2021 USG Elections In The Books

After months of campaigning, students casting their votes, and new members officially being sworn in at the Leadership Awards on April 19 by Vice President for Student Affairs Lamar Hylton, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) elections are officially in the books.

Since 1924, USG has served as the representative organization of the undergraduate students of Kent State, advocating for the student body while providing vital services to the university community. According to their mission statement, the goal is to “be the direct line of communication to university administration, funneling problems and issues in university life that directly affect the undergraduate student population.”

Each spring, 25 students are elected to a one-year term, with eight directors responsible for student life and 16 senators representing numerous sectors consisting of important university demographics of students. The Student Body President oversees each elected official.

Ethan Lower is the outgoing Director of Government Affairs. He said although the coronavirus impacted the voting turnout, they did manage to do something quite impressive.

“While the voting was not the same as pre-COVID-19 years, we did see all elected positions filled, and all appointed positions applied for,” he said. “This is a win considering community engagement is down, and other student government associations struggled to fill positions.”

The most prominent position filled was that of president, a spot previously held by Tiera Moore and now occupied by Chazzlyn Jackson. Jackson said it was not an easy decision to run, but after much thought, it was something she had to do.

“It actually took a lot of time and thought to come to a final decision [to run],” she said. “Although what pushed me to do so was coming to the realization that one of my gifts is leadership, and it would not be fair to myself to suppress this gift of mine where I hold the skills, knowledge, and passion that is needed to lead my peers in the right way…it was my thoughts, ‘well, if I do not do it, who will, and be the change you want to see in the world.’”

Jackson views the position as a way to put critical plans into motion revolving around inclusive and equitable initiatives for the student body.

“I plan to still be involved with our Anti-Racism Task Force, [and] I also plan to continue to work with our administration to combat sexual violence on campus that will consist of increasing awareness, promoting education and re-evaluating the resources and services available now regarding sexual violence,” she said. “Both initiatives are very crucial to have student voices present!”

In an academic year filled with combating the coronavirus on campus and racial tensions across the country, it seemed to bring the best out in students who, now more than ever, have shown leadership skills during one of the most challenging times in recent memory.

“The ambitions and successes of the current USG, coupled with the unusual circumstances of the past two semesters, have led students toward leadership,” said Lower. “Students address the disparities exacerbated by COVID-19 and address the acts of racism and sexism on campus.”

Humbled by the results of her peers that placed her in the driver’s seat, Jackson is ready to take the reins and lead by example.

“I am very blessed to fulfill this role! I am so excited to lead my board and watch us get busy keeping the students’ voices first as we commit to changing our Kent campus for the better,” she said. “A very special thanks to God, my loved ones, the SMC and SSP, which have all had a contribution to where I am today.”

Below is a complete list of elected officials for the 2021-22 academic year:

President: Chazzlyn Jackson

Academic Affairs: Brandon Allen

Business and Finance: Taksch Dube

Marketing and Communications: Kristyn Hibbert

Governmental Affairs: Erik Gomez

Community Affairs: Matthew Misch

Programming: Alice Fermaintt

Student Advancement: Brandon Taylor

Aeronautics and Engineering: Sydney Maller

Architecture and Environmental Design: Rachel Wasson

Arts: Isabella Alvarino

Arts and Sciences: Trevor Walton

Business Administration: Julie Buonaiuto

Communication and Information: Jenna Gilbreath

Education, Health, and Human Services: Riley Elersich

Nursing: Alexis Dubensky

Public Health: Nazli Dum

Honors College: Meghan Williamson

For more on Kent State’s Undergraduate Student Government, please visit http://www.kentstateusg.com/

 

POSTED: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 3:21pm
UPDATED: Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 10:13am
WRITTEN BY:
Matt Lupica