Student Body General Elections

The Student Body General Elections to appoint a new student body president, vice president and university system student board representative will begin at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 29 and will be open for voting through Friday, March 31.  To vote, students can find the ballot on Wildcatlink during the allotted times. The winners are expected to be announced this weekend. Not sure who to vote for? Here are the candidates’ answers on a few important issues to help you get to know them better.  Your voice matters, so be sure to vote.

Carley Rotenberg and Alexandra Burroughs

(Left) Alexandra Burroughs, (Right) Carley Rotenberg

My name is Carley Rotenberg and I am currently your student body vice president. I am a junior political science major, in Army ROTC and involved in other things across campus. My running mate is Alexandra Burroughs, a junior psychology and justice studies major, sister in Chi Omega Fraternity, member of Greek Inter-varsity and numerous other organizations. Serving as student body president is something we are passionate about because we know that if we are elected we can make a positive change. We are fortunate here at UNH to have a very diverse community that deserves equal representation across the board. Representing all students and portraying what they want to administration is no easy task, however Alexandra and I are prepared and up to the task.

What do you think the best way to communicate with students is?

The best way to communicate with students is face to face. Being present with flyers and posters in highly populated areas like Union Court and HoCo during lunchtime is one of the most effective ways of getting students attention. Social media is definitely a good way of communicating as well, but it is not as credible and does not carry as much weight as talking to someone in person can.

Do you have experience working with administration? How will you go about communicating student concerns with administration?

As current student body vice president I have an abundance of experience speaking to and meeting with administration. I have spent countless hours working with faculty and staff across campus advocating for what students want and working with them to create change. Alexandra has worked with faculty within the MUB, and Alumni as Chi Omega Alumni Director. Something students are fortunate to have the ability to do at UNH is communicate with administration that is so willing to talk to students. Faculty will happily sit down with students, and this is how I would voice the concerns of students, by speaking to them one on one.

What is the first issue you would look into?

The first issue we would look into is following up on the Student Senate resolution regarding President Trump’s travel ban and how President Huddleston is dealing with President Trump’s changes that affect students here at UNH. I want to learn what can be done here as students and how Student Senate can help more. This issue is time sensitive and pressing and needs more attention drawn to it.

What are the top 3 issues you would address?

The top three issues we will address are getting funding for the PCAC, reworking the snow removal process for next winter and making students overall more aware of Student Senate and what we can do for them to make a difference.

Why are you running?

Alexandra and I are running because we genuinely believe that we have the experience, knowledge and ability to advocate for students in a positive way. We know that we have voices big enough to make sure that students are heard and positive change can come out of our representation.

What makes you different than the other candidates?

What sets us apart from the other candidates is that we have an understanding of what it takes to make a change on campus and will take an educational approach on these changes instead of demanding unrealistic things.


Chris Mignanelli and Luke Daly

Chris Mignanelli


Luke Daly

The University of New Hampshire Student

Government should embody the voice of the entire student body, fighting to protect our rights as students and people. Through my experiences at this institution, I feel that this high standard is not being upheld by our student government. I want to show the student body that, when we all stand together, our voices are profoundly powerful. That has been the goal of my campaign, to ensure more students are getting their voices heard.

What do you think the best way to communicate with students is?

Showing up to clubs, orgs, hall councils and student meetings. Listening to what our students have to say. It is as simple as that. This shouldn’t be a revolutionary idea, but unfortunately many of the groups I visited cited the lack of visibility of student government as a major concern to them. I believe being engaged with the student body is pertinent to the success of any student body president, not just during the campaign trail. Luke and I have gone to multiple hall councils, orgs and Greek Life chapter meetings, listening to the concerns of students and talked about how we can work together to fix them.

Do you have experience working with administration? How will you go about communicating student concerns with administration?

I have made many strong connections with university departments such as Residential Life, Housing, Office of Community Standards and the Board of Governors, to name a few. I believe the strongest way to communicate student concerns with the administration is to bridge the gap between these resources and the students. Holding open forums in which both student body and administration representatives can ask and respond to questions will be extremely productive. Ultimately, it comes down to working with both sides to find a solution that is progressive in scope, yet realistic with current university resources.

What is the first issue you would look into?

