The Stony Brook University student body will be able to vote in this year’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) election until April 7 at 12 p.m. through SBEngaged.
USG, the main governing body for undergraduate students, is an advocate and student life organization mainly known for allocating over $3 million to over 100 recognized organizations and clubs each year, including the Residence Hall Association (RHA) and Commuter Student Association (CSA). Events hosted by USG include Brookfest, Light the Brook, Roth Regatta and Wolfieland.
Three parties are running against each other for seven Executive Council (EC) positions and 23 senator seats: The Helpfulness, Equity, Accessible, Respect and Transparency (HEART) Party; The Integrity, Visionary and Youthful (IVY) Party; and the EXP+ Party.
Eighteen candidates are vying for seven Executive Council positions, and another 18 candidates are running for the 23 open Senate positions. This means five senator seats will be appointed by the future president of USG following this week’s elections, along with all 18 running candidates presumably being elected by default.
In addition to the Executive Council and Senate positions, this year’s elections feature a multitude of constitutional amendment propositions.
Some of these amendments are name-changes to better reflect their purpose, such as changing the Executive Council title of “vice president of academic affairs” to “vice president of University affairs.”
Two propositions would significantly increase accountability and enforcement of USG policy to senators and EC members in the official Procedural Manual, a non-binding document outlining the responsibilities and duties of all roles within the student government.
Until now, senators and EC members were not liable for neglecting practices outlined in their respective policy manuals, most notably updating their time-cards for accurate payments and attending all scheduled meetings.
Another proposition is the removal of Article XI, Section 3.5 of the Constitution of the Undergraduate Student Government, which would no longer require the Undergraduate Student Activity Fee from going to a referendum vote every two years.
Devin Lobosco is a junior double major in biochemistry and women’s and gender studies running unopposed for president in this year’s elections. He is running under the EXP+ Party.
Joining USG as an at-large senator in 2021, Lobosco is currently the executive vice president of USG. He holds executive board positions in the Phi Delta Epsilon fraternity, the Center for Prevention and Outreach (CPO) and the National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH).
Lobosco’s initiatives involve the expansion of the Menstrual Hygiene Program that was introduced in 2022. He also wishes to provide greater accessibility and student support services directly in the classroom, and to continue to address parking after the Mobility and Parking Services (MAPS) proposal to convert to an all-paid parking model in the fall of 2023. Lobosco also stresses student feedback and more direct communication with University departments and the general student body.
Executive Vice President Candidate
Nistha Boghra is a sophomore journalism major running unopposed for executive vice president. She is currently the vice president of communications for USG and was the youngest senator in the organization’s history during the 2021-2022 academic year. She is running under the EXP+ Party.
Boghra has been an active member of the Undergraduate Student Government, serving in multiple event committees. She is also a member of the Student Health Advisory Council.
Better preparing and training USG Senators is one of Boghra’s larger initiatives, which would include creating an “SBU Survival Guide” that would consolidate campus resources and contact information, as well as establish more accessible office hours for students to meet and discuss their concerns directly with senators. Boghra also wishes for senators to meet and collaborate regularly with clubs and organizations to increase USG’s presence on campus.
Boghra would also establish a campus-wide thrift store in efforts to create a larger “#BeautifyStonyBrook” campaign, an initiative that matches her previous campaign when running for vice president of communications.
Phillip Austin is a junior psychology major who has not previously been affiliated with USG, being the Historian for campus publication BlackWorld. An IVY party candidate, Austin proposes initiatives that involve assisting underfunded and unfunded clubs through awareness campaigns and encouraging clubs and organizations to collaborate with USG to co-host mental health awareness events. Austin also wants more community service initiatives from clubs and organizations.
Jason Chen is a junior double major in economics and business management who has not previously been affiliated with USG, being the treasurer and president-elect of the Swim Club at Stony Brook University. Chen’s initiatives include streamlining voucher approvals and club holds in order to get allocations and budgets more efficiently. He would also make the process to receive funds more transparent and understandable to all organizations, but especially those who have recently been added to the Senate Line or who are new to the treasury position.
Easmin Chowdury is a junior double major in applied mathematics and statistics and psychology. She is the associate treasurer to the current USG treasurer, Sanurag Barobhuiya, and has previously been an at-large senator. Chowdury’s initiatives involve expanding the Menstrual Hygiene Program, increasing communication and transparency in CPO and the Faculty Student Association (FSA) and providing new funding methods and resources to clubs and organizations. Chowdury is running under the EXP+ Party.
