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Meet Aida Lu – ESC Elections – VP, Finance

Photo Courtesy Aida Lu

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?

This past year, I had the honor of serving as a SEAS Class of 2019 Representative, where I had the opportunity to plan community­building events such as a cookie­decorating study break, box fort­ building competition, and sweatshirt sale, in order to engage students and ease their transition to college by making them feel like they were a part of a larger Columbia family. But as much as I enjoyed being on class council, I really loved being a member of ESC’s Finance Committee. During my time as a Finance Committee member, I’ve had the chance to speak to many students and see many of the amazing things that clubs are able to accomplish when they aren’t weighed down by financial burdens. The process of connecting with a group that needs funding, spending time to understand the group’s need, helping the club with an application, and then finally being able to grant the students the funding they need is an infinitely rewarding process, and one that I’m committed to expanding and improving.

If elected, what would your goals be?

As VP Finance, my largest goal is to increase the amount of funding available to students and student groups. I plan to accomplish this objective in two ways: first, by expanding the SEAS Alumni Donation Channel, a process that I have already begun to work on this year, and increasing the SEAS Dean’s Travel Fund. And second, once this increased funding is available, I would work closely with student groups to best allocate this funding and make sure that all clubs are aware of the funding opportunities available to them, both by leveraging my existing relationships with student groups and forging new connections with student leaders. Ultimately, I want to listen to students and student groups and make sure that I am doing everything I can to both represent their voices and addressing their concerns.

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

Besides the problem of better funding for student groups, I have noticed that many groups have expressed a need for certain materials: cameras, speakers, and other commonly­used items that would enhance a club’s participation and experience. In order to address this issue, I plan to better advertise the Resource Library, which houses a variety of items that clubs can already borrow, and drastically expand the number of both technical and non­technical resources available, so that all students and groups can take advantage of the available resources.

Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

To be honest, Finance Committee required many hundreds of hours of work this year. But I found that I was happy to put in as much time as necessary because I was truly passionate about helping student groups procure the funding that they need, so that they can spend their time and effort pursuing their goals. Next year, as VP Finance, I would approach my position with the same wholehearted dedication and work tirelessly to listen to student voices and make sure that all of the financial needs of students and student groups are met.

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