Make Your Voice Heard: Graduate SGA Elections Underway
Get to know more about the Graduate SGA executive ticket candidates and their platforms.
Graduate Student Government Association (SGA) elections are now underway. Graduate students can cast their votes at elections.gatech.edu, and polls close March 31.
This year, two teams of students are running for graduate SGA leadership. Get to know more about them below.
Meanwhile, undergraduate elections are now in a runoff, with polls closing March 30. Read below for more information.
This third-year electrical and computer engineering Ph.D. student has been involved in SGA throughout his graduate studies at Tech. He chose to run for president in order to “advocate for students’ concerns and help the university solve them.”
“I’ve been involved in SGA with increasing levels of responsibility. Having worked on many past initiatives, I believe that I’m best suited to build on this prior work with new ideas," Prasad said. He considers himself a unique candidate for this position. “Being able to navigate Tech’s complex organizational hierarchy to bring groups together requires a firm understanding of SGA and other stakeholders. As I worked on or directed many SGA initiatives, I gained insights into graduate concerns and ways to aid Tech’s administration in addressing them."
Prasad has served as a senator and vice president of graduate life in Graduate SGA. His current platform revolves around advocacy, resource improvements, and collaboration.
Prasad hopes to push for “recognizing graduate student issues of wellness, financial stability, and social isolation.” He plans to improve advisor-advisee relations and work toward stronger Institute grievance redressal policies. Finally, he hopes to collaborate more closely with Undergraduate SGA to make improvements in student life more inclusive and successful.
Prasad is passionate about the graduate community and hopes to serve them to the best of his abilities.
“Talk to [Grad SGA], hold us more accountable, question us, join us," he said. "You’ll see that there’s so much that we can do to make your experience at Tech more fulfilling.”
Muhammad Fahad Razzaq
Razzaq, a first-year electrical engineering master’s student, has been involved with SGA since he enrolled at Tech. He has served as a senator and worked with the Joint Campus Organizations Committee.
“I got insight into SGA and I would like to get more involved by serving in an executive position," he said. "I feel that I am experienced and will have more time next year to devote to the role.”
Razzaq’s platform is focused on encouraging graduate students to get involved in extra-curricular activities and make the most of their time at Tech. “Georgia Tech is a very competitive school and it keeps its students busy most of the time," he said. "This leads to increased stress levels, but there are still people taking part in campus organizations.”
He hopes to bridge the gap between students who are not involved in extracurricular activities and students who are active in the campus community. “We can create a healthy balance between studies and fun. This would improve performance and mental well-being.”
Razzaq plans to make Tech’s environment better for everyone by encouraging kindness, respect, and equality.
“We must strive to make our surroundings more welcoming,” he said.
Vice Presidential Candidate
Unlike undergraduate elections, president and vice president are elected separately in Graduate SGA. Vineet Ravi Tiruvadi, a fourth-year biomedical engineering Ph.D. student, is running unopposed. As a student in Tech's joint biomedical engineering program with Emory University, Tiruvadi has served as a senator in both Tech's and Emory's SGA. His goals are to increase the voice of graduate students, reduce non-academic financial burdens to graduate students, champion critical graduate student services, and engage and foster the graduate community at Tech.
A Message to Graduate Students
Both presidential candidates encouraged the graduate community to vote in this year’s election.
“Since graduate students are often too busy to directly involve themselves in advocacy of important matters, they tend to become a silent and unrepresented minority," Prasad said. "The voice of the graduate student body president is possibly the most direct way for graduate students to be involved. I encourage grad students to hear the respective platforms, discuss their concerns with SGA, and get more involved — and that starts with voting in this election.”
Razzaq pointed out that graduate students already have a financial stake in SGA activities, so they should make their voices heard in how resources are used.
“SGA is responsible for allocating funds from the student activities fee that we all pay, so it is important for all of us to be involved in the process," Razzaq said. "As responsible members of the graduate community, we must take some time to decide which topics matter to us. This makes elections very important.”
Undergraduate SGA elections are now in a runoff between the Sujay Peramanu/Richard Wang ticket and Lizzie Lisenby/Connor Brogan ticket. Read more from the Technique. Undergraduate students can vote through March 30 at elections.gatech.edu.