Tag: elections

Photo Courtesy Jason Hagani and Josh Schenk

The Columbia Lion wants candidates who will make a change. While many candidates brought up issues we care about: more student space, mental health improvements, and supporting students, we want a candidate who is going to do something that will make an impact. And while comforting words are nice, they don’t really do much. If we want to continue calling student government ineffective, fine, but if we want actual change, it’s time to take a risk and vote for individuals who have a passion for making change rather than people who are simply going to deliver big words and leave us with blank promises of goals for the future. For this reason, The Lion is formally endorsing the following candidates for the University Senate:

Jason Hagani

The Lion choses to support Jason because of his commitment to fighting for environmental sustainability in the Columbia community. His proposals are both effective and realistic. He backs initiatives that the university has already thrown its support behind and can easily be achieved with the dedication that he will bring as a University Senator. For many, the prescriptions for saving the environment are often overlooked, from replacing a lightbulb to an extra NSOP program. These often overlooked ideas, however, can have a massive impact on Columbia’s carbon footprint. Jason’s ideas couple important ideals with reassuring practicality, which will ensure he can and will be an effective representative for Columbia College. You can find Jason’s full platfrom here.

Jason Hagani

Josh Schenk

The Lion’s endorsement of Josh is based upon his record of getting things done. He was able to secure air conditioning for residence halls as well as securing discounts for students. Josh’s platform, while bold, is reasonable and can be easily accomplished within the role as University Senator. He plans on expanding campus accessibility, increasing senate transparency, revamping of the rules of conduct, and prioritizing space for undergraduate students. Josh’s ideals, though mainstream, paired with his record of achievement ensure he can attain meaningful change for the Columbia College community. You can find Josh’s full platfrom here.

Josh Schenk

No matter who you choose to support, make sure to have your voice be heard in this year’s student council elections by voting. The link to the voting website can be found here.

 

Sincerely,

William Essilfie, Editor-in-Chief

Arelena McClenton, Managing Editor

Joshua Burton, Director of Operations

Yael Turitz, Director of Campus Outreach

Michele Lin, Director of Technology

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 Courtesy Columbia Political Union/Columbia Elections Board

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 had no interest in running for the position until recently. Such things like the lack of communication with Bacchanal, the statue in front of Butler, and some unaddressed issues have illustrated that I need to spark some change, instead of hoping others will. For example, did you know Neil deGrasse Tyson was on campus? I figured out the morning of, and was not able to make it as such. The lack of communication there is unacceptable.

If elected, what would your goals be?

Cosmas, Akul, Natan, and I have 4 overarching goals: Improving social Senior events, increasing undergraduate lounge space, increasing programming for underrepresented majors, and building alumni connections. For example, ESC partnered with AIChE and BMES to host a Biotech Industry Showcase. We will work towards having more of those events next year, which are important for establishing connections. Bringing alumni towards the students will greatly improve the ability to attain internship and co­op positions. The plan that I will bring forward for this goal is called “Engineer­Me” Network, with the attainable goal of connecting one alumni from the same department with a current student at an one to one ratio.

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

One of the biggest things that I want to right is the lack of a booze cruise for the Seniors. It seems that every year, there is an aspect of social life that is diminished at Columbia, and I will do everything in my power to regain this. Out of the four running in my ticket, this was established as my area of strength. I believe and feel that Cosmas, Akul, Natan, and I have great cohesion and balance amongst ourselves.

Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

Vote.

Photo Courtesy Matt Landes

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 was motivated to run for Alumni Affairs Rep mainly because I think that alumni should be involved as much as possible in the lives of students in order to enable an even better experience as students while at Columbia, but also in order to help set up current students with good opportunities for their lives after college. The combination of helping my peers out without having to get so caught in the internal politics of what the Executive Board and similar positions deal with plus working directly with alumni seemed really appealing to me. Basically being on a Student Council that also deals with the world outside of the College seemed especially enticing, and I think I could do a good job at it as well.

If elected, what would your goals be?

My ultimate goals would be to achieve what I delineated in the beginning of my previous answer. The main ways I would go about achieving those goals would be through trying to grant students access to the alumni directory and getting alumni more directly involved with clubs. With the help of the current Alumni Affairs Rep I composed particular strategies to accomplish these two things, and if you are interested in hearing about them I suggest either showing up to the debate on Sunday or just reaching out to me (I do partly address the strategy with regards to alumni being more engaged with clubs in the next answer).
What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?
I want to fix the disconnect between students and alumni, and as I mentioned above one of the ways I want to go about doing this is by matching alumni with clubs so that particular alumni can be affiliated with specific clubs in the capacity of an advisor or even just as a friendly face. Alumni with real world experience in particular fields can be especially helpful to clubs with focuses on that sort of real world experience. And student activist groups can even enlist the help of alumni to further their causes. The matching process would start with reaching out the members of the Board of Visitors and other particularly engaged alumni and matching them with clubs. Once those initial matches are made, those alumni can suggest other alumni they know that might be interested, and so on.
Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?
Just read up on each candidate, especially their platforms and what Spec, Bwog and The Lion write about them in order to make the most informed choice. Don’t focus so much on campaign promises, rather focus on how candidates plan on implementing those promises. Also, good luck on all the midterms and papers.