Executive Board

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Devashish Basnet

Devashish (Dave) Basnet ’22 is a Jeanette K. Watson Fellow, Eva Kastan Grove Fellow, Mellon Public Humanities Scholar, Roosevelt Scholar, HCAP Research Fellow, Phyllis L. Kossoff & Thomas Hunter Scholar who grew up in Nepal, and looks forward to a career in public service. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a certificate in public policy,  and minors in music, human rights, and Asian-American Studies at Hunter College in New York City. Devashish has worked in the non-profit and policymaking sector, specifically working towards migrant and vulnerable refugee protection policy with the International Rescue Committee in New York and Arizona, and worked as a lead student organizer for the Student/Farmworker Alliance. After serving as a Human Rights Legal Fellow at Justice Centre Hong Kong, the Fund for Peace, RAICES, Devashish has worked to protect immigrant populations across the country. As the President of Hunter College's Undergraduate Student Government, Devashish strives to be approachable, transparent, and dedicated to improving the student experience at Hunter. 

Email: devashish.basnet@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/devashish-basnet-263b12150/

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Kayla Benjamin
Vice President

Kayla Benjamin is a junior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Japanese Language. Aside from USG, she is also a Student Ambassador (SA) for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, is a College Assistant for the ICIT Department, and volunteers as a tutor for the Japanese department. In USG she has served under the Ambassador Program and as the External Affairs Commissioner for Spring of the ’19-’20 term, as well as the whole ’20-’21 term. Kayla loves learning languages, playing dominoes, and listening to music in her free time. As your Vice President, Kayla hopes to make the transition from online to in-person go as smoothly as possible for students. As she aspires to make Hunter a welcoming place for incoming, current & transfer students, she is always available for contact through email, social media, or text. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or would just like to chat! Feel free to say hello if you see her in the hallways as well!

Email: kayla.benjamin@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayla--benjamin/

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Laura Alvim
Finance Commissioner

Laura Alvim is a Senior in the BA/MA program for Biological Sciences with a concentration in Biotechnology. She is also a Special Honors major through the Thomas Hunter Honors Program and a Dance minor. Laura is an International Student that moved from Belo Horizonte, Brazil to NYC when she was 16 years old. She graduated from Manhattan Hunter Science High School where she got to spend her senior year at Hunter College taking college courses as part of their Early College Initiative. She has been at Hunter since then (Fall 2017). At Hunter, Laura is also a Cohort Leader in the Yalow Scholars community and a tennis player in the Women's Tennis Team. In her past years at Hunter she has been a Senior Senior Senator at USG, the treasurer of the Global Surgery Student Alliance, an Ambassador for the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), and a peer TA for Organic Chemistry. She is in the pre-med track and aspires to become a surgeon. In her free time, Laura loves to dance, watch tons of TV shows on Netflix, play with her 2 cats, go out to eat, and hang out with her friends.

Email: laura.alvim@hunterusg.org

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Lizeth Flores
External Affairs Commissioner

Lizeth Flores is a junior majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Psychology and Public Health. She is interested in medicine and is on the pre-med track. Currently, Lizeth volunteers at Elmhurst Hospital in a geriatric care unit and has recently conducted psycho-oncology research at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She has also been involved with pre-med clubs such as Hunter MAPS where she was an ambassador during her freshman year. During the 2020-2021 academic year, Lizeth served as a Sophomore Senator in USG and was under committees like Student Welfare and Finance. As External Affairs Commissioner, she hopes to strengthen the communication between USG and the student body as well as increase the social media presence of USG to provide students with a safe platform to voice their needs. Feel free to contact USG on any social media platform as Lizeth is always happy to answer any of your questions!

Email: lizeth.flores@hunterusg.org

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Yostina Girgis
Student Welfare Commissioner

Yostina Girgis is a junior majoring in Biology, on the pre-med track, and minoring in Human Rights. She has aspirations of becoming a physician while working in public health (specifically in health policy). Aside from USG, she serves as outreach manager of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) on Campus. This being her second year of serving in USG, she is committed to expanding student support services at Hunter, while ensuring accessibility and knowledge of these resources. When she's not busy being a super STEM/pre-med nerd, you can find her ranting about one too many political happenings, being a tourist in her own NYC, and indulging in too many comedy specials. Her inbox is always open for help, concerns, questions, or complaints. Or feel free to reach out to say hello! 

