This Wednesday and Thursday Sophomores Conner Redding and Ryan Callahan will both be on the ballot for the same position. Both students are vying to be the UMass Lowell’s next Student Trustee.
The role of Student trustees is to act as a liaison between students and the board of trustees of the UMass system. They will attend board meetings and represent the needs and wants of the UMass Lowell students.
Redding is double majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, and through his grandfather, an alumnus of UMass Lowell, has attended many events where he has connected alumni and board members. Redding hopes to use these networks to help get student voiced heard. In his two years here at UMass Lowell, Redding has participated in 12 different clubs and was the Treasurer and Marketing Chair of the Pre-law Society for two semesters.
Redding is currently the president of UMass Lowell’s Robotics club where he has helped reorganize the club’s leadership and rewrite its constitution. Under his leadership, the Robotics club has seen an increase of budget, begun competing, and started looking for outside sponsors.
Redding’s main goal if elected is to falcate the integration of the school and the students, meaning he would like to see the school taking advantage of it is many talented students and using them to fill more roles. Redding gives the example of how the school uses an outside company to run the soundboard at Alumni events when it has WUML and Music majors at their disposal.
“The more we can do with our students the better off we will be as a school,” said Redding explaining how his plan would strengthen the school.
Redding’s campaign also focuses a lot on clubs. Since campaigning, he has reached out to every club on campus to introduce himself and ask to talk at their meetings. Redding says that he feels if he reaches out to clubs for feedback, he will get better feedback about the needs of the students, and deeper understanding of the interest of students.
“I want to be open to the people,” said Redding explaining that he has chosen to have his email as readily available to students as possible and encourages them to email him about the issues they are experiencing or noticing, “They are paying a sizable amount of tuition, and their voice needs to be received.”
Ryan Callahan is a Political Science major who has been with the SGA for two years now and served on the Senate for the last three semesters. In his free time, Ryan is also the Secretary for the mock trial team. Callahan is running on a three-pronged platform.
The first part involves promoting and creating more programs and information to educate students on about sexual assault prevention. Some topics he has considered include educating students about consent and about the tools the school offers victims. Callahan knew of two panels on the topic this year alone and believes that the issue is just too prominent for so few events to be enough.
“Unfortunately, I know several students who have been assaulted,” said Callahan, “and the fact that I even know one is unacceptable.”
Callahan also plans to work with Disability Services to increase services available to students and improve accessibility around campus. One issue he points to are bathrooms in O’Leary which Hannah Casey, who is running vice president, had brought to his attention. The bathrooms in question are designated handicap accessible but do not appear large enough to allow a wheelchair to move. Other issues include the pathway behind O’Leary that leads to Sheehy. Callahan notes it is littered with potholes and would like to start the conversation of fixing it.
The last prong of Callahan’s platform is focused on sustainability. Callahan would like to see a lab added to Climate Sciences class which would involve students working with organizations in the community to get hands-on experiences working helping to solve climate problems. He got the idea to include outside organizations when the Office of Sustainably came and spoke at an SGA senate meeting.
Callahan also plans to put pressure on the campus to commit to being 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. He describes the goal as ambitious but believes it is attainable.
“I have done a lot of things on campus and met so many amazing people, and I think that each and every single one of them has something to bring to the table,” said Callahan, “Hearing their ideas and opinions and being able to serve as an advocate for them I think is my main goal here.”