGA election the most popular in UNH’s history!

When asked to submit a statement to The Charger Bulletin, Patrick Kelland responded by saying: “I would like to thank the entire student body for their involvement in the election process over the past month. Whether you ran for a position, helped on a campaign team, or voted, you assisted everyone by becoming more aware of what happens on our campus. Thank you for your involvement, and I hope you are all excited for what lies in store for us over the next year. Congratulations to all of the Senators and to our new Treasurer, Tim Farmer. I look forward to working with and representing you all as President of the Undergraduate Student Government Association. Go Chargers!”