By Ajay Major
Editor-in-Chief Ajay Major ‘12 sat down with Student Forum President Mital Patel ‘12 to chat about her vision for the upcoming year in Student Forum.
Q: As President of Student Forum, what are you most looking forward to for this year?
A: As of now, six weeks into the term, I think that a bunch of things I wanted to get started have actually started coming into shape, and it’s nice to see that these things are actually going to happen, whereas last year it was just a bunch of promises, and I wasn’t sure what we would actually be able to achieve.
Even between the time that I came in and now, so much has changed on campus, behind-the- scenes things have come to my attention I didn’t know being a class rep and now being on the E-Board of Student Forum I am aware of.
Q: Which campaigns are you most excited for?
A: Kelsey Mulvihill ’12 came to us with the Healthy U campaign that she created. It’s about improving body image and [being] a healthier student as a whole. Sleeping right, eating right, being healthier in all aspects of life. So that’s on our agenda right now. We’ve formed a subcommittee and we’re working on that.
The honor code, which started last year… We’re getting the committees together and I just found out I get to interview the people, so didn’t even know that was under my job description, which is exciting. It’s the things I didn’t even know that I signed up for, the things that get thrown onto your plate that you have to take on, that I’m loving so far.
Q: What do you think are the most important qualities for someone who is going to be running for freshmen class representative?
A: Definitely someone who is out there and not very oriented towards one group of students in their year.
You know, we’re a small campus, but 500 students is still a lot of people to get to know, and everyone is so different on this campus, so having your foot in every group on campus is important. Yes, you can have your close group of friends, but knowing people and not just on a superficial level [is important].
I never started campaigning. I never stepped onto this campus being like, I’m going to run for something. It was more of something that fell into my lap sophomore year, and I had been inadvertently campaigning without even realizing it.
Definitely an outgoing person and someone who is well-spoken and has some clear ideas. It’s not an easy commitment. It’s hours and hours of work.
Q: What do you foresee as the biggest challenge the freshman class will face?
A: High hopes is a problem we see every year. People thinking that we can do things that are completely out of our hands and not realizing what being a class rep means.
Sometimes class reps make promises they don’t mean to be empty, but end up being empty. It’s something that comes with experience.
I think the biggest challenge the freshmen will be facing this year is implementing the honor code, because that’s going to affect them for the next four years. They’re going to have a completely different experience at Union than us seniors because of this honor code.
Q: Any other advice for the freshmen?
A: Go vote! Your class reps, especially your freshmen year, will have a huge impact on your experience, even though you may not realize it, so vote and vote for the right person.