Student Forum Executive Board elected


By Matt Olson

On Friday, May 17, the Union student body elected the 2013-2014 academic year’s Student Forum Executive Board.

The eight representatives are President Richard Harris ‘14, Junior Student Trustee Evan Leibovitz ‘15, Vice President of Finance Seth Cohen ‘15, Vice President of Academics Rosette Lanoir ‘14, Vice President of Administration Ben Saperstein ‘15, Vice President of Sustainability Max Fey ‘14, Vice President of Campus Life Alexandra Walters ‘15 and Vice President of Multicultural Affairs Rachel Refkin ‘14.

The purpose of the Student Forum is to “consider issues and to review, recommend or formulate policies (as appropriate) in areas primarily or exclusively involving the Student Body.”

Along with the eight Executive Board representatives, each class year selects a President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer to serve as class representatives on the Student Forum.

The Student Forum oversees the operations and functions of all student clubs and organizations, as well as allocates student activities’ funds to each of the organizations.

When asked about his reasoning to run for election, Harris said, “I felt that through all my other experiences on campus, I have gotten a good sense of what it means to be a leader at Union and what areas there are that can be improved. After already serving on the Student Forum for a year, I think that I have the skills and the ambition to make things happen.”

The Student Forum oversees the operations and functions of all student clubs and organizations, as well as allocates student activities’ funds to each of the organizations.

Fey believes that he can make a difference on campus. “Being elected last year, I have already had the pleasure of making a difference at Union,” he said. “We are currently in the process of converting all of the Hull houses and a variety of the Seward houses to wireless thermostats that can be controlled by the residents’ smartphones and computers.”

Since the Honor Code was fully implemented at the beginning of this year, it has been under scrutiny for its effectiveness. Lanoir said, “I would really like to work to make sure that the Honor Code is accomplishing what it was meant to do.”

Lanoir also hopes to see changes in the class scheduling during her term on the Executive Board.

“I think it’s imperative for students to have the opportunity to take a wide range of classes so that they have the chance to explore various fields of study,” she said.

The representatives of the Student Forum are elected solely by the student body, on a simple majority vote. The Student Forum holds meetings on a weekly basis when classes are in session, and are open to the student body.

Each member of the Executive Board has his or her ideas of how to change the college, and what to never attempt to change.

For Fey, he “would never have supported the banning of kegs on campus because it has resulted in Union producing a much larger carbon footprint.”

Leibovitz thinks that the First-Year Preceptorial and Sophomore Research Seminar system needs to be examined.

“Some students have SRSs where they are assigned to write a 12-page paper in pairs and have 4 weeks of class off to write it, whereas some students have to individually write 25 pages and have a strict attendance policy,” he said.

In terms of maintaining the college’s current situations, Saperstein said, “I would never attempt to change the feeling you get when you walk on to campus because it is so unique.”

Regardless of each representative’s individual goals, the newly elected Executive Board of the Student Forum will work alongside the student body to maintain and advance Union College in the coming academic year.



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