By Carina Sorrentino
On Friday, May 16, Student Forum Executive Board elections were held. Students voted to determine the 2014-2015 student government officials.
The Student Forum is involved in many institutional decisions. Student Forum members “oversee the operations of all student clubs and organizations. This governing body also oversees the student activity fee, which each student pays along with their tuition.”
The new Student Forum leaders are: Student Forum President Ben Saperstein ’15, Junior Student Trustee Peter Durkin ’16, Vice President of Finance Peter Rasmussen ’16, Vice President of Academics Duri Duri ’16, Vice President of Administration Sriya Bhumi ’15, Vice President of Sustainability Yaqi Gao ’15, Vice President of Campus Life Alexandra Walters ’15 and Vice President of Multicultural Affairs Kiana Miller ’16.
Some of the new Student Forum officials shared their visions for the upcoming year.
Saperstein has one main goal as the Student Forum President. He aims to bring all aspects of campus life together to become a single force. He explained that this includes clubs and organizations, athletics, Greek organizations, the Minerva system and other groups that exist on campus.
“Every day, we can see some disconnect between these students, some more obvious than others. I feel that if we are able to strengthen these connections and bonds, then we are able to better the campus community as a whole,” commented Saperstein.
As VP of Administration, Bhumi hopes to improve the way Union’s clubs and organizations are handled. She stated, “I foresee better communication, representation and involvement of the groups on campus. I also have the duty of coordinating the Club Fair in the fall and really hope to encourage first-year students and the current student body to get involved.”
Gao intends to use her position as VP of Sustainability to maintain Union’s existing initiatives, as well as to implement a few more changes on campus. She aims to work with Dining Services to make sustainable dining as available an option at Union as it is at many other colleges. Specifically, this would entail a greater availability of organic, eco-friendly and cruelty-free food options on campus. Fresh, locally sourced produce should be conveniently attainable with students’ declining balance.
She wishes to see the expansion of gardening practices on campus. She would like to establish an Alumni Sustainability Fund to enhance the connection with alumni who are involved in environmental sustainability, as well as to attract new gifts and donations for Union’s green initiatives.
A few student government officials also decided to mention their favorite parts of being at Union, as well their favorite politicians.
Saperstein admitted that he loves Union because it provides the opportunity for students to get involved in various activities. “You do not necessarily have to be dedicated to one activity. Rather, you are able to invest in multiple interests at the same time, without it being too overwhelming,” he said.
Rasmussen mentioned that the small class sizes are the best part about Union. He added, “It has given me the opportunity to communicate with many of my professors and given me the chance to find exciting new opportunities on campus.”
When asked about his favorite politician, Durkin revealed that he admires President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He explained, “I believe FDR embodied the idea of a true American and patriot through his efforts to beat the Great Depression, save capitalism and unite a struggling country to win World War II.”
“His presidency laid the institutional groundwork through numerous New Deal programs that still continue to be an integral part to the American way of life,” he continued.
The newly elected Student Forum members strive to “promote the well-being of the student body as well as meet the goals and ideals of Union.”