Undergraduate Student Government Elections took place March 23 to April 3.
Undergraduate SGA Elections results can be found here.
Candidates for Executive Ticket
Vivek Garimella (President) and Divyesh Gutta (Vice President)
Every single day, Georgia Tech students are changing the world through their work here, and it is important that we holistically support each student during their time on campus. Our campus and Student Government, however, often do not engage with every student in a direct and meaningful enough way to be able to hear and solve their problems effectively. Thus, our vision for campus is to create A Better Tech for All–fulfilling SGA’s responsibility to engage with each and every student in our campus community, regardless of their background or involvements. We understand that there are a variety of issues facing our campus, and we want to ensure that progress is made on them. The classroom can often be a frustrating place, and we want to change that by catalyzing rich faculty-student relationships while also ensuring that faculty are held to modern educational standards. Our campus services are often not accountable to the feedback given by our student body, and we want to change that by implementing thorough and accountability-driven feedback mechanisms. Our campus is falling behind in our responsibility to do our part in solving the climate crisis, and we want to change that by prioritizing sustainability-conscious education, engagement and decision-making across campus. Our campus often does not feel like a connected and inclusive place to be, and we want to change that by empowering underrepresented communities and ensuring that all students on campus are informed and heard on campus issues. A Better Tech for All means ensuring that every student is valued, heard and empowered by every member of our campus community, and we are excited to spend the next few weeks proving to you that we are the candidates to achieve this.
Brielle Lonsberry (President) and Kyle Smith (Vice President)
We are committed to Championing Change, For Us All. To do this we have identified five core areas of focus for next academic year: (1) Ensure continued diverse and substantial student engagement in institute governance; (2) Advocate on behalf of smaller and minority student groups to receive equitable resources; (3) Establish responsibility for proactive communication to students about pertinent information and actively work to stop the spread of misinformation; (4) Bridge the gap between mental health initiatives and academic and campus services agendas; (5) Promote holistic integration of sustainability into Georgia Tech processes. Between our shared expertise in Institute governance and understanding of campus decision-making processes, we know that our experiences in academic affairs, mental health and wellbeing, and cultural and diversity affairs, have prepared us to represent the unique and diverse undergraduate student body here at Georgia Tech. We look forward to the opportunity to support our student body.
Sarthak Navjivan (President) and Michael Keohane (Vice President)
We stand for student empowerment. Our platform is focused on giving each individual student their own decision-making power in the actions of the school, encouraging happier, healthier, and more enjoyable lives for students, and serving not only our campus, but our greater Atlanta community and Planet Earth. Unlike all the other ordinary campaigns, we have planned unconventional tactics—which include decreasing the jurisdiction of the SGA—that will ensure our mission statements are not just blank promises. We are an outsider ticket, unbiased and untainted by the SGA, running solely because we think we can make a positive impact on this school. Students should vote for us because we are the only campaign that is simply focused on the happiness, health, and prosperity of our students, campus, city, and environment.
Candidates for Undergraduate House of Representatives
Noah Shirk: I seek to ensure that all students have a voice and are cared for even if they might not have the clout on campus to make their concerns heard. In the past year, I have developed a record of protecting student organizations and providing funding to projects seeking to improve the mental health of students on campus. Neither of these things are done yet. There will be many other issues and crises that must be addressed in the next year. I believe that I am well suited to represent the students of the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering.
Omar Abed: As an involved member of the GT Aerospace Engineering community, I stand for bettering the undergraduate experience to allow students of the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering to have a better footing in the beginning of their careers. I have a vision that the esteemed School is capable of doing more to provide opportunities and aid to the students struggling (in any capacity) to successfully graduate. This can mean introducing more career connections that the undergraduates can benefit directly, programs for funding/sponsoring undergraduate work (i.e. research, competition clubs) and more marketing/exposure to the events/programs that already benefit students today. Students should vote for me because I genuinely want to work with them and better the undergraduate experience at the School in the ways they see fit. I’ve spent half of my undergraduate career performing research work under the School, and I’ve made my way around understanding how the bureaucracy works in the School and who to communicate when I believe things need to be changed, so I will be able to effectively take in the desires and needs of the School’s student body and make actionable changes to fulfill those desires & needs.