Email: yostina.girgis@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yostinagirgis/

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Priyal Thakkar
Cultural Affairs Commissioner

Priyal Thakkar is a junior majoring in Bioinformatics and minoring in Music with aspirations of becoming a physician. Having been a student at Hunter for two years and a member of USG for one, she has gotten to see the pivotal role that clubs play in making the student experience. Since Hunter is predominantly a commuter school, many students find their homes here within clubs. As Cultural Affairs Commissioner, she hopes to act as a bridge between students and USG to ensure that clubs and club leaders have support as they create spaces for students to socialize, learn and grow.

Email: priyal.thakkar@hunterusg.org

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Montserrat Lopez
Evening Affairs Commissioner

Montserrat (Monti) Lopez ('22) is a Roosevelt Scholar, majoring in Political Science with minors in public policy and economics. Born in Mexico, she moved to Queens at five years old and is a DACA recipient. Montserrat has experience in the private and nonprofit sectors of law at Calcaterra Pollack LLP and UnLocal. In addition, she has served as a Senior Health Educator for Peer Health Exchange and political science fellow for El Puente in Williamsburg and the New York State Youth Leadership Council. Most recently, she was selected from a nationwide pool of applicants as one of the 15 undergraduate students in the 2021 Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI). The annual, academically rigorous five-week program hosted by Duke University is designed for students looking to continue their studies in political science. After undergrad, Montserrat plans to go to law school and further her public interest and public policy drive. She plans to study labor law and migration to bring a nuanced and personal view to economic policy and protect immigrant workers. 

Email: montserrat.lopez@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/montserrat-lopez-7963a5167

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Elizabeth Bianco
Residence Life Commissioner

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Bianco is currently a junior double majoring in English Literature and Anthropology. In addition to USG, Lizzie is the treasurer of and guitar teacher with Hunter’s chapter of Musical Empowerment, director of the Macaulay Triplets a capella group, and a Macaulay Peer Mentor. For her term as Residence Life Commissioner, Lizzie hopes to reignite the social scene of Brookdale through hosting events and gatherings that foster a sense of fun and community. She is always looking and happy to hear from fellow residents with ideas, suggestions, and requests they may have for making life at Brookdale the best it can possibly be. Please feel free to reach out to her if you have anything at all you’d like to discuss! 

Email: elizabeth.bianco@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-bianco/

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Steven Gray
Senate Chair / Senior Senator

Steven Gray (‘22) is a Roosevelt Scholar, majoring in Psychology with minors in public policy and sociology. He has played a number of roles in the realm of social advocacy, with a keen interest in educational equity and mass incarceration. During his time at the Peer Defense Project at IntegrateNYC, he has learned to use litigatory strategies in calling attention to the unequal education system this country has. Additionally, he tracked emerging trends in international development issues at the rigorous Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, solidifying his newfound love for policy analysis. Steven has also served with the Undergraduate Student Government as a Student Ambassador, aiding the Hunter College community in addressing issues most important to them. Currently, Steven organizes mutual aid efforts with grassroots organizations across New York City, from Southside Action Pact in Queens to Claim Our Space Now in Brooklyn. Steven plans to pursue his Master’s in Public Policy before going to law school. He plans to study human rights law, focusing on the rights of the incarcerated. As a Senior Senator, Steven wants to center the voices and welfare of all Hunter College students, doing so with compassion and honesty. 

Email: steven.gray@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/steven-gray-014


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Diana Kennedy
Senior Senator

Diana is a women and gender studies major with a minor in music and political science. She is deeply interested in public service, institutional change, and in pursuing a career in law. In her free time she enjoys drawing, singing, and going to museums. She’s super excited to be a senior senator this school year and to represent Hunter students any way she can! 


Email: diana.kennedy@hunterusg.org


Salwa Najmi
Senior Senator

Salwa Najmi is a junior at Hunter College studying Biochemistry and Arabic Language and Culture and she serves as Junior Senator. Salwa began her service in USG as a student ambassador, and was later elected onto the Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee. Salwa is committed to bettering the experiences of Hunter College students, by serving as a voice and liaison for the undergraduate student body. She hopes to foster a greater sense of community at Hunter, while also working to address the needs and concerns of students by maximizing access to resources. Salwa is an aspiring physician and seeks to serve underrepresented communities in medicine.

