Bhaskar, AHU Projected To Win USG Election

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.

Hardik Bhaskar is the projected USG president-elect. Photo courtesy of Hardik Bhaskar

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 BoardProjected WinnerSlate
PresidentHardik BhaskarA Hunter United
Vice PresidentRaisa KarimA Hunter United
External Affairs CommissionerKayla BenjaminA Hunter United
Student Welfare CommissionerMayar SafwatA Hunter United
Cultural Affairs CommissionerPriyal ThakkarA Hunter Alliance
Evening Affairs CommissionerKiran JavaidA Hunter United
Finance CommissionerElise WangA Hunter United
Residence Life CommissionerRafael GarciaA Hunter United
Projected Senior SenatorsSlate
Ismael Ali MoussaA Hunter Alliance
Laura AlvimA Hunter United
Chelsea YuA Hunter Alliance
Alexis FisherA Hunter United
Projected Junior SenatorsSlate
Devashish BasnetA Hunter United
Monira HasanA Hunter Alliance
Hannah KavanaghA Hunter Alliance
Salwa NajmiA Hunter United
Projected Sophomore SenatorsSlate
Roshna AnsariA Hunter Alliance
Afsana RahmanA Hunter United
Olenka BallenaA Hunter United
Lizeth FloresA Hunter Alliance
Projected Freshman SenatorsSlate
Hira KhanA Hunter Alliance
Alexander MarquezA Hunter United
Projected Auxiliary Enterprise CorporationSlate
Rodela AhmedA Hunter United
Awaiss MazharA Hunter Alliance
Yostina GirgisA Hunter Alliance
Projected College AssociationSlate
Sonia HafeezA Hunter United
Stephanie MelendezA Hunter United
Murad RazzakA Hunter Alliance
Kinza NayabA Hunter Alliance
Projected Faculty Student Disciplinary CommitteeSlate
Qurrahtulain AshfaqA Hunter Alliance
Ayah AhmadA Hunter United
David GuberA Hunter United
Srinidhi RaoA Hunter Alliance
Zara NadeemA Hunter United
DArtagnan FernandezA Hunter Alliance

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