The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

img-9619

Engineering sophomores Sydney Baker, Sarthak Jain, Ronak Bhagia, and Arnav Joshi each won a spot on the UA.

Credit: Yoon Chang

After a six-month long struggle to ensure sufficient Engineering representation on the Undergraduate Assembly, a special election on Thursday night has filled the four seats that have been vacant since April.

Engineering sophomores Sydney Baker, Sarthak Jain, Ronak Bhagia, and Arnav Joshi each won a spot on the UA with 98, 72, 70, and 66 votes, respectively.

The newly elected representatives will join Wharton and Engineering sophomore Kshitiz Garg on the student government body. Garg was elected as a write-in candidate in the UA general election in April.

Wharton and Engineering sophomore Akash Jain and Engineering junior Claud Detre finished in fifth and sixth with 53 and 22 votes each.

This election concludes a longstanding effort to fill the four vacant Engineering seats on the UA. 

Zero candidates formally declared their candidacy for a UA Engineering seat in the April general elections. Garg was elected after a successful write-in campaign, and has since been the only Engineering representative on the body.

The Nominations and Elections Committee held a special election to fill the vacancies in September, but again failed to attract any candidates. This prompted the NEC to reform its promotional tactics for the second special elections.

Credit: Yoon Chang

Wharton and Engineering sophomore Akash Jain and Engineering junior Claud Detre finished in fifth and sixth with 53 and 22 votes each.

NEC Chair and College senior Olivia Crocker said the NEC members directly reached out to student groups, such as the Engineering Student Activities Council, and met student leaders in person to encourage their members to run.

Crocker also said this election saw higher voter turnout than past Engineering special elections.

In their statements to the NEC, the candidates laid out the goals they would like to accomplish on the UA.

Baker said she wants to reach out to minority and low-income students in the Engineering school. She hopes to pursue initiatives such as lobbying for subsidized textbooks and access codes and allocating funds for conferences discussing minorities in Engineering.

Sarthak Jain's platform largely consisted of wellness initiatives, such as lobbying for "wellness TAs" for Engineering students for stress management purposes.

Bhagia said he wants to work with Career Services to expand options at career fairs for Engineering students who do not major in computer and information science.

Joshi hopes to work on professional development for Engineering students by creating more ways for them to meet employers and by holding major-specific events for students.

The newly elected representatives will serve until the next UA general election in April 2020.

All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.