Jacob Tharayil: On August 15th, I started what felt like a new life, a life 830 miles away from the one I knew before. That was the beginning of my life here at Georgia Tech. But after nearly two semesters, my life at Georgia Tech became simply my life, and those 830 miles began to feel less and less distant. Georgia Tech became my home; I found a community here for me. I found that sense of community through my participation in the Grand Challenges LLC, through student organizations like the Yellow Jacket Fencing Club, and especially through experiences like undergraduate research that connected me with others in the biomedical engineering department. As a representative of the biomedical engineering department, I would dedicate myself to making sure that, like me, other members of the Georgia Tech family can benefit from the amazing community opportunities here at Tech. As a new member of the Undergraduate House of Representatives, I’d bring my own views and ideas to the table while faithfully serving my constituents. In short, I’d ensure that the next wave of yellow jackets can find their own sense of community, no matter how different their lives here might first seem.
Jared Butler: I’m running again, so I have a lot of the same ideals as last time, with a few changes informed by my experiences over the past year in UHR and JCOC. SGA still has the same distrustful, vaguely negative/inattentive reputation that I mentioned in the application I filled out last year, and while I’ve had some challenges (the new mailing list system taking so long to get set up comes to mind) I would say that I’ve tried to prioritize accountability and involvement with the community, and it’s been so much fun getting to help out and work with different clubs and groups on campus, especially when I run into my friends! However, as I’ve spent more time in SGA, I’ve also come to realize that the administration is currently failing our students in a lot of ways when it comes to maintaining the kind of campus community and dignity we would all like to see (mental health, sustainability and activism, and other similar issues come to mind) and it’s clear to me that SGA is currently hard at work towards that exact goal! Consequently, I’d like to throw my hat in the ring one more time and keep fighting for the CoC and our students 🙂
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Radha Jagwani: I never ran for student government during high school because I felt like it was mostly people who wanted to add it to their resume rather than actually make change. When I started at Tech, I began to use my voice to speak up for what matters to me, like the environment and undocumented rights through environmental clubs like Students Organizing for Sustainability, and political activism through YDSA. In these organizations, what has mattered to me the most is addressing the issues in which members’ voices, or the general student body’s have been unheard or silenced. I recently helped put out the Fossil Fuel Divestment resolution and the petition to Parking and transportation for an environmentally conscious busing contract. I put a lot of effort into fighting for issues that my peers and I care about. I want to do the same in SGA, and most importantly help students voices feel heard.
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Charlotte Carl: Throughout my first year at Georgia Tech, I have enjoyed being meeting new people, learning new things, gaining new experiences, and being a part of a group of people who are passionate enough to dedicate 4 (+) years of their lives to the same learning objectives that I have dedicated that same amount of time to, myself. In my first year I have been very proud to feel represented in student government as a first year, as a college student in general, as a member of Greek life, as a member of several other organizations, however, one area where I feel that I have been underrepresented is my major. I have heard all of the ways that people in other majors have access to their student government representative(s), and in Earth and Atmospheric Science, we are lucky to be small enough to have a group chat with everyone in our major, and I do not even know who our representative is. I would like to change that and allow everyone in our major to feel adequately represented, to ensure that no one has to feel as underrepresented in their major as we do right now. Though we are small, as our planet is changing and evolving due to climate change our role is not only getting bigger, but our voices must get louder, and student government is just a small way to make that impact.
Mason Favro: I believe that the SGA’s purpose is to represent students as well as to ensure equitable distribution of the Student Activity Fee (SAF) that we all pay into. In my tenure as representative for the School of Economics, I have tried to ensure that the SAF is spent equitably, as well as trying to increase the engagement of Econ students through newsletters and social media content. I will carry on my work of expanding knowledge about SGA’s functions and ensuring equitable distribution of the SAF.