Transparency and communication between student government and the student body. These issues go hand in hand. This has been a notoriously poor area for our student government for many years, and I intend to fix that. I believe that social media needs to play a bigger role in informing students of what action student government is taking. We should have a weekly email and social posts available to all students outlining what we are discussing, what resolutions are on the table and why. On top of this, I believe every student organization and hall council should be at least offered a chance to have a student senator come in and take questions once a semester. We need to do better by the students. The student’s voice is important and we need to realize that.

What are the top 3 issues you would address?

Transparency, improving student resources and fiscal responsibility will be my priorities. The whole goal of our campaign is to allow the student voice to be heard, and these three areas are what our student body has expressed the most concern for. They want representatives that fight for them, but are accountable for the actions they take. They want support for student resources that ease their problems. They want a university willing to spend money to make necessary changes to support student growth. The issue is there is a disconnect between what student senate has been doing, and what the student body has been asking for. If elected, I will make it my mission to align the actions of student body government with the concerns of the student body.

Why are you running?

The University of New Hampshire is such an incredible campus with an even more impressive student body. Being given a chance to represent this passionate and driven community has been such a humbling experience for me. Regardless of the outcome, I am very proud of the great work Luke and I have done to give students the opportunity to have their voice heard. At the end of the day, I will always continue to fight for what we all deserve as students of UNH and that is what my campaign is all about. 

What makes you different than the other candidates?

I have not been part of the student government. The other two candidates are strong and passionate individuals, but they were both involved with the affairs of student government. While some successes have resulted from this past year’s assembly, their experience is consistent with the problem of student government, not the solution. So many students and campus organizations still feel as if their voice hasn’t been heard, which is unacceptable to me. I have been integrally involved with the student body through two years of service as a resident assistant and continue to do everything I can to hear from UNH students. My campaign has, and always will be, about giving students a voice.


Elena Ryan and José Calvo

University System student board representative-elect

Hello, my name is Elena Bjerregaard Ryan, I’m a junior political science, international affairs and women’s studies major, and I am currently running to become your next student body president. Although most of you don’t know me, I hope my experience and passion about this work will convince you that I am the most qualified candidate for the job.

What do you think the best way to communicate with students is?

I believe the best way to communicate is always to be engaging in the community, whether through participating in events or meeting with students who have a stake in what student government is working on. It is important that we as representatives are involving relevant students in the work we are doing across the institution, as well as adequately informing students about what is being worked on and accomplished. A step toward opening lines of communication more would be to have weekly or monthly newsletters come from our office that students can subscribe to, as an addition to the senate page that is already published in TNH. Having more town halls, and question and answer sessions with students, like the ones being held by President Huddleston currently, would also go toward having more solid communication with the student body. I want not only for students to know what is happening in student government, but feel connected to the student government body, and to me and José as people.

Do you have experience working with administration? How will you go about communicating student concerns with administration?

Although I haven’t dedicated the majority of my time at UNH toward administrative work, I have participated in projects with Administrators, like the Breaking Bread program launching next week and efforts relating to the bias incidents that have happened on campus after the election. I do, however, believe I have an extensive understanding of how this institution functions, by having put a great amount of energy into learning as much as I can through representatives in Student Senate and students that do interact with the Administration. Most importantly for communicating concerns of students effectively, it is fundamentally about creating a balance between having a good relationship to Administrators, while still not being afraid to voice your opinion when needed to truly fight for students.

What is the first issue you would look into?

The high cost of attending this institution is something that affects every student on this campus, and the first issue we will tackle is your tuition. New Hampshire is dead last in the country in its ranking of the proportion of state funding that goes to higher education, and as of now the budget for university state funding is not increasing. This is putting students, especially out-of-state students, at risk for having their tuition go up. Because of the wide scope of this issue, it will be one of the first things that we tackle when in office. We will ensure that the university makes it a priority to keep tuition frozen and keep costs down for students. We want the university to continue to move in the direction of making higher education more accessible to all young people, like they have already done with their program to have in-state students on a Pell Grant get their degree tuition free.

What are the top 3 issues you would address?

Firstly, we want students to feel connected to student government and their representatives and we know Student Senate can seem far away from the daily lives of the student body. Working with the Student Senate for the time that we have, we have no doubt that the representatives within the body are truly dedicated and working hard to better the lives of students. These efforts are however not always conveyed very well to the larger student body, and we will work toward bettering that communication, through bi-weekly newsletters from our office, and having more open forums for students to engage.

