Meet the uKnighted Ticket: A Peek into the Spring 2018 RUSA Elections
Voting will be open starting on March 26th
In the midst of being stuck in the monotonous routine of going to class, studying , and enduring the harsh winter weather, a brisk refreshment is coming along: The Spring RUSA elections. The inauguration of fresh faces will bring about change within office as the current executive board members are replaced.
Meet the Top 3 of one of the four tickets running, uKnighted.
Jessica Tuazon is a junior and mechanical engineering major. Tuazon will be (one of two female candidates and the only engineering major) running for President and currently serves as RUSA's Secretary.
Seth Wasserman is a junior and political science major. He will be running for Vice President and currently serves as the Off-Campus Caucus Chair.
Manish Arora is a junior and a Business Analytics and I.T major (aka BAIT). He will be running for Treasurer, and has served as the Treasurer for Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, the Association of Indians at Rutgers, and Hult Prize at Rutgers.
Why did you select the position you're running for?
Tuazon: I believe that wanting to make a difference and being able to are two separate things. I joined RUSA for the opportunity to create change on campus and to speak for Rutgers students without a voice. I have served the student body as Secretary over the past two years, providing organization, stability, and dependability to an office which is essential to RUSA’s effectiveness. Every year, I have learned more about leadership and have always felt a sense of urgency to do more for students. I have put my heart into RUSA and believe that serving as President would empower me to champion change at the University by encouraging inclusivity, promoting public safety, and supporting mental health awareness here at Rutgers.
Wasserman: I know that I have the leadership and organizational skills necessary to best fulfill the duties of VP outlined in the RUSA Constitution. I am inspired to go beyond my duties to make a positive impact on the Rutgers community, and see VP as the perfect opportunity for me to give back and make a difference within the University that I love.
Arora: I believe my skill-set will be an asset to RUSA and the Rutgers community. In the past, I have served as Treasurer of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity, the Association of Indians at Rutgers, and Hult Prize at Rutgers. I know how to prepare financial documents such as budgets, produce necessary paperwork in an organized fashion, and handle receipts, disbursements, banking, and financial instruments along with the Rutgers Student Activities Business Office. For RUSA, I will function as a liaison between the Assembly and Allocations, and always do what is right for the students in an efficient and transparent nature.
What does running for RUSA mean to you?
Tuazon: I have given RUSA all of my passion for the past three years. Over the past two years on the Executive Board, there has not been a single day where I have not dedicated my time and attention to RUSA and its causes of helping students and bettering the student experience. RUSA has given me an outlet to positively impact not only my story at Rutgers, but those of my peers and of future students. For that and all the things I can’t put into words, I will always be grateful to RUSA and the light it has given to my life. I am eager to continue giving back to the organization that has given me so much.
Wesserman: To me, RUSA is all about the service of others and offering student leaders a voice louder than their own. It is a place where students of all backgrounds and beliefs can come together, have a civil discussion on issues that matter, and try to solve problems that students really care about. RUSA contains some of the brightest and most passionate students Rutgers has to offer. It is an honor to serve in RUSA, especially among such an accomplished and esteemed crowd of students.
Arora: Although I am new to RUSA, student government is very important to me. It is truly beautiful seeing people of different backgrounds coming together for the sole purpose of bettering the University in a variety of aspects. By joining such an organization, I can provide more of an outsider’s perspective to tackling various problems and truly allow various new groups of student opinions to be heard. I have spent much of my time admiring those in RUSA, and I believe that now is the perfect time for me to join given my skill set. I am excited to become a part and lead the student body in a positive way.
What emerging issues do you believe are important to the Rutgers student body and how will you equip yourself to take them on?
Tuazon: Now more than ever, students in minority demographics are coming forward to share their unique perspectives and student experiences. The emerging issues are just that, issues that students have always struggled against and are now receiving the attention they deserve. How we are preparing ourselves to work with numerous groups and demographics is by focusing our campaign on inclusion in its broadest sense: giving every student the opportunity to share their voices equally.
Wesserman: I believe two very important issues to Rutgers students are college affordability and sexual violence prevention. Our ticket, uKnighted, has a number of people who are affiliated with Greek life, and I think that it is crucial that Greek life be brought into the conversation to help combat sexual assault at Rutgers. Prevention of sexual violence is a fundamental part of the uKnighted platform, which means supporting efforts like Bystander Intervention Training to bring us one step closer to a campus safer for everyone. In terms of affordability, I have already launched successful initiatives intended to make sure that students are aware of the resources they have available to them for convenience and to save money where they can. I believe wholeheartedly that student voices need to be better heard in the financial decision-making process of the University. During my time in RUSA, I have worked on a subcommittee and co-authored a bill pushing for a more transparent process in allocating student funds and ensuring that when a student puts a single dollar into the University, they have the ability to find out where that dollar ends up going.
Arora: I believe that the Rutgers student body must focus on a very important issue: mental health. Mental health is still a very stigmatized and taboo topic to many, and I would love to help change that. I want everyone to not only spread positivity but to understand that it is okay not to be okay. By doing so, I aim to provide alternative forms of mental health services on top of CAPS. I plan on building upon Scarlet Listeners, fostering peer-to-peer mental health alliance services, having more on campus tabling events promoting positivity and welcoming speakers to campus to share their experiences overcoming struggles with Mental Health.
Why does voting in the RUSA election matter to students?
Tuazon: The elections are the representation of the student voice and your views. If you want to see your ideas and values reflected in the people that have been given the platform to represent you, then vote uKnighted. When you are involved in the process this early, we hope that you will continue to have this conversation with us long after elections and this is what will truly make all the difference.
Wesserman: There are an unprecedented number of candidates running this year for the leadership positions of RUSA. With each candidate, students may have different expectations of the Rutgers student body. Voting for the uKnighted ticket, students can expect constant efforts towards making college more affordable, a never ending effort to make Rutgers safer and more inclusive, and an unparalleled effort to make a positive impact on student life at the University we all know and love.
Arora: Voting in RUSA is an honor we Rutgers students have to all make a difference with or without a RUSA position. This democratic approach truly exemplifies the nature of equality and freedom. In all honesty, as college students, we love to complain about how often we get “RU Screwed”, and by voting, you can easily elect people who have the proper skills, drive, and passion to lead a proper government to prevent such mishaps. Vote uKnighted!
Each ticket also consists of campus senators and/or representatives. uKnighted ticket’s Amit Nitin will be running for Busch Senator, and Anjalee Amin for Busch Representative 2021, as well as 30 other candidates.
You can see where the uKnighted ticket stands on campus issues that matter to you on their website, here.
Before the elections period begins, there will be a Presidential Debate held on Thursday, March 22 at 7:30 PM at the College Ave Student Activities Center.
Polls open on March 26 at 12:00 AM, and close on March 27 at 11:45 PM. Students will receive and email notifying them when the election period beings.