The Lion asked candidates five questions about their campaigns to give us insight into their aspirations and motivations for running. Here is what Maria Fernanda Martinez had to say:
1. Are you affiliated with a party, and if so, which one?
2. What position are you running for, and what motivated you to run for it?
Alumni Affairs–honestly, the closer graduation gets the more I realize how little we make use of our alumni connections and they’re one of our biggest resources on this campus. I want to make sure that this is a resource we all can feel comfortable using and knowledgeable about.
3. If elected, what are your goals? How do you plan to actually achieve them?
My goals are to increase accessibility in this area of our lives for all students, and I plan on achieving that by really keeping things simple and going back to basics. What is networking at its core about? It’s about making connections and maintaining relationships. The best way to do these things is to actually interact with people with whom we have shared interests and common backgrounds. My goals are simple: create a student-led newsletter for alumni, host curated alumni-student meet ups based on specific interests and backgrounds, and make sure to lead workshops prior to these meetings that help students work through anxieties about networking and provides folks with specific strategies they can implement.
4. What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address this?
I would love to push us towards an environment that is less about competing with each other and more about collaboration. I think this would be so useful in helping to deal with stress culture etc on campus. I plan on addressing this by creating spaces that function on the basis of people working together, and emphasizing that there is no need to compete when there are so many things to do and achieve!
5. Any additional comments you’d like to share with voters
While I am running for your Alumni Affairs representative, there is a wide range of issues that I have been involved in throughout my time at Columbia, and I will be able to represent our interests across the board.