The Blog


Meet Sid Perkins – ESC Elections – VP, Policy

Photo Courtesy Sidney Perkins

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 love Columbia, but there are a lot of issues with the school. I recently took a step away from the URC because I have seen too many engineers who struggle with unsupported mental illness (severe anxiety, feelings of crippling self-doubt, &c.) and I have heard of too many engineering students who are having intensely difficult times getting a job. These are the two primary reasons that I have shifted my focus away from representing the university in favor of representing the student body. I have been on council for the past two years, and during both of my terms I served on the policy committee. My recent experiences have not only confirmed my interest in continuing on council, they have encouraged me to pursue the more senior position of VP Policy.
If elected, what would your goals be?
My vision for the Policy Committee diverges somewhat from what the committee has been in years past. I will approach each issue that comes up with the pragmatism and meticulousness that our engineers emulate. If a candidate states vaguely that they’re going to push for more accountability for public safety during event reviews, that’s simply insufficient. That’s too broad and politically convenient of an answer to satisfy me. As an engineer, I want deliverables. I will speak with the deans office to (1) set up an dean-sponsored emergency fund for student groups to regularly access and (2) I will work toward mandating a price ceiling for Public Safety’s (somewhat arbitrary) imposition of security fees. In general, my campaign is about offering these types of deliverables. In reviewing my platform, I think that you will find that each of my initiatives feature evaluable goals. I can’t promise that all of them will be accomplished, but I can promise that I will look into addressing each and every one of them.
What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?
Many people studying traditional engineering disciplines often feel under-supported by the dean’s office, CCE, and by their departments in their academic pursuits and their job searches. It is concerning that this past semester, there has been such difficulty in supporting the continuation of the aerospace minor. It is concerning that when I search ‘BME’ in Lionshare I turn up zero hits. It is concerning that the BME, CivE, MatSci, and MechE departments all do not have Career Placement Officers (for reference: http://engineering.columbia.edu/career-development-opportunites). These are issues that I will work to address. We deserve better. I will continue to push for surveys to solicit student opinion on important issues like these and I will continue to serve as a liaison to the administration to advocate for the betterment of the Columbia experience.
Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?
I would encourage anyone particularly interested in this election to check out the SEAS 101 campaign website, where our entire platform can be found: http://seas101.squarespace.com/. I would also encourage everyone to get out and vote, regardless of which candidate or party you support. It is important that the student voice is heard and it is important to be a part of the democratic process.
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