Email: salwa.najmi@hunterusg.org

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Chelsea Yu
Senior Senator

Chelsea Yu is a junior majoring in Chemistry and part of the Chinese Flagship community. In the future, she hopes to be able to travel the world. At school, she is part of oSTEM at Hunter College and Peer Health Exchange, as she is passionate about student outreach and education. As Senior Senator, she hopes to be able to engage with Hunter students and allow student voices be heard, especially during these unusual times.


Email: chelsea.yu@hunterusg.org

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Pooja Suganthan
Junior Senator

Pooja Suganthan is a junior majoring in Biology. Pooja has been involved with USG since freshman year and has served different positions including, Ambassador, Head Ambassador, and FSDC. She is also a member of Macaulay Deewane and the Society of Bioethics & Medicine. Outside of school, Pooja enjoys biking, watching Netflix, and TikTok-ing. As junior senator, Pooja hopes to represent Hunter students’ concerns and continue engaging with Hunter’s diverse community. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!

Email: pooja.suganthan@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pooja-suganthan-993b731a7/

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Olenka Ballena
Junior Senator

Olenka Ballena is a junior majoring in English and pursuing a Public Policy Certificate on a Pre-Law track, with a minor in legal studies. As an aspiring lawyer with experience in the immigration and privacy legal fields, she feels passionate towards empowering and advocating for marginalized communities. This past year, she served as Sophomore Senator and ensured that student interests, such as the issues that arise with remote learning, were properly addressed by working on the Credit/No Credit resolution.  As Junior Senator, she's determined to enhance the student experience by directly advocating for students’ concerns and providing transparent and honest communication. 

Email: olenka.ballena@hunterusg.org

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Ariana Ahmed
Junior Senator

Ariana Ahmed is a Thomas Hunter and JFEW Eleanor Roosevelt Scholar in her junior year, majoring in Political Science and minoring in English and Public Policy. Her interest in improving the conditions of those around her allowed her to become an Edward T. Rogowsky Women's Public Service Scholar, where she worked with NY City Council to address CUNY-wide issues. She serves as the President of Mock Trial Society, on the Hunter Student Senate, and has worked with Hunter organizations such as Generation Citizen. During her free time, you can find her broadcasting internships and job opportunities to help fellow Hawks advance in their careers. She has also created an internship pipeline program between Hunter College and the League of Women Voters NYC, allowing many female Hunter students to gain career experience in the voting rights and government sector. Ariana aims to amplify the voices of the various, marginalized student populations, such as the LGBTQ+ community, through working in conjunction with the LGBT Social Science & Public Policy Center at Hunter College. As a Junior Senator, she aims to create a more connected Junior student body; one that can address their complaints, their dislikes, and even passing comments to her with ease.

Email: ariana.ahmed@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ariana-ahmed/

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Ayah Ahmad
Junior Senator

Ayah Ahmad is a junior majoring in Biology with a minor in Human Rights. She is passionate about being an agent of change within the Hunter College community and improving the overall college experience by uplifting the voices of the student body. As a Junior Senator, she works to promote a safe and inclusive environment for everyone at Hunter to thrive and make the most of their undergraduate years. She promises to advocate for the needs of her fellow students and is excited for the opportunity to help make the transition back to an open campus as smooth as possible.

Email: ayah.ahmad@hunterusg.org

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Colleen Denmon

Sophomore Senator


Colleen Denmon is a sophomore majoring in History, Classical Studies, and Sociology. She is also a member of the Roosevelt Scholars Program, the Pre-Law Society, and the Bluhm Scholars Program. She is currently involved in student life as a Student Admissions Leader, a Scholar Peer Leader, and the Secretary of Circle K International. She hopes to pursue a career as an attorney and, in her free time, she enjoys baking, dancing, and fashion design. In her new position in the Undergraduate Student Government, she aspires to continue connecting with others to provide the best possible experience to the student body at Hunter College.

Email: colleen.denmon@gmail.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/colleen-denmon-406bb51b9/

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Jonathan Gao
Sophomore Senator

Jonathan Gao is a sophomore Yalow Honors Scholar majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Music. In the past year, he worked as a volunteer for Makers for COVID-19, where he helped 3D print and donate 10,000 units of face shields and ear straps. Currently, he is the co-founder of Makers for Change, an organization that is enabling high school and college students the ability to integrate 3D printing, laser cutting, and computer-aided design (CAD) into community service work. As a Sophomore Senator, Jonathan strives to become a supportive and driven advocate for the needs and concerns of the general student body.

