Category: Profiles

Photo Courtesy Michael Anagnos

As part of our elections coverage, The Lion is sharing responses from candidates about the following questions:

  1. What motivated you to run for this position?
  2. If elected, what would your goals be?
  3. What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?
  4. Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

Below, you can find the candidate(s)’s unfiltered responses to help in deciding who you choose to vote for.  The Lion has yet to endorse any candidate at this time and the views below do not necessarily represent the views of our team. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

What motivated you to run for this position? 

I was motivated to run for CCSC Alumni Affairs Representative because of my long experience working with the Columbia alumni community. I have been on the executive board of the Alumni Association’s Student Ambassadors for the past two years, and will serve as Vice President of the group next year. Because I have been involved with the Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) and the Columbia College Alumni Association (CCAA) as a Student Ambassador since I arrived on campus, I have long been interested in running for Alumni Affairs Representative.

If elected, what would your goals be?

As your Alumni Affairs Representative, I will open the Alumni Directory to students, expand mentorship programs to all Columbia College students, connect students studying abroad with international alumni, and broaden alumni involvement in Center for Career Education (CCE) Internship Programs, specifically Columbia College Alumni-Sponsored Student Internship Program (CCASSIP), and Columbia Exploration Externship (CEE). In addition to increasing the sheer number of alumni involved in these programs, I will also ensure that internships for non-traditional career paths are better represented in these programs, and that students from diverse socioeconomic, geographic, and skill backgrounds have equal accessibility to alumni mentors and alumni-sponsored internships.

What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?

I strongly believe that the Columbia Alumni Directory should be open and accessible to students. Existing student-alumni programs are beneficial, but there is no better way to improve students’ chances of getting internships and job offers than to give them the freedom to contact alumni directly. In particular, this will facilitate connections between Columbia College students and alumni from schools across the university. I also would like to emphasize the fact that I have already begun dialogue with the alumni community and the Administration about opening the directory to students. This week, for instance, I met with board members of the Columbia Alumni Association and a VP in the Administration’s Office of Alumni and Development to review the structure of the Alumni Directory and discuss the process of opening it to students.

Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

I am not only the candidate with by far the most experience working with the Columbia alumni community, but I am the only candidate with any experience in alumni affairs. Because of my long experience as an Alumni Student Ambassador, my policy positions are more than just proposals I will work toward as Alumni Affairs Representative. These are goals and conversations that I have already begun pursuing within the Columbia Alumni Association, Columbia College Alumni Association, and the Administration’s Office of Alumni and Development. I have spent the last two years cultivating relationships in the alumni community and administration, and therefore I have already built the foundation that will allow me to implement my platform as your Alumni Affairs Representative.

 

Photo Courtesy Arabelle Chafe

As part of our elections coverage, The Lion is sharing responses from candidates about the following questions:

  1. What motivated you to run for this position?
  2. If elected, what would your goals be?
  3. What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?
  4. Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

Below, you can find the candidate(s)’s unfiltered responses to help in deciding who you choose to vote for.  The Lion has yet to endorse any candidate at this time and the views below do not necessarily represent the views of our team. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

What motivated you to run for this position?

The SEAS Class of 2018 consists of about 330 students. This is about the size of my high school class. I remember knowing the name of every single person in my high school class. Unfortunately, with my SEAS family, I cannot stay the same. There is a big void in terms of a class community. People don’t know each other, and there is a lack of sufficient opportunities for community building. As we enter into the final half of our college careers, we really ought to create something special, something that we can look back upon after graduation with fondness. But we won’t be able to create this community at the pace at which we are currently moving. If our time at Columbia ended this May, would you be content?

 

Recognizing this problem, I looked into the SEAS student council to see what was going on. I read meeting minutes, spoke with some council members, and tried to research what our class council had done over the past 2 years. The result was not surprising. The events for SEAS Class of 2018 alone have been few. On the rare occasion that there is an event, it is usually just piggybacking off of a CCSC initiative. This is a shame. We are engineers. We are supposed to be the creative builders and innovators. We need a student council who will both collaborate with CCSC and originate its own initiatives to benefit and bring our class together.