Amitesh Reddy Akiti is a sophomore mathematics major who is currently an at-large senator in USG, serving in the Budget Line Committee. Akiti’s initiatives involve increased communication with the student body regarding USG’s finances, including feedback and survey forms, finding new revenue sources for USG and improving the overall “financial well-being” of clubs and orgs to encourage higher engagement and campus activities over the weekend.
Ferrick Robertson is a sophomore political science major who has been a front-desk receptionist at USG’s office for two years. Robertson’s initiatives include increased communication systems to encourage more open office hours for the treasury department, greater cooperation between the treasury and clubs and organizations, and to create a compromise with MAPS on their proposed parking plan.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Candidates
Joe Bisiani is a junior physics major and is currently an at-large senator in USG serving on the Budget Grant, Probationary Budget and Student Health Advisory Board Committees. Bisiani’s initiatives include creating large-scale events and emphasizing transparency and open communication with the student body.
Daniel Canavin is a non-traditional biology student and is currently an at-large senator as the CSA representative in USG. Canavin has been a member of the Academic Affairs Committee and has been actively involved in dialogues with MAPS regarding their parking proposal as well as pushing for a “#BeautifyStonyBrook” campaign. Canavin’s initiatives include implementing more town halls, being more transparent with the student body, resolving concerns with advising and DegreeWorks and continuing the “Fireside Chat” series introduced by the current Vice President of Academic Affairs Harrison Feig. Canavin is running under the HEART party.
Vice President of Communications Candidates
David Gonzalez is a first-year student and is currently an at-large senator in USG. Running under the HEART party, Gonzalez’ initiatives include increased transparency and communication channels, revamping USG’s website, highlighting senate meetings and initiatives on social media platforms, and making documentation available with regards to budget spending and allocating resources in the Student Activity Fee.
Christopher Jean-Pierre is a sophomore double major in music and business management who has been working in the USG ticket office and the Office of Student Life at USG. Running under the EXP+ party, Jean-Pierre’s initiatives include highlighting minority groups on campus, the creation of spaces designed for musicians and content-creators and increasing transparency within the Undergraduate Student Government.
Arnav Sawant is a sophomore physics major who is currently an at-large senator serving on the Probationary Budget Committee and the International Student Advisory Council (ISAC). Sawant’s initiatives include establishing a regularly-airing podcast about campus resources and reformatting USG’s website.
Vice President of Student Life Candidates
Andrew Candio is a sophomore journalism major and a current at-large senator at USG. He is an active member of the Haitian Student Organization and the African Student Union. Running under the IVY party, Candio’s initiatives involve establishing an undergraduate mentorship program, a ‘no student goes hungry’ program, implementing financial stipends for students in economic instability and expanding and destigmatizing CAPS and other mental-health services to students.
Isaiah ‘Zaya’ Daniel is a junior psychology major and is the senior event coordinator for Student Engagement & Activities (SEA) as well as the spirit & traditions coordinator for USG. They began working in student life from their first-year on campus, when many on-campus events and activities were limited or fully online. Daniel’s initiatives include enhancing events throughout the school year, bringing more rights and benefits to student employees and streamlining the relationship between Student Life and Clubs & Organizations.
Vice President of Clubs and Organizations Candidates
Joshua Feng is a junior health science major and is currently an at-large senator in USG. He has hosted multiple workshops under the USG banner, as well as working alongside SEA. Feng is running under the EXP+ Party. His initiatives include the expansion of Bystander Leadership training seminars, greater collaborative efforts with the Career Center, the establishment of a campus thrift-shop, and a ‘Wolfie Swing Set’ to be built in between the Student Union and Melville Library.
Akaansha Kundra is a junior psychology major who has not been previously associated with USG. She has been in executive board positions for multiple years in various campus organizations, including the Sikh Student Association. Her initiatives include hosting workshops to guide clubs and orgs through administrative tasks and increasing collaboration and community building between Stony Brook clubs.
Emma Leiman is a first-year business management major who has not been previously involved with USG. Her initiatives include better oversight of fiscal spending within executive boards as well as better serving the financial needs of clubs that lack stable funding.
Alexander Van Geuns is a sophomore physics major who is currently an at-large senator at USG and is the vice chair of the Probationary Budget Committee. Running under the HEART Party, his initiatives include increased transparency between USG and clubs regarding funding and budgetary issues, the establishment of a separate funding line for annual events hosted by clubs and orgs and a greater sense of community engagement through increased collaborations between organizations.
Students can vote through April 7 at noon on SBEngaged — the main digital platform for campus engagement and activities — with their NetID information. Every undergraduate student is eligible to vote.