Email: jonathan.gao@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathangao02/

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Sara Macwan

Sophomore Senator


Sara Macwan is a junior studying Political Science, Women & Gender Studies, and Human Rights. She is a Thomas Hunter Honors Scholar and an Eva Kastan Grove Fellow. On campus, Sara competes with and serves on the executive board of Hunter's Mock Trial Society. As Sophomore Senator, she hopes to advocate for her peers and amplify marginalized voices in any work that she is part of. Sara values transparency and will be sure to communicate how different policies will affect students' time at Hunter. As she aims to create a comfortable environment for students to address their concerns, she is always available to chat! Please feel free to email her if you have any questions or if you would just like to chat. 

Email: sara.macwan@hunterusg.org

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Malika Alamova

Sophomore Senator


Malika Alamova is a sophomore majoring in Biological Sciences, on the pre-med track, and minoring in Chemistry. She aspires to become a physician and focus on internal medicine. This is her first year serving in USG and she is determined to improve the experiences of students, be an advocate for them, and handle any concerns students might have. In addition to student government, she is also part of the Pre-Health Mentoring Initiative and serves as a mentor for pre-health students. Currently, she is also involved in research at Hunter's Chemistry Department. Outside of school, Malika enjoys painting, working out, and exploring the city. Feel free to reach out to her with any questions or concerns!

Email: malika.alamova@hunterusg.org

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Ilanith Nizard

Freshman Senator


Ilanith Nizard is an Athena Honors Freshman on the pre-law track. She is majoring in Economics and minoring in Public Policy and Philosophy. In the past, she has volunteered at several local organizations advocating for and supporting low-income families, as well as organized and distributed winter packages to the homeless. She first got involved with USG by joining the Ambassador Program to give back to Hunter’s community and find ways to get involved. Born and raised in France, she understands the importance of diversity and is looking forward to cultivating a diverse and more inclusive community at Hunter College.

Email: ilanith.nizard@hunterusg.org

Auxiliary Enterprise Corporation

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Ariadna A. Gonzalez

Auxiliary Enterprise Corporation


Ariadna Gonzalez is a sophomore majoring in Greek & Latin and minoring in Political Science, and is on the pre-law track. She is committed to improving life on campus, and making campus as open as possible. In her new position, she is hoping to make campus as accessible as possible, and close the bridge between administration and the student body. 

Email: ariadna.gonzalez@hunterusg.org

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Onyekachi Okeke

Auxiliary Enterprise Corporation


Onyekachi is a Senior majoring in Human Biology, aiming to become a nurse. As an Eva Kastan Grove Fellow and Black Student Union of CUNY Membership Chair, she deeply respects public service and seeks to make an impact in both public service and health. Committed to improving Hunter's student experience, she is the founder of the Project-19 Initiative, started to advocate for students' needs during the pandemic. She always seeks to help or talk with others, meeting new people, and enjoys writing, reading fiction, and traveling to new places!


Email: onyekachi.okeke@hunterusg.org

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Ashley Rosales

Auxiliary Enterprise Corporation


Ashley Rosales is a junior double majoring in Developmental Psychology and Studio Art. She is invested in connecting psychological inferences to her artwork, such as the portrayal of mental health through portraiture. Ashley is also striving to help students benefit the most out of Hunter's resources available and to feel free to communicate with USG. 

Email: ashley.rosales@hunterusg.org

College Association

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Matthew Barron

College Association


I'm a Senior at hunter college majoring in computer science and minoring in economics. In the future, I plan to work as a software engineer. I grew up in the Bronx to Jamaican immigrants. At hunter I've been a member of the hunter sustainability project for 3 years. Outside of hunter, I volunteer as a AP computer science teacher in the Bronx. 

Email: matthew.barron@hunterusg.org

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Shuhashini Khan

College Association


Shuhashini Khan is a junior majoring in Biology and minoring in Theatre. She served as a USG ambassador as a sophomore. As part of the College Association, Khan hopes to increase transparency and let students know that they are never alone since USG is there to help. Being someone who moved from Dhaka, Bangladesh to New York to pursue her undergraduate degree, she understands the challenges that international students are faced with. One of Shuhashini’s many aims is to help all kinds of students who are facing difficulties adapting to college, especially due to transitioning from doing classes online to mostly offline. If you have any questions/concerns or would just like to chat, she will be the happiest if you stop by or email her.

Email: shuhashini.khan@hunterusg.org

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Riya Patel
College Association

Riya Patel is a junior studying Political Science; along with being a Roosevelt Honor Scholar and Janovic Scholar, she is also currently a member of the Hunter Mock Trial and, nutrition education program, Hunter Has Heart. Outside the virtual walls of Hunter, she is a Steering Committee member of Student-Farmworker Alliance. Riya is extremely passionate about accessibility, equity and communication, values which she hopes to implement within her role in USG as College Association. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with family and friends. 

Email: riya.patel@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/riya-patel-a697761aa

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Audrey Sargente

College Association


Audrey Sargente is a senior in the Macaulay Honors Program majoring in Human Biology, minoring in Legal Studies, and pursuing a Public Policy certificate. Having a strong interest in public health and education policy, Audrey hopes to pursue a career in public service. On campus, she serves as a Student Ambassador and is the Co-Coordinator for Peer Health Exchange, where she oversees volunteers that teach health workshops in under-resourced schools. Understanding how valuable an equitable education is, Audrey is committed to representing students as part of the College Association for the Hunter College Undergraduate Student Government.

Email: audrey.sargente@hunterusg.org

Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee

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Laila Gad

Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee


Laila Gad is a sophomore on the Pre-Med track majoring in Media Studies, with a concentration in Journalism in the Macaulay program here at Hunter. Her interest in supporting and advocating for students was her first goal when entering college. Currently, she is serving as the Hunter campus Macaulay Scholars Council Representative, Vice President for the Macaulay Peace Action Club, and treasurer for the CMMBxHunter club. Her biggest goal is to help facilitate easier pipelines of communication and understanding between the faculty to the students. She hopes to use her understanding of her peers' needs to represent them fairly when it comes to deciding disciplinary actions. When she's not working on school stuff, you can find her running her book account, listening to Mitski, making rugs, and playing with her new kitten. Feel free to reach out whenever you need anything!

Email: laila.gad@hunterusg.org

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Hira Khan

Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee


Hira Khan is a junior majoring in psychology with a concentration in behavioral neuroscience and on the pre-med track. She is the current president of Hunter Circle K and previous freshman senator of USG. Currently she works at a medical clinic.  She is also a social justice activist. Issues she is personally most passionate about are women's rights and gender discrimination.

Email: hira.khan@gmail.com

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Avi Mikhaylov

Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee


Avi is a current sophomore majoring in Anthropology with minors in Spanish and Chemistry on the pre-med track. He is currently involved in Hunter Unmasked, Humans of Macaulay, and the Peer Health Exchange. He hopes to support more mental health programs and resources for students, and to foster a closer community in Hunter College. In his spare time, he loves to read, bake, and learn about different cultures. As a member of the FSDC, Avi hopes to uphold the integrity of Hunter while also giving every student a fair hearing. 

Email: avi.mikhaylov@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/avimikhaylov

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Afsana Rahman

Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee


Afsana Rahman is a junior, majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in bioinformatics. She has previously been part of USG as both elected sophomore senator and USG ambassador. She enjoys being part of Hunter’s community, as a scholar peer leader for the Yalow Honors cohort, an undergraduate teaching assistant for computer science courses, and as an active member in a variety of clubs in biology and computer science. Besides Hunter activities, she conducts research at Weill Cornell Medical College. If you are accused of academic violations, Afsana hopes to use the skills she gained from previous USG experiences by interacting with faculty on policy to ensure you get a fair trial. Beyond FSDC, she strives to continue collaborating in USG to bring you the best undergraduate journey possible. She has interests in public policy, bioethics, and technology. 

Email: afsana.rahman@hunterusg.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/afsana-rahman615/

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Tania Rodgers

Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee


Tania Rodgers is a junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Sociology. As a member of the Hunter College Track & Field Team, she understands that some students feel that their concerns are often dismissed. She hopes to be the person that marginalized students entrust to advocate on their behalf and ensure they are given due process. As a member of FSDC, she would like to improve the sociability amongst the student body. During the pandemic it has been difficult to engage with one another in which she plans to promote inclusivity, diversity and good mental health. 

Email: tania.rodgers@hunterusg.org

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Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee



Email: TBA