Who’s who in the SG Exec Race?




Business administration junior Shashank Yalamanchi is running for Student Government President under the SPIRIT ticket. Currently the vice president of Chi Phi Fraternity, Yalamanchi said he believes his sociable personality qualifies him for the role. Business analytics sophomore Frydda Romero is running for vice president under the same ticket; as vice president of membership in Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority and a current senator, she said her experience allows her to support the student body.

“[There were] many incidents with the administration that Student Government really should have been proactive on,” Yalamanchi said. “… This is college, this is UTD, you can get stuff done here, you just have to have the political willpower for it.”

Chi Phi is currently endorsing the SPIRIT ticket. SPIRIT hopes to increase transparency between UTD and the students and increase school spirit by hosting more community events and pursuing the Spirit Rocks’ reinstatement. After the rocks were removed, Romero and Yalamanchi said they were more motivated to run for SG.

“The name goes beyond just being about the Spirit Rocks,” Romero said. “It [is] about us being the spirit of UTD … and really embodying the student body and how it’s more so about our voice and that voice being taken away.”

Romero and Yalamanchi, both with plans to enter the legal field, said they hope to bring that passion to SG.

“We are open to criticism,” Romero said. “We are looking to expand what it means to be a Comet and we’re looking to expand what it means to be in Student Government. So if there’s any criticism, bring it on. We want to know what the student body wants so we can make it happen.”


Devin Schwartz, a computer science and political science junior, is running for president under the Empower Ticket. As a senator, Webmaster in the Communications Committee and former Technology Committee Chair, Schwartz said his experience in SG will help him give back to the community. Sociology junior Debopreeta Bhattacharya is running for vice president under the same ticket. Bhattacharya has served as the Chair of the Student Affairs Committee and on the Homecoming Ad-Hoc Committee. Schwartz described the three main pillars of their platform as solidarity — being in touch with student concerns — engagement — making sure students are comfortable enough to reach out to SG for help—and advocacy.

“[Empower] is about empowering the student body … making sure the things that they want to see done, get done,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz helped implement a petition system and increase activity on the SG website. Bhattacharya has run events like Blank Space and Finals Scream to improve student life, which Schwartz said he hopes to keep.

The ticket is also endorsed by Comets for Better Transit. Schwartz said he wants Empower to continue supporting SG projects like the Black History Month cookout and make SG more accessible to other students.

“A vote for us is a vote for you,” Schwartz said. “We have enough experience and are very dedicated to making sure that your voices are heard. Our goal is to make sure that your voice is heard. Now’s the hour, vote Empower.”


Computer science freshman Nirav Rohra is running for president under the Your Campus, Your Vision :) ticket. Rohra said his fresh perspective can help improve the campus. Graduate student and former senator Vishva Patel is running for vice president under the same ticket.

“I bring a lot of innovative ideas, a lot of mind-blowing ideas,” Rohra said. “Vishva is the person who has a lot of experience, so it’s innovation and experience that are balanced together.”

Patel is a part of North Texas Cybersecurity Association as well as Vice President of Programming for Graduate Student Assembly. Rohra is one of the youngest officers in UTD’s branch of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; this is his second semester at UTD. Rohra said he hopes to use technology to better connect students at UTD.

“Let’s say that you are a JSOM major, and I’m an ECS major. Now there is very little probability that we’re going to meet each other on a day-to-day basis. But let’s say that you posted that ‘oh, I’m playing this thing here’ [on an app] and you were interested in that, that could increase your chances to meet new people.”

Rohra and Patel said they want to focus on improving and increasing housing, improving Dining Hall West food quality, decreasing parking fees, decreasing campus restrictions on student speech and improving training for teacher assistants.

“Students should vote for us because we feel that we are not someone who are the leaders or we’re trying to be a president for a student body,” Patel said. “We are one of them … who have faced these problems ourselves … Students need to see that if there’s a candidate who is there for you at every step for your problems, then they are the best candidates who can get your UTD life easier and more convenient.”



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