USG Elections: Things TU Know

Sophie Abrams, Staff Writer

Between the chalk endorsements taking over McAlister Drive and the countless Facebook event invites, it is clear that election season has come. Starting with the Executive Board election, which kicks off Wednesday, March 20, students have the opportunity to choose their Undergraduate Student Government leaders for the 2019-20 school year.


This year, the USG presidency is the only contested position, marking an important decision for students to secure the future of the Tulane student body.

Frederick Bell transferred to Tulane last year from Louisiana State University but feels ready to lead and make student government relevant to the student body. Among other things, Bell is advocating for introducing a partnership with Lyft or Uber to offer free rides to students, and to expand priority class registration. Additionally, he hopes to be able to help address on-campus housing concerns.

Allison Foster, who currently serves as USG Director of Student Health and Wellness, hopes to continue to make mental and physical health a priority on Tulane’s campus. In her current position, she secured unlimited STI testing and created an online scheduling platform which is used by CAPS for Counseling Services. Foster also wants to continue in making Tulane a leader in sexual assault prevention and support. She believes in a student government that has three qualities: accessibility, transparency and accountability.

Having served on USG Executive Board and cabinet, Joseph Sotile believes he has the experience and knowledge to create a student government that works with students to make the changes they want to see. If elected, Sotile promises to listen to students and advocate for them. In his previous roles, Sotile was active in projects ranging from equipping Tulane University Police with a substance that reduces drug overdose, encouraging sustainability on campus and increasing student engagement with the larger New Orleans community.

Executive Vice President

Lauren Gaines is running unopposed for Executive Vice President. In this role, she hopes to foster a student government that is inclusive and accessible to all students on campus. In order to do this, Gaines says she aims to work with the USG Constitution and Bylaw Review Committee to create a constitution that is easily comprehensible and concisely reflects the views and attitudes of the student body. She also promises to help keep senators focused and increase leadership opportunities within the Senate.

Vice President for Student Life

Adolfo Garcia is also running unopposed for the position of Vice President for Student Life. Garcia’s main priority is serving as an activist that will ensure a more inclusive, equitable and fair experience for all students. He is ready to take on the responsibility to become a changemaker that will transform the Tulane experience and advocate for all backgrounds and identities represented on campus.

Vice President for Finance

John Alexander is unopposed for the position of Vice President for Finance. Having served as a USG cabinet member for the past two years, Alexander feels ready to take on a greater responsibility. While continuing efforts to make the Finance Committee more transparent, he hopes to institute measures that will allow student organizations to better understand the budgeting process. He wants every organization to have the opportunity to understand why the money goes where it does and how the USG Finance Committee can be a valuable resource.

Vice President for Student Organizations

Presley Klinger hopes to serve as Tulane’s next Vice President for Student Organizations. Klinger wants to streamline the process for starting student organizations and increase ease in maintaining these organizations on campus. Additionally, she wants to introduce town halls for all schools in an effort to increase USG transparency as well as implementing external office hours to provide support to students who are looking to start an organization.

Vice President for Academic Affairs

If elected as VP for Academic Affairs, there are a few specific policies Shahmeer Hashmat plans to implement. First, he plans on leading a committee that will urge professors to use online textbooks to reduce the financial burden on students. He also plans on working institute a grade forgiveness program where a letter grade can be officially removed from a student’s transcript if it is within the first two years of college. Hashmat plans to focus on expanding applied science programs and increasing job opportunities that will count towards academic credit. Hashmat has served on the Academic Affairs committee for three years.

Voting will be open on OrgSync beginning March 20 at 9 a.m. and close March 21 at 4 p.m. A link to the voting portal will be sent to all student email addresses the morning of March 20.

For more information on the candidate’s platforms and responses to current issues facing Tulane’s campus, go to

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