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Tolga Ustuner: I have done nothing but fight for the betterment of the student body this year as the incumbent ECE representative, and will continue to do so in the future. I have passed resolutions condemning the actions of protestors on campus, advanced the standing of ECE centric organizations on campus, and have overall had success increasing transparency and outreach within the student government.
Mihir Kandarpa: As a member of this Representative body, I would be dedicated to bringing real change to the Georgia Tech campus and improving student life. I would ensure that my constituency is fully and properly represented by giving them the opportunity to suggest changes and improvements for the legislative body. Nonetheless, my goal first and foremost is to maintain the high moral and ethical standards of this institution and ensure that the student body is able to strive for excellence by being a part of the many organizations and programs we have on campus. In particular, I will make sure to advance the desires and needs of the ISyE student body. Additionally, I will help this legislative body create the best methods to appropriate all of the funds we have for student organizations, and ensure that the student body is advocating for progress and service in Georgia Tech and the Atlanta community as a whole. As an ISyE representative, I will work tirelessly to make sure the voices of my constituents are heard, and their ideas for student organizations, programs and activities will be implemented. My experience in leadership as a member of multiple executive officer teams as well as a member of an ISyE research center and an SGA Executive Committee will allow me to be vigilant and decisive in advocating for the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering in the Undergraduate House of Representatives.
Rohan Rege: Hello! My name is Rohan Rege, and I’m running for re-election as your School of ISyE Representative! Aside from being in the Undergraduate House of Representatives, I am an ambassador for the School of ISyE. I believe in empowering student organizations and embodying the student opinion. I have been doing so since I was appointed to the House in Fall of 2019, and I will continue to do so if I am elected for a second term. Outside of school, I love traveling, long walks on the beach, and discussing SGA policy by the fireplace. Overall, because of my involvement within the school and Georgia Tech, you can rest assured that I will always have the ISyE student body’s best interests at heart.
Matthew So: I stand for reasonable governance; as an organization serving other organizations first and foremost, SGA should seek to remain discreet in its activities and conservative in its actions. Thus, I would support the streamlining of student government to simplify the funding process and target its resources towards meaningful actions.
Abbas Rehmani: In my position as the ME representative for Spring 2020, I stood for improving student wellbeing on our campus. I did so by working on bringing quiet reflection spaces in different buildings across campus. We will all see it being completed soon! I shall continue to advocate for student wellbeing on the Georgia Tech campus. I loved interacting and making myself available to my peers whenever they needed to speak with me. It was exhilarating to sit through SGA-UHR meetings and I want to continue serving the Mechanical Engineering school as the SGA representative. Additionally, I have created a lot of leadership opportunities for the ME students, primarily by recruiting a team of ME students to launch a new student organization: Georgia Tech Product Management Club (GTPM). To know more about GTPM follow the link: https://www.linkedin.com/company/gtpm I will continue to stand by the ME students and organizations by advocating for their needs at different forums.
Grace Swift: I want to run for Sophomore Representative because throughout my past year as Freshman Representative, I’ve realized what a difference Georgia Tech’s Student Government Association can make. Getting to witness firsthand things like deciding whether or not undocumented students should be allowed on our campus, or funding important organizations and events such as SCPC’s Night at the Aquarium has been an irreplaceable experience. I have spoken up in discussions and voted on important bills that aim to improve the quality of students’ lives, and I would love the opportunity to do it for another year. I’m passionate about making change within our campus, and have been involved with numerous initiatives through both the Government Relations Committee and the Community Relations Committee. I believe that my experience in the House of Representatives, unwavering passion for change, and dedication to the Georgia Tech community make me an excellent candidate for Sophomore Representative.
Jessica Bradley: I am a firm believer of arriving unknown, yet leaving unforgettable. Whether I am being a friend to someone in need, a proud member of the Latino community, a leader of an organization, or simply a classmate to my peers, I strive to inspire others wherever I go. Serving as a SGA Sophomore Representative would allow me to represent my values of authenticity, balance, and empowerment to better my constituents’ experience here at Georgia Tech. By working to spread cultural awareness, to improve our campus’ challenges, and to provide an equal and enjoyable Tech experience for all, I believe I could collaborate with the other SGA Representatives to produce an enjoyable, empowering, and prosperous school year.