 

In order for this to happen, we need fresh blood in student council. We need leaders from all walks of life, from different campus clubs and communities, who have taken part in creating communities and successful policies outside of student council. This is what I will offer as President, and this is the philosophy behind my party, SEASoned Engineers. We all come from different parts of the world and have participated in different aspects of student life. From these experiences, we will take an out of the box approach to student council that will revolutionize our class dynamic.

 

If elected, what would your goals be?

As Class Council President, my main job will be building the community that we deserve. I plan on taking ideas from another, similarly sized but much more tight-knit, community that I am a part of at Columbia and reimplementing those ideas for the SEAS Class of 2018.

 

While student life will be a crucial part of my job as Class President, I see the purview of my position as much broader than insomnia study breaks or free soul-cycle classes. I want to serve as a representative of my class in tackling the larger policy issues that affect our entire campus. To accomplish this, I plan on working with my council to develop a communications infrastructure for collecting student input so that we can make informed policy decisions and actually carry out the desires of our class. I see myself as a class champion, listening to the concerns of my peers and bringing them directly to administrations.

 

What is something you want to fix at Columbia?

As an engineer, and as on Operations Research major in particular, I look for ways to optimize processes. Certain parts of the way in which our university operates are both outdated and inefficient. Examples of this are timesheets for university employees, which are still done by paper, the messy manual reservation system for fitness equipment at Dodge Fitness Center, and the abysmal failures of temperature control in certain dormitories and academic spaces.

 

How would you plan to address it?

Technology and communication are always the answer. For the timesheets and the fitness equipment reservations, I plan on proposing digitized and/or online systems for streamlining these processes. Regarding the temperature in dorm rooms, I think that Housing made an important first step with the installation of AC units in floor lounges. While air-conditioned floor lounges can provide an escape from the often inhuman temperatures of dorm rooms, they are only a temporary fix. As someone who lives in a McBain shaft room, I live through the struggle of suffocating heat almost daily, even in winter. In August and September, the hot outdoor temperatures turn my room into a Sauna. Then, just when Autumn temperatures start to kick in, Columbia fires up the heater and keeps it on until April, regardless of what the actual temperatures outside are. A mere 5 minutes in the bedroom can often be enough to require a second or third shower for the day, and sleeping is nearly impossible. I plan on inviting administrators into these rooms at their peak temperatures so that they truly experience the need for a long-term fix.

 

Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

Our council is really excited to serve you, not just the SEAS Class of 2018, but the larger Columbia community. Come talk to us if you have ideas. Send us a Facebook message and we can get coffee. Like us on facebook. Follow us on the campaign trail via Snapchat @seas2018. Also, we’ll be doing a fun video blog to talk more about our ideas. Be sure to check it out. Guaranteed to make you laugh.

Photo Courtesy Aishat Jalloh

As part of our elections coverage, The Lion is sharing responses from candidates about the following questions:

  1. What motivated you to run for this position?
  2. If elected, what would your goals be?
  3. What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?
  4. Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

Below, you can find the candidate(s)’s unfiltered responses to help in deciding who you choose to vote for.  The Lion has yet to endorse any candidate at this time and the views below do not necessarily represent the views of our team. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

1. I want to get more involved on campus in a meaningful way. I am very sociable/open person, and I place a lot of importance in Networking. I figured I can use that and contribute to helping our student body access and expand our Networks, starting with Alums.

