Junior Arju Patel won the Richmond College Student Government Association presidential race on March 23.
RCSGA vice president of administration, Sai Poluri, announced Patel’s victory in an email sent on Wednesday to Richmond College students. The votes were cast via email Tuesday.
Patel credits his win to those who supported him both personally and throughout the campaign, he said.
“I wouldn’t be here without them,” Patel said. “I’m very grateful for the support that everyone’s shown me in the last three years, and I hope I can continue to make them proud as much as they’ve made me proud.”
Patel’s opponent in the election, junior RCSGA Senator Joseph Coyle, said he had appreciated the turnout and was looking forward to what Patel would accomplish as the new president.
“I think RCSGA will progress pretty well,” Coyle said. “He’s been pretty effective as the speaker this year and he definitely knows the ins and outs of the body and how to run it effectively. I’ll also certainly be there alongside him working to make sure the RCSGA runs as smoothly as possible.”
The inauguration ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. on April 6 in the Whitehurst Living Room and all are welcome, Patel said.
While there are two weeks until his inauguration, Patel has planned how he will begin to implement his campaign platform, he said.
Patel plans to start work on parking reforms by meeting with David McCoy, the University of Richmond Police Department chief, next week, he said.
Patel also hopes to collaborate with student organizations this spring to increase education on healthy masculinities in the Center for Awareness, Response and Education, he said.
Overall, Patel’s vision for a more inclusive and united campus community is what inspired him to run for RCSGA president, he said.
“I really care about this place,” Patel said. “I think oftentimes we can get stuck into this bubble of the groups we’re a part of, but I want to encourage dialogue between groups that never talk to each other.”
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Along with the initiatives listed in his campaign platform, Patel plans on continuing the current RCSGA president, senior Anthony Lawrence’s, efforts to increase student input on the renaming of Ryland and Mitchell-Freeman halls.
Growing the bond between RCSGA and Westhampton College Government Association is another top priority, Patel said.
“In order to even get to the other things on my agenda, I need to work with WCGA,” Patel said. “I really do want to create more camaraderie, which means more events together, which means also getting to know each other outside of student government.”
After working alongside Patel for years, junior Jalen Jones, RCSGA vice president of external affairs, said he was happy for Patel and trusted he would do a great job as president.
First-year Nakibul Alam said that Patel would represent the Richmond College and UR communities well.
“His character is definitely aligned with what I want to see in terms of developments at UR,” Alam said. “So I definitely think he will bring the changes that the student body wants to see at UR.”
Poluri, who has known Patel since before coming to UR, also noted that Patel was one of the most hardworking people he had met.
“I can’t imagine leaving RCSGA in better hands,” Poluri said.
Contact news writer Katie Castellani at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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