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RUSA starts semester with election for vice president

 – Photo by Photo by Declan Intindola | The Daily Targum

Jessica Tuazon, a School of Engineering senior, was elected Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) vice president at the group's first meeting of the semester Thursday.

Three RUSA members ran to fill the vice presidency after Jaidev Phadke, former vice president and a School of Arts and Sciences junior, stepped down over the summer, as reported by The Daily Targum. Those students were Dominique Little, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, Neeharika Thuravil, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, and Tuazon.

Each representative was given 7 minutes to present an explanation as to why they were running and their qualifications before RUSA members spoke about each candidate’s ability to effectively take the position.

Tuazon said that in her new position she hopes to help the Assembly maximize its potential.

"Coming off of the summer of secretary role, I look forward to helping the president in a more involved role," she said. "I hope to push the committee chairs to go above and beyond their personal and professional expectations. I want the Assembly to continue realizing its immense potential, that’s why I joined RUSA in the first place."

Tuazon ran for president as part of the UKnighted ticket during last spring’s primary RUSA elections alongside vice-presidential candidate Seth Wasserman, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, according to the Targum. Its plans included addressing issues regarding inclusion on campus. 

“There are many groups and departmental organizations that work towards educating students on the issues surrounding sexual violence,” according to the UKnighted campaign site. “With the creation of a Sexual Violence Education Council, we hope to collaborate and bring more effective and larger events to students in conjunction with our efforts to end sexual violence at Rutgers.”

Alongside the election, RUSA also presented what its different committees accomplished over the summer, unveiled a new website, discussed rules and procedures and voted on a voter empowerment bill.

Julien Rosenbloom, chair of the Rutgers Legislative Affairs Committee and School of Arts and a Sciences sophomore, brought a bill before RUSA that would authorize the Assembly to work with Congressman Andrew Zwicker (D-N.J. 16) to help advocate for the New Voter Empowerment Act — a bill that would expand voting rights for young adults in New Jersey.

The student body voted with 29 students in favor and none opposed, permitting the Legislative Affairs Committee to work with Zwicker’s office.

RUSA meetings happen every Thursday during the semester at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Activities Center on the College Avenue campus, and are open to all members of the student body. 

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