Preliminary election results show that Hardik Bhaskar of A Hunter United has been elected president of Undergraduate Student Government, while A Hunter United is projected to win 20 out of 35 seats in the government.
Bhaskar, who won by a slim 39-vote majority over Adamma Chiamaka Ogbennaya of A Hunter Alliance, has served this past school year as USG’s student welfare commissioner. During the campaign, Bhaskar called upon his experience working with marginalized students and organizing community events. The projected president-elect studies biochemistry and studio art, and he is a thrower on Hunter’s track and field team.
“I am very excited to get working and planning for the next year,” Bhaskar said after learning of his projected win. “It might be the most crucial year because it will be post-covid! But I am ready to get the job done!”
Rising senior Raisa Karim of AHU is forecasted to serve alongside Bhaskar as USG’s vice president. Karim, who ran against Annaliese Gayle of AHA, is currently USG’s senate chair and was previously a freshman senator. A Thomas Hunter Honors student, she also studies biochemistry.
Along with Bhaskar and Karim, five other AHU candidates are projected to win seats in USG’s 2020-2021 executive board. Only one executive board seat is expected to go to AHA, and that is cultural affairs commissioner, projected to go to rising junior Priyal Thakkar.
“I am so excited about this opportunity,” Thakkar said, describing the feeling as “bittersweet.” Referring to her slate, she said “I think that USG needs diversity to reach its max potential. USG needs new perspectives and ideas.”
AHU has dominated USG for a number of years now. In the 2018 election, AHU was the only slate students could run on. In 2019, rival slate AHA emerged as an alternative to what some students saw as an unsatisfactory status quo that didn’t do enough to advocate for students. This past year, AHU governed with a 22-13 majority.
Before the results of this year’s USG election can be confirmed, they will be reviewed by Hunter’s Student Elections Review Committee, a branch of the college’s Student Life office. According to an email from Assistant Director of Student Activities Teneia Wooten, the SERC will be taking appeals to the election results until May 12 at 10 a.m.
Last year, preliminary election results indicated that AHA won the most seats in student government, but the results were invalidated as the SERC claimed that there was a glitch in the independent Vote-Now system Hunter uses to distribute virtual ballots. In the updated results released in the summer, AHU won the most seats.
Projected Senior Senator-elect Chelsea Yu said she was surprised that only 1763 students, or about 11% of eligible voters, casted ballots in this election. “I think some possible reasons are lack of interest in USG and the fact that the Hunter College Students Facebook only makes up a small percentage of the actual student population,” she said, referring to how candidates have had to campaign online because of the coronavirus.
The complete list of projected election winners is reproduced in the table below.
|Executive Board||Projected Winner||Slate|
|President||Hardik Bhaskar||A Hunter United|
|Vice President||Raisa Karim||A Hunter United|
|External Affairs Commissioner||Kayla Benjamin||A Hunter United|
|Student Welfare Commissioner||Mayar Safwat||A Hunter United|
|Cultural Affairs Commissioner||Priyal Thakkar||A Hunter Alliance|
|Evening Affairs Commissioner||Kiran Javaid||A Hunter United|
|Finance Commissioner||Elise Wang||A Hunter United|
|Residence Life Commissioner||Rafael Garcia||A Hunter United|
|Projected Senior Senators||Slate|
|Ismael Ali Moussa||A Hunter Alliance|
|Laura Alvim||A Hunter United|
|Chelsea Yu||A Hunter Alliance|
|Alexis Fisher||A Hunter United|
|Projected Junior Senators||Slate|
|Devashish Basnet||A Hunter United|
|Monira Hasan||A Hunter Alliance|
|Hannah Kavanagh||A Hunter Alliance|
|Salwa Najmi||A Hunter United|
|Projected Sophomore Senators||Slate|
|Roshna Ansari||A Hunter Alliance|
|Afsana Rahman||A Hunter United|
|Olenka Ballena||A Hunter United|
|Lizeth Flores||A Hunter Alliance|
|Projected Freshman Senators||Slate|
|Hira Khan||A Hunter Alliance|
|Alexander Marquez||A Hunter United|
|Projected Auxiliary Enterprise Corporation||Slate|
|Rodela Ahmed||A Hunter United|
|Awaiss Mazhar||A Hunter Alliance|
|Yostina Girgis||A Hunter Alliance|
|Projected College Association||Slate|
|Sonia Hafeez||A Hunter United|
|Stephanie Melendez||A Hunter United|
|Murad Razzak||A Hunter Alliance|
|Kinza Nayab||A Hunter Alliance|
|Projected Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee||Slate|
|Qurrahtulain Ashfaq||A Hunter Alliance|
|Ayah Ahmad||A Hunter United|
|David Guber||A Hunter United|
|Srinidhi Rao||A Hunter Alliance|
|Zara Nadeem||A Hunter United|
|DArtagnan Fernandez||A Hunter Alliance|