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Meet Charles Harper – ESC Elections – VP, Policy

Photo Courtesy Charles Harper

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’m running for VP Policy to ensure that SEAS student all have the chance to succeed at Columbia. Whether that is ensuring engineers have the best opportunities to study abroad or take minors or making sure that every student is able to access buildings and can afford important events, I want to make sure that every SEAS student feels equally represented by student council. While ESC has done a great job at addressing some issues, other problems haven’t even been brought to the table. With the creation of four new diversity representatives, I want to work closely with them to make sure every SEAS student is represented and policy changes important to their Columbia experience are addressed.

If elected, what would your goals be?

I hope to increase equity in ESC by workadvocating for policies that would improve the Columbia experience of students who might feel underrepresented in council such as low-income, minority, female, and LGBTQ students. I plan to increase academic freedom by expanding minors and study abroad and reforming Art of Engineering into a class that students enjoy and want to regularly attend by making it more hands-on and interactive.
What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?
Right now, 11 of Columbia’s 18 dorms are not wheelchair accessible. I will work with housing and facilities to ensure that during renovation and construction, wheelchair accessibility is taken into account. Also, TA applicants aren’t screened for a history of sexual assault before being appointed to their positions; I will talk to every department in SEAS and lobby them to add a screening process to the TA application process before applicants are placed in a position of power over students. I want to expand minors by lobbying the Committee on Instruction. With the construction of Manhattanville, space at both campuses will be opening up. I hope to talk with administrators to ensure that this space is used for engineers, whether it’s extra space for student groups or the creation of a new department like Aerospace Engineering.

Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

All of our party – Neha, Aida, Anthony, Piyushi, and myself – will make sure to talk to students and student groups to ensure we are representing their actual interests rather than trying to speak for them. We will do our best to represent all SEAS student and improve student council and the engineering experience. Vote SEAS++ and help us take SEAS to the next level!

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