UAB junior Angela Lee and sophomore David Gustafson were elected as president and vice president despite running on separate tickets and having different platforms, according to the initial results released by the election commission of UAB USGA.
“EVP platform solely focuses on reconstruction of USGA, but it is only a small scope of what needs to be done to improve connections. I plan to continue carrying out my own platform regarding campus culture, professional endeavours, and student life to address various facets of a student’s experience,” Lee said in an email.
UAB USGA elects a new executive council every year. Two teams of two run for president and vice president having opposing platforms. However, when voting occurs, presidential and vice presidential ballots are different. In the past, two people who run together have always won and served together. Tyler Huang, current USGA president ran with Angela Lee for vice president last year and the team won. This year it looks different.
Lee, a chemistry major, ran for president with a neuroscience sophomore, Abhi Kamath as vice president and Gustafson, an industrial distribution major ran for vice president with a political science junior, Peyton Perry. Lee won popular vote for president and Gustafson won for vice president.
“My deep regards go out to Tyler Huang who has taught me strength and knowledge to pursue initiatives, and my running mate Abhishek Kamath, who has been a cheerleader throughout the entire election process,” Lee said as she wins by a popular vote of 53.11%.
Lee said she is grateful for her victory and is hopeful, but also see combining her and Gustafson’s platforms as a challenge.
“What success doesn’t come with a little challenge?” Lee said.
Lee said major goals are working with administration to ensure accessible student vaccinations and voicing modes for a smooth transition from remote and hybrid learning to in-person instruction are the major goals.
Every USGA presidency is unique, according to Lee and she wants to build a better inclusive and inclusive campus by:
- Building a Director of Student Issues Division that specifically collaborates with campus RSO’s or marginalized groups to identify needs and issues.
- Creating “UAB Answers,” a platform for UAB members to anonymously send in questions, comments, or concerns that can be directed to USGA and/or campus departments.
As president, Lee’s advice to students is to utilize their resources and establish a strong support system for themselves.
According to Gustafson, he decided to run because he felt that he was not being heard by USGA.
“To win this election, for me, it feels like UAB students feel the same way that I do and are asking for change,” Gustafson said in an email.
He said he wanted to dedicate this victory to his running mate Perry and his campaign team.
“Winning without my partner came as a shock, and I was disheartened to find that I would not be working under him during the coming year,” Gustafson said.
Gustafson says that it will be a challenge to accomplish all that he sets out to do on his platform while aiding Lee with her platform.
“I hope that we can find a way to maximize our efforts to get as much of both our plans done this year,” Gustafson said.
Gustafson said he plans to distance himself from the Senate, unlike previous vice presidents.
“I think senators should have a say in the way their meetings are set up and what they cover in each meeting. As a senator this past year, I felt as though we didn’t have control over what we did and it was very frustrating at times. Hopefully, this change can open possibilities for growth in senates capabilities,” he said.
Gustafson said he plans to help UAB students by corresponding regularly with student organizations to make sure that they are heard.
“We are both student leaders whose primary mission is to create change,” Lee said “And I have confidence we will do so as a team.”