September 15, 2019 | 75° F

RUSA election results are in, Virani wins

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Jhanvi Virani, a School of Arts and Sciences junior and future president of Rutgers University Student Assembly, said she was looking forward to seeing the energy from the elections carry on to the start of her term next semester.

Preliminary results for the 2019 Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) elections suggest a general victory for the "Our Rutgers" ticket.

Headed by School of Arts and Sciences juniors Jhanvi Virani, student affairs committee chair, and Aneesh Deshpande, academic affairs committee chair, "Our Rutgers" ran on a platform of improving the Rutgers undergraduate experience through student government. Virani is now set to become the first female Asian American RUSA president, with Deshpande serving as vice president. Nicholas LaBelle, a Rutgers Business School sophomore, will become treasurer.

"Our Rutgers" candidates also took 5 out of 7 available senator at large positions, as well as the majority of campus representative and senator roles.

In an interview with The Daily Targum, Virani said: "I couldn't be prouder of how 'Our Rutgers' did in this election. Even students who ran unopposed put in the time to get out the vote and campaign for their fellow ticket members, many of whom did have competition on the ballot.”

She said she is excited to see the energy from the election carry forward in the start of her term with fellow elected representatives and to see who runs in the upcoming executive board elections. 

Those running as independents did have some success, most notably with Isaac Velez, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year, becoming the College Avenue Class of 2022 representative, and Pramodh Manian, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, winning the role of off-campus senator.

"Our Rutgers" was the only ticket on the ballot this year, with Virani, Deshpande, LaBelle and many senators running unopposed.

In an interview with the Targum last week, Virani discussed her priorities, which included advocating for mental health services on campus, alleviating the rising costs of college and addressing sexual assault culture on campus.

Discussing his taking over the role of vice president, Deshpande said: "I am extremely excited to be rewarded with the opportunity to serve our student government in this capacity. 'Our Rutgers' is a group of passionate students that are focused on the student experience, and I am confident that working with Jhanvi and the rest of the assembly will result in success.”

The new assembly will take over on April 11 with the "Passing of the Gavel." To see the full list of preliminary results, go to or visit the Facebook page.

Nicole Wootton-Cane

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