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Student Trustee Candidates: All Your Questions Answered

We all want to get involved and make informed decisions when we’re voting about our future at Cornell. But… it can be difficult to tell candidates apart when election day comes along. We at Her Campus thought it would be helpful to boil down all six Student Trustee candidate campaigns into an easy-to-understand graphic organizer. Now you can figure out who to vote for without getting bogged down by rhetoric!

In their own words…

Katherina Balram
I hope to extend the mental health initiative beyond the realm of CAPS, EARS, and Gannett to involve more student groups because I think every aspect of life here at Cornell is intrinsically related. Changes to cultural and social programming also impact student perspective. It is my hope to strengthen community spirit and the individual Cornellian spirt as well.

I personally hope to engage students with more visibility. I hope that with my weekly office hours in rotating locations on campus, people will recognize that I am there to not just hear their concerns, but to also listen to what they have to say – even if it’s just about what they did that day or what they had for lunch. I want my peers to know that I am there for them because although the student trustee is one voice, WE are Cornell. 

Felema Yemane
When one talks about bringing community together, one may call it a utopian ideology, perhaps even naive. But through the means of diversity of thought, study, and culture, one can begin to make a few steps forward into this anticipated future. We have more commonalities than differences. Let’s embrace them so the trustee board & administration can think of more ways how to best enhance the STUDENT EXPERIENCE.

I’ll utilize my seat on the Student Assembly to ensure that there is a direct line of communication between the Board of Trustees and the students of Cornell University. I am tired of these “surprises” that are simply dropped on students when it is us they ultimately affect. 

Lauren Ritter
I’ll improve lines of communication between students and the administration. I want to be the voice of the students and advocate for our rights because I feel that we are losing our voice in some matters.

I plan to reach out to those who have lost their faith in the system by always being accessible on campus, so if people want to talk they find me. Also, I want to implement a new online forum, so people have a place to go and talk about how they feel with other students. This would allow people who have lost their faith in the system a means to express why they no longer share their feelings with groups involved in Big Red Politics.

Nathaniel Rosen
I’ll increase communication between the university and its students. I spent the entirety of last summer researching higher education, which uniquely positions me to serve as an effective representative of students during Board discussions when such knowledge is indispensable.

I’ve started something called the Big Red Binder (BRB) campaign. I am literally walking around campus with a BRB, introducing myself to random students, and asking them the same question: “What is your biggest concern with Cornell?” I plan to organize the responses and distribute a copy of the binder to each Trustee if elected. It’s time we as student leaders actually GO OUT to hear the concerns of the students we represent.

Alex Bores
We need to get students more involved in making the decisions that affect them. All of the other issues, from mental health to tuition hikes, can be better solved if students have more input. If there was one thing I could change, it would be how much input students have BEFORE administrative decisions are made.

Getting students involved is all about showing that their input is valued and can make a difference. I list my contact information online and will hold office hours. But I will go further, and be proactive. If an issue affects a certain group, I will reach out to those students to hear their perspective. I will also work with the SA and the Cornell Daily Sun to implement polling for students, so that we hear perspectives from all students at Cornell.

Sam Daly
The most important thing for me as a trustee is making Cornell a more fun place to be throughout the whole year. Through raising mental health awareness, having more “fun” orientated initiatives and a large mid winter centrally organized event (mini Slope Day) I believe we can address the most important issue facing Cornellians, which is not just mentally getting through the gray, gloomy and cold winters, but turning these months into and enjoyable time. ?

I plan on making students’ voices heard by putting myself out there. As a leader on campus you can’t just be known in one group, you have to known throughout campus. While I realize that it is impossible for me to connect with everybody, the best way to do this is by sending out quarterly emails to heads of clubs, class councils and Greek life to ask for what their group wants addressed to the Board of Trustees.

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