Sufia Alam
Campus Editor

As the new academic year approaches, the Undergraduate Student Government Association is hard at work preparing for future with new initiatives and programs to introduce this fall.

Mugdha Mokashi, a senior in neuroscience and a member of the Masters of Public Health fast-track program, will replace Fernando Colunga as USGA President. During the 2016-2017 school year, Mokashi served as the Director of Student Issues for USGA's Executive Council.

According to Mokashi, what will make this year like no other is the return of UAB football.

“We finally have our team back," said Mokashi. “We get our school spirit back. We get our student athletes back. And this time, hopefully all of us will really get to experience some school spirit.”

Along with the return of football, Mokashi has hinted introducing new initiatives such as implementing new sustainability programs, approaching and meeting the needs of many minority groups on campus and bringing awareness to issues such as feminine hygiene and mental health.

Siddharth Srikakolapu, a junior double in neuroscience and philosophy, will rise to the position of USGA vice president.

“My goals include empowering USGA Senators to accomplish their own initiatives by providing them with greater resources and guidance, expanding recycling while reducing the use of Styrofoam at campus restaurants, working with UAB Dining to make small but achievable improvements to the Commons [on the Green] and supporting mental health by building a stronger connection between USGA and UAB Student Counseling Services,” Srikakolapu said.

Renuka Srivastava, a junior in political science and international studies, will serve as the USGA Attorney General this year and plans to bring more awareness of student's representation options on campus.

“Every student on campus should have clear communication with their judicial branch as well as know what to do in their time of need,” said Srivastava. “We’re definitely here to help.”

One initiative all three members of the USGA look forward to is involving the upcoming freshman this year.

“I’m excited to help them learn when you’re very passionate about something, UAB will almost always let you peruse it,” said Mokashi. “I’m doing HIV research on the LBGTQ community at the Dominican Republic all fully-paid by UAB. As a 20-year-old, that’s amazing, and it’s all because I asked.”

Sufia Alam can be reached at sufia@uab.edu.

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