Election 2019

The GSA Election Committee is pleased to announce the results of the 2019-2020 GSA Officer Elections:

President:

Jessica Coley: 207
(42 abstentions)

Vice President:

Connor Walters: 200
(49 abstentions)

Treasurer:

Joshua Joseph: 203
(46 abstentions)

These elected candidates will officially take office as of June 1, 2019.

Thank you to all of the graduate students who participated in these votes!

Sincerely,

Taylor Glausen (EC Chair)

Xingyu Chen (EC)

Congying Wang (EC)

Valerie Long (EC)

Priyanka Kuchal (EC)



The Candidates

For President

 Jessy Coley

“Jessy for President: Fighting for Living Wages, Representation, Transparency, and an Inclusive UB for All.”

It has been an honor to serve as your GSA President for the 2018-2019 academic year. I ran last year with hopes of bringing about change to UB. From low wages for TAs/GAs, to lack of transparency from university administration around rising fees, UB has routinely taken advantage of its graduate students. Food Insecurity was another concern of mine; the implementation of a food pantry for all students is necessary. As someone who has faced food insecurity during my time here at UB, it was important for me to play a part in helping end it for all students.

Over the past year in office, I’ve done the following:

  • Advocated on behalf of graduate students for living wages for TAs/GAs.
  • Met with UB administration to discuss required fees and how they can be decreased.
  • Advocated for the implementation of a food pantry to UB administration.
  • Met with the head of Transportation and Parking to discuss the overwhelming lack of adequate parking on North and South Campus and the drastic need for improvements.
  • Expressed concerns about lack of representation at UB and fought for inclusivity as a Black Queer Woman and first-generation graduate student.

With the help of the rest of the e-board and the GSA office staff, we have been able to bring about positive change. There is still much to be done–the majority of TAs/GAs are still not receiving a living wage for their valuable contribution to the university. UB, as an institution, would crumble without GAs/TAs, but they continue to pay us the bare minimum and ignore our calls for a change or even a valid explanation. That is unacceptable! Broad-based fees are continuing to increase without transparency about how they’re being used and examples of how they will benefit graduate students. That is unacceptable! UB Administration is still widely inaccessible to graduate students to voice their concerns. That is unacceptable!

 As your President for the 2019-2020 academic year, I’d continue to address these issues and fight for a change. Being a member of a movement that is creating change for those who not only need, but deserve it is vitally important to me. As your President, I will be not the leader but a member alongside you working towards our common goals. I, along with the other members of the current e-board and the GSA staff, have worked diligently to create positive change for graduate students at UB because we are worthy of it. Electing myself, as well as the current members of the e-board, Connor Walters and Joshua Joseph, would mean that we could continue to do the work we’ve begun in making UB not only better for current graduate students, but also for future ones. 

For Vice President

Connor Walters

“For the continued success of all of our graduate students.”

With nearly two years of experience as GSA Vice President, I am confident in my ability to continue in the role. I genuinely love this job, working with clubs and with GSA staff to create a warm environment on campus. I love the people I have met and the fantastic aspirations they have, and I love working with them to figure out a way to make those goals for their club a reality. I cannot put into words how rewarding I find this work.

The most challenging part of the Vice President role is reaching out to club leaders when GSA policies are violated. I take these situations very seriously, and use the communication skills I’ve learned as a social work student to resolve these issues calmly. Because of this, I have been able to help clubs to get back on track from a restorative, rather than punitive, perspective. I want to see every club succeed. I am always open to graduate students coming to talk to me about any issues they are having, walking them through paperwork they might need, or referring students to appropriate resources when an issue is outside the purview of the GSA.

Going into the next year, I have identified some recurring issues that could be resolved to make life easier for our clubs. I am in favor of an online learning module to replace traditional officer training, particularly for people who have already attended an in-person training. I also would like to help clubs that do not have a singular departmental Listserv become comfortable using the University’s Listserv technology for email. Particularly for special interest and international clubs, this allows people to self-select their membership on a club’s mailing list easily, and controls who is able to send a message to everyone on the email list. This helps to guard against rare cases of individuals who might take advantage of being able to email an entire club but should not have the authority to do so.

Further, there are efforts that I am interested in that are, frankly, well-timed. The University is pushing for all websites – including the main GSA and all club websites – to meet ADA compliance by November. This gives us a necessary reason to be very mindful around issues of accessibility – something I am already passionate about. Additionally, the ongoing incorporation of the GSA is going to mean rewriting and rethinking some of our documentation – I am excited at the idea of having more standardized documentation to minimize any difficulties when students graduate and roles are turned over. I also want to continue to listen to feedback from students and be as inclusive as possible.

Overall, I am so thankful to have had this wonderful opportunity working with and representing students. I am so proud of all of our clubs, and I hope you will vote for me so that I can continue to help you succeed.

Thank you so much,

Connor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/WaltersGSA/

For Treasurer

Joshua Joseph

“Bank on me I’ll treasure your vote! Turning cents into dollars, it all adds up!”

I am running for Treasurer because I have great organization and communication skills to bring to the position. I have experience required for the position in regards to cash flow analysis and the availability of funds to meet ongoing operation costs. I am by nature very detail oriented and anticipate being very attentive to GSA forms and files. I have a unique ability to read and interpret standards, legislation and practice from industry, which was required from a previous employer. I am able to lead activities, take responsibility for correcting problems and receptive to change. I am confident that I will be able to learn the tools and software necessary to accomplish the tasks with this role quickly and efficiently.  I take great pride in collaboration with my colleagues in academia and in industry. I am enthusiastic about developing organizational strategies to streamline funding matters for areas where grad students need money the most. I think the GSA does great work advocating for grad student needs, and I would greatly enjoy being a part of this organization while representing UB.

Website: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshua-joseph5/

Be sure to vote!

Sincerely,

GSA Election Committee

Taylor Glausen, Election Committee Chair (Microbiology)

Xingyu Chen (Global Gender Studies)

Congying Wang (Computer Science Engineering)

Priyanka Kuchhal (Finance)

Valerie Long (Classics)

Details concerning election procedure can be found in the 2019 Election Code.