Student Assembly Welcomes Freshman Senators

The Student Assembly (SA) of the Undergraduate Government of Boston College welcomed four newly elected senators from the Class of 2021 at their meeting Tuesday. Elected on Oct. 5, the new members will start to share their ideas and work with SA committees.

Kate Canavan, MCAS ’21, began working with student government in high school, and it has become her main passion. She campaigned door-to-door and told other freshmen about her goals and plans for the forthcoming school year.

“After I joined student government, I basically quit everything else to focus on it,” Canavan said. “I want to focus on more reusable options in the dining hall. There’s a lot of disposable cutlery that can be replaced with more sustainable alternatives.”

Canavan expressed interest in the Environmental and Sustainability Committee, the Interpersonal Health and Wellness Committee, and the Conduct and Student Rights Committee. She cares about the rights of students and has many specific plans to bring to BC.

Outside of the SA, Canavan spends her time in Model U.N., the UGBC Leadership Academy (ULA), and partakes in swing dance.

Hannah Chen, MCAS ’21, also began her student government career in high school, and ran for SA to become more involved. She wants to bring in more speakers this year, especially for topics regarding domestic violence and sexual assault.

Chen’s main interest is in the Interpersonal Health and Wellness Committee because she is concerned with domestic violence and sexual assault. She also said she would also be interested in getting involved with the Campus Improvements Committee.

In her spare time, Chen is the director of student advocacy for the Residence Hall Council, is a member of ULA, and plays Women’s Club Lacrosse.

“[One] thing I want to work on is creating a stronger community for freshmen,” Chen said. She plans to listen to her constituents for their opinions and make their goals happen through committee involvement.

Joe Okafor, MCAS ’21, was student body president of his high school, as well as class president for two years. He is currently president of the FitzShawGa RHA, and is active in the AHANA Compass mentorship program.

Okafor wants to advocate for his fellow freshmen, and make sure that no student is without a voice on campus. He is interested in working with the Conduct and Student Rights Committee, as well as the College Democrats. Okafor also wants to challenge and change certain preconceptions about student government.

“The stigma around UGBC that they don’t get anything done is not true,” Okafor said. “In high school, the process of change in student government was slow, but in UGBC everyone works hard.”

Sireesh Vinnakota, MCAS ’21, was class president for two years in high school, and is planning to triple-major in economics, political science, and mathematics, along with being involved in the South Asian Student Association and the Masti dance group. He is particularly interested in working with Intersections Committee, as well as many groups on campus that promote minority advocacy.

Vinnakota wants to explore other applications of EagleID cards, advocate for better and more plentiful vegetarian options in the dining halls, and expand printing services on Newton campus. His platform is based off complaints and inquiries of freshmen students he met during the campaigning process, both on Upper and Newton.

“Coming into freshman year, obviously the transition is extremely hard, the fact that freshman year is going that way it has, I think it’s very important to do what you love,” Vinnakota said. “While I was running, I met a lot of people who were very passionate as well. My passions are other people’s passions.”

Featured Image by Sam Browning / Heights Editor