Jessica Giannone, General Assignment Reporter:
Representing the voices, concerns and hopes of Southern, Benjamin McNamee is the new student trustee for the Connecticut State University System Board of Trustees.
McNamee, who received 62 percent of votes, said as a trustee, he wants to inform students of votes and changes that are coming up and what that means for them as students.
“I’d like to fight for their rights and opinions at the system level,” said McNamee.
He said he was “really, really excited” as he pointed out his gratitude for the large effort put forth by the many people campaigning for him.
The other candidates were David Langer, who received 32 percent of votes, and Briana O’Neil with 6 percent.
Langer, who was elected for president of the Class of 2013 with 90 percent of votes, said he is very happy for McNamee and that he is a “very good” and “well established member” of the university.
“I respect him very highly, and I wish him the best with the role,” said Langer. “I am not surprised, Ben is a very well-known person and very widely respected. It was a great election.”
McNamee said the candidates had a good debate, and expressed that Langer would have been a great representative as well.
The student trustee position, which is occupied by one student from each university, along with the other 14 representatives of the board chosen by the governor, serves as a way to represent each university and partake in the duties of the board.
The board governs the four state universities and takes actions such as appointing the CSU chancellor, viewing university policies, working on tuition, fees and accreditation, and approving programs and
“I have a pretty good grasp on the system issues,” said McNamee, as he expressed he is very updated
and informed on the current issues of the BOT, “and being able to speak on those points won’t be too difficult for me.”
McNamee said he is excited he received positive news about the board, which is that it seems it might remain autonomous from the community colleges, but noted it could change. He said he has gained confidence to speak to administration about student opinion and how their policies affect lives.
Regarding the election, McNamee said his campaign strategies were successful because he tried to think of creative ways to promote. He said he had people set their Facebook profile pictures as a logo that was created. He said people also stood outside from 12-3 p.m. Monday through Thursday with banners saying “Mac’s got your back.” He said he was happy about how many students knew about the election, and the reactions he received made it seem like election numbers were higher this year than they had ever been.
For people who want to run next term, McNamee recommended they find unique ways to reach out to students, rather than the typical flyer, as he noted public relations “stuff ” can be difficult at times.
McNamee added that the election process and campaign were very “clean” and positive.
Langer said he is happy about the turnout and support that people have given him and that it was definitely a good experience. He said he plans to continue to run the Class of 2013 and work with his student counterparts more and more so Southern will continue to flourish.
“Ben, congratulations, I think you are the best man for the job,” said Langer. “It’s been an honor just to run beside you, and I know you will do big things.”