Second, one of the most substantial ways we can directly affect students’ lives is by getting money back into their pockets. Our efforts to reduce costs will go beyond just having tuition stay frozen and attempting to lower fees, but will also be realized through more innovative means, like ensuring UNH is participating in the Open Educational Resources program to make textbooks available online for free and expanding employment opportunities for students.

Third, the well-being of students is essential to students having a successful college experience. We want to guarantee that students have the level of care and services they need to be able to flourish, both mentally and physically. Health Services, the Counseling Center and programs like SHARPP need to be supported and strengthened, so they are providing the type of care that students need.

Why are you running?

I am deeply invested in this community, and I feel a duty to ensure that it is thriving to the best of its ability. I have a desire to improve the world around me, and the place where I believe I currently can affect the most change is within this campus and with my fellow students. Being in a position of leadership and motivating a team to successfully implement change is something I know that I am good at and is exactly what the student body needs from their representative. Engaging in this type of policy work is something I am genuinely passionate about, and something I intend to dedicate my life to.

What makes you different than the other candidates?

Not only have I been involved with the UNH campus, but I have been immensely involved in the outside forces that affect it as well. Much of the work that I have done at this institution has been about getting students mobilized to engage in the political processes that affect them, and so I have gained a unique understanding about how those outside processes work, and how they interact with this university. This gives me distinctive skills in the advocacy work I will be doing on behalf of students inside and outside of the institution. I also have substantial leadership experience and training, by running a major organization on campus for two years, as well as having positions on an executive board and as a chair, and working as a leader for programs like PAWs. I am confident that I am a person capable of successfully navigating both the dynamics of making a working group function well, and the logistical ins and outs of this institution.

While this of course is an ample amount of information about me and my run for President, it only scratches the surface of what my plans are for this governing body and institution. I highly encourage you to further look into my platform, and the platform of all the candidates, so you can make as informed a decision as possible. And most importantly, make sure to vote!

University System student board representative

Christian Merhab

What do you think the best way to communicate with students is?

As a member of the Student Senate for the past two years, I have seen what I believe truly works and what does not in reaching out to students. If I am allotted the opportunity to be a student representative on the Board of Trustees, I would continue to conduct small town hall opportunities with groups on campus to hear their concern and work to address them in a timely manner. Additionally, I would continue to hold regularly scheduled office hours to be consistently available to students.

Do you have experience working with administration? How will you go about communicating student concerns with administration?

As a past student senate business manager and campus structure chairperson, I have worked with key administrators in charge of student life and I have worked hard to ensure that the relationship between students and administration is strong and productive. I will make sure to continue being steadfast in my meetings with administration and work to form productive, long-term relationships that will benefit students.

What is the first issue you would look into?

One of the first issues that I would look into is how to solve the problem of rising UNH tuition. I will work closely with state officials and university administrators to hopefully freeze (and work toward lowering) UNH’s tuition. I am extremely passionate about this issue because all students are struggling with the high cost of tuition and I want to do everything in my power to help them and make college affordable.

What are the top 3 issues you would address?

My top three issues are cost of tuition, greater support for Fraternity and Sorority life and implementation of more open educational resources in classrooms (free or low cost textbooks). As a student, the cost of college and textbooks is extremely cumbersome. Over the past six months, I have worked for the current board representative as his senior policy advisor and I believe that those are two domains in which a board representative can push for great change. I have already begun working on an initiative to lower textbook costs and will continue to do so regardless if I am elected into this position. As a fraternity man and the current interfraternity council president, I have worked hard to help Greek Life and will continue to ensure that their voices are heard. Many fraternities are struggling to obtain housing and I hope to work with officials not only in state and local government, but also at UNH to alleviate this problem.

Why are you running?

While growing up my parents instilled within me a sense of duty and dedication to the community. For this reason, I have always sought out opportunities to help people and be the voice for those without one. After working in student leadership, I believe that being a student representative to the Board of Trustees is the best way to continue the work that I have been doing.

What makes you different  from the other candidates?

I believe that my experience and track record sets me apart. Over the past two years I have worked hard in the Student Senate advocating for reforms and will continue to do so regardless. I currently work for the student board representative and I have an in depth understanding of what the job entails and how I can continue the great work that past representatives have accomplished.

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Executive Editor