The Blog

Meet Larry Xiao – ESC Elections – President

Photo Courtesy Larry Xiao

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

What motivated you to run for this position? 
Quite honestly, I did not think seriously about my candidacy for ESC President before my council members and constituents suggested it. However, as I thought more and more about my experiences in council these last two years, I realized that many of the challenges students and student groups face on campus weren’t being addressed. There are still very real and pertinent issues students and student groups face (mental health, space availability, etc.) and I think it’s our job as council members to facilitate that conversation and address these blatant issues. Don’t get me wrong, I love Columbia and have tremendous school pride. But this school is not perfect, and I want to play my part in making this school the best it can be.
If elected, what would your goals be?
If elected, I would first and foremost want to collaborate more with engineering student groups on campus and make sure SEAS students are aware of the resources council provides. I also hope to increase the availability of space for SEAS students and student groups. This includes space available for student groups (so there is no space availability issues for meetings or other activities) as well as student lounges ( which will hopefully improve mental health and stress). I also hope to strengthen alumni relations by increasing alumni involvement in the engineering experience through my relationships with CEYAA and CEAA. To do this, I would want to increase alumni events from the current 1-2 to 4-5 throughout the academic year. Moreover, I hope to expand SEAS minors by polling for more interest and pushing that interest through council and the administration. Finally, I would also like to ensure diversity representation on the council by not only having additional representatives, but also having policy reform.
What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?
I think mental health and stress is an issue that is important at the individual and school-wide level. Students stress about many things — school, jobs, social pressures, etc. I plan to address this issue by making more student lounges available to students in Lerner. Although study space is definitely necessary, I believe that Lerner, being the student center of Columbia, should have more lounge space for students to de-stress and relax with friends. Moreover, I hope to facilitate the pre-professional side of the student experience by making the job-hunt less stressful. This includes collaborating with more pre-professional engineering student groups to hold more industry showcases that really help put students in contact with employers. During my time as Pre-professional and Alumni Relations representative, I spearheaded the first Engineering Industry Showcase. And during my time on Class of 2017, I have also helped co-sponsor our first Biomedical Engineering/Chemical Engineering industry showcase. I hope to expand these initiatives to the council-wide level. Last but not least, I think the social experience of engineering and Columbia as a whole can be improved. It is my hope to increase the quality of school-wide events that foster connections not only amongst engineering students, but also amongst students in other schools. At the end of the day, we as council members are here to listen and serve the student body. So even though these are my ideas on how to address these issues, it takes the whole student body and their voices to really make a change. And I am ready to listen.
Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?
I would just like to encourage everyone who is interested to take a look at our platform on our website: or contact me directly at I also want to emphasize the importance of voting and making your voices heard. Even if you are one student, your voice still matters.
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