Tag: columbia elections board

Earlier this evening, the Columbia Elections Board announced the winners of the Fall 2016 elections. We are excited to share the results below. Congratulations to the newly elected representatives.

CCSC 2020 President & Vice President

Siddharth Singh and James Ritchie

CCSC 2020 Class Representatives

Grant Pace

Danielle Resheff

Astrid Walker-Stewart

CCSC 2017 Representative

Tracy Ting Cao

CCSC Sandwich Ambassador

Joseph Villafane

ESC 2020 Class President

Ria Garg

ESC 2020 Class Vice President

Marisa Ngbemeneh

ESC 2020 Class Representatives

Joanna Paik

Abhishek Chakraborty

ESC 3-2 Representative

Priscilla Wang

ESC Disability and Accessibility Issues Representative

Adriana Echeverria

ESC International Students Representative

Pranav Arora

ESC University Senator

Izzet Kebudi

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 by James Xue (SEAS ’17)

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.

The entire process behind student government is farcically corrupt. They make excuses but it’s true.

The elections board is now part and parcel a part of the Columbia Political Union. Their irrelevant club has decided that their debates with audiences of twenty people justify them absorbing the body that manages all of our elections. And unfortunately they are completely and utterly incompetent. They barely advertised the process as a whole. I saw registration hours before the deadline. Huge registration errors left half the positions empty. They let someone sign up for multiple positions and other people just ignore mandatory meetings. We don’t need a privately run “election center,” we need an election that functions at the most basic level. They were this bad at their jobs in the fall, and it has only gotten worse, but still they are being allowed to push this on us. That’s accountability at Columbia.

And it is far from just them. The student council has had insiders tie up the entire process. This election is a complete sham, the council members divided up the spoils months ago. There isn’t even a real second ticket running for exec board and two exec positions are just anointed with no-contest, let alone the lack of serious (or any) competition across the board. Friends told me months ago who would run and who would win and evidently they were right on both counts. Members are committed to this remaining their special little club regardless of how much they consistently fail all of us. At least the Class of 2017 President had the sense to not seek another term after giving open seats to his friends and sabotaging everyone else. How can a club with almost no integrity claim the legitimacy to fight for us, assuming they even want to?

I don’t like a lot of the more cavalier activists any more than anyone else, but at least they yell, shout, and scream when people face real problems rather than just sit in a circle and spit crap for an hour every week. Maybe if there was single leader on this campus they wouldn’t have to turn all the way to changing the Core to fight discrimination, assault, and food insecurity.

And know that nothing will never change if there if there isn’t a student press that can do its damn job. All we have is Spec and it doesn’t just suck, #Specislegitimatelyaterribleorganization. How many worthless freshman op-eds about discourse does it take to fix our campus? Apparently they’ll just pumping them out until they find out. It’s not like they actually pay their work study reporters to find real news or police the student government and elections. And their days are numbered because no one here has the guts to force the administration to protect press freedom.

This really is just a cycle of incompetence because of which we all are going to suffer. This may seem harsh but our campus and its students aren’t a joke and we can’t be played like this.

Don’t let all of them get away with it, rain on their stupid parade. Don’t just check “none of the above,” check “f#ck this process and everyone involved in it.” I do not want this job and believe me, I won’t take it.

UPDATE (3/29/16): This candidate has withdrawn their candidacy for the University Senate.