2. One of my main goals is to strengthen FLIP alumni relations and incorporate them to our Alumni Mentorship program. FLIP Alumns are wildly successful in their fields, but tend to lose touch with Alumni Networks at times. Bringing them back into the fold will impact the success and motivation of student, especially current FLIP students, immensely and add a lot to our community here.
3.  Columbia is a relatively large school on a very large campus. This can make it difficult to foster a sense of community. It is not so much a problem, but it is something that we can work to improve. We can do so by encouraging students to go to things like sporting events more, and having more events like Glass House Rocks and small concerts on low that brought students out of their rooms or Butler.

Photo Courtesy Aakanxit Khullar

As part of our elections coverage, The Lion is sharing responses from candidates about the following questions:

  1. What motivated you to run for this position?
  2. If elected, what would your goals be?
  3. What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?
  4. Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

Below, you can find the candidate(s)’s unfiltered responses to help in deciding who you choose to vote for.  The Lion has yet to endorse any candidate at this time and the views below do not necessarily represent the views of our team. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

What motivated you to run for this position?

I have been elected VP of ESC 2018 twice consecutively since my freshman year. Serving on the class council has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life at Columbia. Working to address the problems faced by my constituents has helped me bridge the gap between the engineers and Columbia administration. Often, people have approached me with issues – real issues that affect students (incuding myself). By bringing these up during weekly disucssions with various deans and administrators, I have been a part of the process of finding solutions to a given problem.

Be it enhancing Wi-Fi connectivity on campus, increasing utilization of Makerspace, developing ESC project grants, working towards a better financial aid policy, or organizing engaging, fun events for my class – I have relished it all. Assosciated with the council is a steep learning curve which we have enjoyed negotiating. I now want to capitalize on this experience and while serving as the President, make the second half of my fellow engineers’ experience at Columbia even more enriching!

If elected, what would your goals be?

My council and I want to continue the efforts we began to improve accessibility and distribution of information relevant to 2018 engineers. Remember the weekly newsletters we sent last year as part of our agenda before elections? This year we want to consolidate information about events in a class of 2018 calendar.

A major task of junior class council is to organize industry showcases and career-oriented events. If elected, we want to expand industry participation in both of these. We plan on hosting grad school info sessions for juniors with grad students and seniors who applied to grad school while making students more aware of already available resources regarding post-grad options, especially resources in CCE.

Finally, we seek to get students more involved with the overall community and student life. Last year, we designed and sold over 200 SEAS department specific T-shirts to engineers across all four classes. Organization of well attended events such as Project X-Wing and SEAS Get Degrees was made possible by meticulous planning and smart execution, for instance the quadcopter flying obstacle course competition in X-Wing. For major declaration, we invited faculty members, CSA and CCE advisors to help fellow engineers plan their future. The success of SEAS Get Degrees was palpable in the large number of genuine questions posed by the engineers, the frank answers given by Professors, CSA, and CCE advisors. We will certainly host many more events partnered with sports teams like engineers’ nights that will get students  more active in school spirit. We will also seek out more businesses that would partner with us and host events for engineers that foster a sense of community among engineers.

What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?

Stress culture and lack of environmental awareness. Columbia is not the friendliest of colleges and the stress asscociated with academics is something all of us have felt at some time or the other. Unfortunately, the lack of ability to handle stress sometimes is so pronounced that even simple things like talking to a friend appear difficult. As President, I will work to the best of my ability to improve CPS resources that would make students feel safe and stable not only physically but also mentally. My council will work with Columbia administration to make CPS service around the clock. We also intend to plan workshops in association with the Mental Health Task Force to make students more aware of the resources available to them to help tackle both academic and non-academic stress.

I am sure we have all witnessed blatant wastage of electricity and come across a certain degree of lack of awareness surrounding environmental issues on campus. Climate change is real, and our actions as individuals directly impact our planet. My council feels strongly about raising awareness about green initiatives around campus. If elected, we will work with EcoReps and other groups to get engineers thinking generally more eco-friendly,and specifically through design competitions to solve ecological problems like beverage waste.

Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

I am extremely proud of what we’ve been able to achieve in the past two years together with you on council. I hope we can count on your continued support for the upcoming year as we seek to work on a variety of issues and make your journey at Columbia an even smoother one. While I suggest that you vote Mac n SEAS, I do concede that what is the most important is that you exercise your vote. So starting Monday, choose wisely!

Photo Courtesy Piyushi Bishnoi

As part of our elections coverage, The Lion is sharing responses from candidates about the following questions:

  1. What motivated you to run for this position?
  2. If elected, what would your goals be?
  3. What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?
  4. Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

Below, you can find the candidate(s)’s unfiltered responses to help in deciding who you choose to vote for.  The Lion has yet to endorse any candidate at this time and the views below do not necessarily represent the views of our team. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

What motivated you to run for this position? 

Throughout my past five semesters on campus, I have been involved in many different types of clubs. Whether it be working with the Society of Women Engineers to plan coffee chats, or planning cool events with APAHM, I’ve seen so many ways ESC has been instrumental in making things happen. I was especially interested in ESC when Neha reached out to me last semester to apply for a project grant. I saw that there were students in ESC that wanted to make it easier for students to explore their passions and interests, but I also saw many areas where students weren’t having their voice heard. I decided to run for VP Student Life for this very reason: give every student a place to have their voice heard. If am elected as VP Student life, I will work with my committees on making policies that students want a reality.

If elected, what would your goals be?

Some of my goals include the availability of space, accessibility and inclusion, training during NSOP, enhancing student events, and making the overall Columbia experience more enjoyable!

Student clubs often struggle with finding places to practice or hold a meeting, when there actually may be locations available! I want to restructure the UEM system to allow for clubs to make their spaces available when they are done using it for the rest of the semester, so clubs can easily book this otherwise unused space. I also want to expand our space options to the Manhattanville campus, specifically already in-use buildings like the Mind, Brain, and Behavior institute. I also want to create a UEM-like system for booking space in Mudd, so SEAS students can take advantage of that space.

Students are coming from a variety of backgrounds and skill-sets when they first arrive at Columbia. I want to promote inclusion on Columbia’s campus by providing training on some introductory lessons that can make the first-year and transfer experience better. Some of these trainings include makerspace training classes, seminars on small project discussions for the Project Grants, and training on CLIC and CLIC lab usage so students are more comfortable going into their first semester.

Tis the SEASon, E-Week, and SEAS the Day are just a few of many exciting events that students look forward to, and there are some parts that I’d like to change to increase attendance at events. As VP Student Life, I’d like to introduce a Last-Lecture Series that begins during E-week where students can hear about what their favorite professors are doing in the industry or in their research. I’d also like to make Tis the SEASon an event that also includes the graduate community so we can network with a community right in our own backyard. Lastly, I’d like to increase the variety of alumni at Got Fu’d so more students have alumni to talk to!

What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?

ESC should represent the entire community, not just pockets of it, and I want to fix the lack of awareness of groups and individuals at Columbia who aren’t heard. Whether NSBE is hosting a great set of professionals at their meeting or a SWE member is making strides in the tech industry, I want to use ESC’s voice to make publicize these achievements. I also want to bring awareness to the issues some groups face that we may not be aware of, like the lack of accessibility in Columbia buildings and at events. I plan to address this concern by making small but meaningful changes in the way Columbia students view the community. Some examples of these changes are posting the accessibility information of ESC events on all flyers and event links, using the TVs in Mudd and NoCo to broadcast achievements of engineers of all backgrounds, and having events like a day where students use only wheelchair-accessible routes throughout campus to raise awareness of the challenge some students face.

Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

This entire campaigning experience has been a lot of fun, and talking to different clubs on campus has brought to light the amazing diversity of individuals we have in SEAS. As your VP Student Life, I will work on getting to know what students want to make their Columbia experience as welcoming and exciting as it can be, and work on finding solutions for as many student life-related problems as I can! Oh, and go SEAS++!