Sean Alexander: I want to help represent the students on campus. I already have a year of experience working with UHR and two other committees in SGA to help improve Georgia Tech’s student experience. With this one year of experience, I will be able to even further help make changes through proposals within bylaws and etc.
Suvan Paturi: Student Government at Georgia Tech stands for two things: Progress and Service. As the current freshman representative in the Undergraduate House of Representatives, I believe my legislative experience and my embodiment of these core tenants highlight why I running to once again serve as your representative. To me, communication and transparency are of the utmost importance, and if I were re-elected to become Sophomore Rep, I would maintain a clear two-way stream of communication between my constituents and me via newsletters and surveys. In addition, my experience serving on an SGA presidential campaign team and the Joint Finance Outreach Committee, have equipped me with the skills and knowledge to serve my class to the best of my abilities.
Dheeraj Bandaru: I am running for this position to because I want to impact the Georgia Tech community positively. I want to listen to concerns and understand the inner workings of Georgia Tech and create solutions to some of the biggest issues lowering morale on campus and creating a sense of resentment that is decreasing the populations ability to thrive and succeed. I am looking to work on and represent students in a wide range of things like transportation, food, activities, housing, etc. One of the main things that I would like to increase on campus to increase morale and general student well-being is the Institute’s focus on volunteering and giving back to the community. I feel like Tech could do a lot more to get resources to organizations like this whether it be funding to further increase their abilities to provide for the community or exposure to the general student population so more people who want to be a bigger part of the community are given the opportunity to. I feel like volunteering programs offer a lot of experience and exposure to the issues of the world that will really inspire the students to do something meaningful with the all technical knowledge they have acquired at Georgia Tech. It would also really help Atlanta as a whole as we would be contributing our resources to helping improve the community around us and currently think that the Institute doesn’t do enough to raise awareness for these programs and creating a more diverse group of programs so that everyone can contribute to the cause. It would also be worthwhile to see if there was any way the campus could reward does who volunteer to increase the amount of volunteering done by Tech students. Volunteering not only helps the community, but it also helps create a connection for the students and will help boost morale on campus something that Georgia Tech should be very keen on improving. I am ready to commit and spend the time to improve life of all the students on this campus and would love to represent the junior class in UHR.
Michael Piseno: Georgia Tech has made increased efforts to provide support for mental health on campus and we need to make sure this continues and that we hold those in power accountable. I also stand for continued transparency between Georgia Tech and the student body with regard to their daily operations, which SGA has already done a great job of. Two areas of improvement I see for the institution as a whole are food services and career development. More specifically, we should work with food services to provide not only more healthy food options on campus, but subsidize these healthier options so that cheaper, more convenient access to a variety of healthier foods is commonplace. Secondly, I will push for increased support for student organizations that prioritize career development opportunities such as mock interviews, resume workshops, and research fairs. For seniors specifically, I will set up a platform to provide feedback for their college experience as a whole so that we can target specific areas of improvement and ultimately more accurately embody student opinion. Students should give me their vote because I have the experience necessary to push for the stances I’ve outlined. As a transfer student, I have seen how food services work at multiple institutions and how to push for subsidized healthy options. Additionally, my internships at several industry-leading companies and undergraduate research experience speak to my understanding of what steps need to be taken to get our extremely talented students more industry and research positions early in their college careers. I will prioritize accountability in mental health and transparency in Georgia Tech operations, while pushing hard for cheaper and more plentiful healthy food options and fighting to make sure our students get the best research and industry experience to grow their careers.
Angad Joshi: My name is AJ Joshi, and I know what it’s like to feel out of the loop at Georgia Tech. I believe in open communication, availability, and accountability. I am a fierce advocate for student’s rights and believe that Georgia Tech should primarily exists to serve the interests of students, not profits.
Please click here to see a list of successfully prosecuted elections violations.