Empower: ticket of the hour

Devin Schwartz and Debopreeta Bhattacharya to serve as SG’s upcoming President and Vice Presi- dent in the 2024-2025 academic school year

Surjaditya Sarkar | Mercury Staff

Advertisement


With the end of voting on April 5, Devin Schwartz and Debopreeta Bhattacharya were elected as Student Government president and vice president respectively.  

Schwartz, a computer science and philosophy junior, and Bhattacharya, a sociology junior, ran under the Empower Ticket with a campaign focused on three core principles: advocacy, engagement and solidarity. Schwartz and Bhattacharya hope to increase transparency about changes related to SB-17 and better connect students to resources to promote events and advocate for a unified campus community. 

Schwartz has worked as an SG senator,as chair of the Technology Committee before its dissolution and as SG’s Webmaster. Schwartz said he is excited to start serving as president. Bhattacharya, also a senator, has served as the chair of the Student Affairs Committee and served on the Homecoming Ad-Hoc Committee and said she is looking forward to continuing student traditions through promoting events.  

“This was a really competitive election,” Bhattacharya said. “Devin and I had two opposing tickets, great tickets with great ideas that definitely a lot of students were attracted to … I’m very happy and glad that I was able to be around my fellow candidates, [and] see their ideas and how they wanted to run Student Government if they were elected, because I think it’s good to have those perspectives as well.”  

Schwartz and Bhattacharya specifically plan to reach out to more student organizations to get more student voices and opinions involved with Student Government and its resolutions, like what they did when reaching out to organizations such as Comets for Better Transit, UTD Democrats and Students Demand Action for campaign endorsements. Bhattacharya said she also hopes to continue to work with Schwartz to uphold the three pillars of Empower Ticket. One specific pillar Bhattacharya hopes to focus on is advocacy, such as bringing back early voting locations back on campus. 

“Students working together is ultimately what’s going to create change, and that’s what we want to see happen,” Bhattacharya said. 

Schwartz and Bhattacharya also hope to improve SG’s engagement by creating a social media and an in-person presence for Student Government that will help students know more about the organization and the resources and events students can get access to. They also hope to focus on solidarity through talking to administration directly when student issues arise to create an environment where students can feel comfortable voicing concerns. 

“I think we joke about [the lack of] it, but there definitely is a school spirit here,” Schwartz said. “All the passions that students have for various causes, whether that be research, their careers, social causes, and I think our goal should be empowering them as much as we can and enabling them to continue achieving those goals and enjoying their time here.”  

Schwartz is interested in civil rights law and hopes to develop skills during his presidency that he can use to help more people within his community after graduation, while working to make student voices heard at UTD. 

“I think that giving back to the community and making sure that I’m helping people in the way that I can while I’m here is really important to me,” Schwartz said. 

Bhattacharya said her creativity allows her to bring a unique approach to the projects she pursues, and she hopes to continue bringing her creativity to her vice-presidency.   Bhattacharya is already experienced in making engaging events like Blank Space and Finals Scream on campus. Bhattacharya said she and Schwartz joining forces as president and vice president will allow them to make a bigger impact on the student body than they could separately. 

“Devin is very level-headed [and] calm,” Bhattacharya said. “When it comes to working on stressful kind of areas, he’ll be really good at tackling that and maybe calming me down so that I don’t go off the rails … he’s a great person to work with, because we can bounce ideas off of each other and it’s never like he has an idea, I don’t, I have an idea, he doesn’t [because] we both have these great ideas, we both have points we want to talk about. If we combine those … we will be able to make sure that we can reach our goals.” 

Bhattacharya and Schwartz’s passion for advocacy and making sure that everyone’s voices are heard motivates them to make sure UTD’s student body feels empowered throughout their leadership terms. 

“We don’t just want to be these district representatives that are just representing them,” Bhattacharya. “We want students to know that they can feel comfortable reaching out to us about what they want to see done, about what their concerns are about, and we will advocate for them directly to administration or directly to whatever method we need to use to make sure that gets addressed.” 


Advertisement


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *