SGA 2022 Elections: Student Trustee Natalie Rubin

Junior Natalie Rubin explains why she is the best candidate for student trustee and expresses her main concern regarding tuition

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Shilpa Sweth / Daily Collegian

By Grace Lee, Collegian Staff

“There is a lot riding on this, but I am very serious about it,” University of Massachusetts junior Natalie Rubin said about her candidacy for student trustee. The political science and legal studies double major is one of two candidates running for the role of trustee during this year’s Student Government Association elections. Rubin is the only candidate, however, running a write-in campaign.

In a recent interview, Rubin made her case for being the best candidate on the ticket and went over her main goals for the position if elected.

As Rubin explained, the student trustee represents the entirety of the UMass Amherst community to the UMass Board of Trustees– the board that represents not only the University system’s flagship Amherst campus, but also the four other UMass schools. That extends to undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff. The student trustee is in constant communication with the Board of Trustees.

UMass Amherst is considered a mid-to-large-sized school, making this position a potentially daunting task. Rubin, however, says she has served on the SGA for three consecutive years and has worked various on-campus jobs; she believes she has a deep connection to the UMass community and understands students’ primary needs.

“I think I am the best fit for this job because of my experience,” Rubin said. “I would just do as much as I can to be accessible to students.”

Rubin is currently the chair of the SGA’s Outreach and Development Committee. “I learned a lot about how to outreach to students, which I think is a really big deal,” she explained.

“I would go through proper channels,” she said, to advocate effectively for students. “Also, I’m pretty confident in myself, and I feel I’ve really shown that in my [SGA] role,” Rubin added.

Rubin is largely concerned with tuition increases. She specifically seeks to challenge the Board of Trustees’ various justifications for raising prices each year. “I would definitely advocate for not raising it,” Rubin said. “But I am also open to understanding why it needs to be raised.”

For Rubin, her position on tuition raises ultimately comes down to accountability and transparency. “If you [the Board] are going to be voting to increase tuition every single year, you need to prove to us that you are making that effort to make UMass a better place for us to live,” she said.

Rubin also went into detail about advocating for fixing accessibility issues at UMass for disabled students. Infrastructure is often a largely discussed topic within the Board of Trustees. “I’ve lived on campus, and I’ve seen those challenges,” she said.

Since Rubin is currently running as a write-in candidate, she emphasized that since her name is not officially on the ballot, it needs to be spelled correctly and exactly for a vote towards her to be counted.

Rubin encourages every student to go out and vote.

Voting for the 2022 SGA Spring Election opens on March 1 at midnight and closes on March 4 at 5 p.m. on Campus Pulse.

Grace Lee can be reached at [email protected]