Meet the candidates: UB Council 2019-20 student representative

UB Council student representative elections will run April 23-25 and students can vote online through UBLinked. 

The 10-member council oversees and advises the university, its president and the administration. The student representative serves as a liaison between the council and the student body and is included in the council’s decision-making process. 

Student Engagement sent a campus-wide email on Tuesday with a link to the election poll. 

Here is a breakdown of candidates running for UB Council student representative:

Michael Montoro is running for UB Council student representative.

Name: Michael Montoro

Year: First year Ph.D.

Studying: Mathematics

Michael Montoro said he understands the council’s role as an oversight to the university and hopes to push them to utilize this if elected. He said he hopes to institute an “open forum” during council meetings. 

He wants to advocate for “economic justice” at UB, including giving graduate students a “living” stipend, raising minimum wage on campus to $15 per hour and increasing financial support for “financially distressed” departments to keep them from making cuts to staff members. 

Montoro said he’s passionate about making sure building names on campus reflect UB’s priorities and discussed renaming John and Editha Kapoor Hall. 

His platform also includes finding ways to recruit and retain minority faculty members and increasing representation for people of color in UB faculty. 

Currently, Montoro is a member of the Living Stipend Movement and the Young Democratic Socialists of America. 

Montoro said he wants to be “practical” and the “voice of all people” on topics the council has “been silent” on.

Matthew Taboni is running for UB Council student representative.

Name: Matthew Taboni

Year: Sophomore

Major: Management

Matthew Taboni said he hopes to push forward three main initiatives: campus resources, status and student voices.

He said he plans to continue efforts to aid food insecurity and mental health on campus.

Taboni said he would like to implement ideas such as a communal kitchen that will have affordable meals for struggling students, along with continuing UB’s first on-campus food pantry, Blue Table. 

He wants to analyze campus life culture’s effects on students and expand mental health staff and mental health promotion. Taboni hopes this will alleviate the stigma of mental health on campus. 

He also said he wishes to help the Living Stipend Movement advocate for action in increasing graduate student stipends.

Taboni hopes to represent student concerns with topics such as parking and said he will advocate for more gender-inclusive spaces in restrooms and residential life. 

Taboni plans to use his current campus involvement –– including his role as the Student Association’s assistant director of Health and Wellness –– to bring students’ opinions to the council. 

He said his many roles will allow him to help represent UB students from a “unique perspective.”

Brittany Gorny, Alexandra Moyen and Jacklyn Walters are editors and can be reached at