Jimmy Corra elected 2016-17 UB Council student representative
Current SA Assembly speaker to serve as UB Council student representative
Jimmy Corra’s primary goal as UB Council student representative is to share the student perspective.
Corra, a junior economics major and current Student Association Assembly speaker, has been elected UB Council student representative for the 2016-17 school year.
UB Council is the primary oversight and advisory body to UB and its president and senior officers. Voting for the UB Council student representative was held online through UBLinked from April 19 at 12 a.m. to April 21 at 5.p.m. Corra received 350 votes, which totaled in 31.05 percent of overall votes.
The other candidates didn’t miss out on a victory by huge margins.
Rachel Stern received 296 votes, which totaled in 26.26 percent of overall votes. Mikael Holcombe-Scali received 232 votes, which totaled in 20.58 percent of overall votes. Bree Tom received 208 votes, which totaled in 18.45 percent of votes. Forty-one people, who make up 3.63 percent, abstained from voting for any candidate.
Corra said through his experience with student advocacy both in SA Assembly and SUNY Student Assembly, he has gained much perspective on what students are looking for in their education. He said it has also given him avenues to find what students want.
“I’m really thankful that the students invested their confidence in me and voted for me, so I’m going to use that confidence and make sure to serve them next year,” Corra said. “I really look forward to advocating for them.”
A total of 1,127 people voted in the election.
SA elections have been marked with low student voter turnouts. The recent executive board election saw only 6 percent of the student population voting.
Corra said he would like to have more students to vote in elections. He said although he hung up flyers and heavily promoted the election on social media, the voter turnout remained below expectations.
“We need kind of a total paradigm shift, because things are promoted very well right now, elections are promoted well, I would like to see more advertising for the [University Council student representative] position to begin with,” he said.
He said students need to find more of an interest in elections themselves. He said low voter turnout is a problem in the entire country, even with presidential elections.
Melissa Kathan, current UB Council student representative and senior legal studies major, thinks Corra is the right fit for the job.
"[Jimmy] did an awesome job succeeding me as Speaker of the SA Assembly, so I think he'll do a phenomenal job as UB Council Representative," Kathan said.
She she was very impressed with the other candidates and would like to see students from across UB’s schools to continue to run for the position in the future.
Corra said the UB Council student representative has been “kind of an invisible position” in the past, with many students not understanding what the job entails. Corra would like to educate students on what the position is all about in the future.
He said holding elections online is a “double-edged sword.”
“It makes voting more accessible, however not as present, not as in the faces of students,” Corra said. “When there’s voting booths in the Student Union theater, everyone knows where the voting is and people in the Student Union are forced to vote, however people who do not enter the Student Union don’t vote.”
Corra said he’s learned throughout the years that his most important job is to share the student voice rather than his own.
As UB Council student representative, Corra looks to hold monthly open advocacy forums for students in the Student Union theater and Harriman Hall located on South Campus. He also looks to attend various meetings of SA clubs and organizations so he can better understand the student perspective.
Corra said he looks to continue building on the university’s WiFi Boost project, ensure the completion of the Heart of the Campus initiative and advocate for the increase in the Athletics fee.
“He has a lot of specific plans, which is why I think he’ll be a great council representative,” said Megan Glander, a junior political science and communication major and current SISH coordinator. “He has a very well-rounded opinion and kind of gage of what the students want.”
Glander first met Jimmy as a freshman in the SA Assembly. She said it’s great to see that he has grown so much.
She described Corra as a “very relatable” person who treats everyone equally.
Corra said that the elections were a “great race” and each of the candidates performed “really well.”
Ashley Inkumsah is the co-senior news editor and can be reached at email@example.com