Suzanne Link: Candidate for Student Body President

Meet Suzanne Link, a presidential candidate in the upcoming RUSA elections! She is the current RUSA Legislative Affairs Chair who is passionate about Pell Grants, water quality, and a student-voting seat on the Board of Governors. Get to know Suzanne before the polls open!

Hi Suzanne! Can you tell me a little about yourself? What is your major? What are you passionate about?

I’m a Junior majoring in Human Resource Management with minors in Public Policy and Labor Studies. I’m passionate about improving access to opportunity for all people regardless of background and socioeconomic status.

 

What do you love most about Rutgers? What has been your favorite part of being a student here?

My favorite part of being a Rutgers student is being part of a community where exploration and growth is encouraged. Before coming to Rutgers, I’d never been surrounded by so many passionate individuals with such a wide array of interests, talents, and beliefs. Every day I learn something new.

 

How and why did you become involved in RUSA?

I became involved in RUSA last spring when I was appointed to fill a vacant College Avenue Representative At-Large seat. I was active in other organizations at the time, but I was looking to get back to my student government roots. Naturally, I took advantage of the opportunity and immediately volunteered on the Midknight Snacks initiative, handing out food and water to students on a high risk party night. Seeing the impact that RUSA makes, I became more involved and ultimately ran for Legislative Affairs Chair in the internal elections.

 

What does your current position, RUSA Legislative Affairs Chair, entail? What do you like most about it?

As Legislative Affairs Chair, I have the unique privilege of representing and advocating for the needs of students on local, state, and federal levels. I find it very rewarding being able to express students’ concerns and offer solutions to lawmakers, who are in positions where they can improve the lives of others through policy and through the funding of public programs. I enjoy being able to apply all of the skills and knowledge I’ve gained from interning in state legislative offices since I was fourteen to making a difference in the lives of my peers.

 

 

What has been your greatest success as Legislative Affairs Chair so far? What are you most proud of?

Wow, this is a tough one (laughs). I’d say my biggest success so far as Legislative Affairs Chair has been working with members of the New Jersey legislature to write a resolution (AR256) that urges the implementation of a student-voting representative on the Rutgers Board of Governors. The resolution passed unanimously through the NJ Higher Education Committee after I had the opportunity to testify and field questions from the committee. Prior to this resolution, RUSA has never had a piece of legislation pass through a committee in our state legislature.

 

Why did you decide to run for president?

I’m running for President because I feel it is especially important during this volatile period in time to have a President who is qualified, reliable, and follows through on the initiatives they’ve planned to execute. As President, I will amplify the student voice and bridge gaps between student organizations on campus and the Rutgers administration.

 

What are your plans if elected? What aspect of your agenda are you most excited about?

I’m excited about my plans for improving the Rutgers transportation experience through updating the Rutgers app to include a map where students can see the location of busses in real time. I also plan to create a feature where students will be notified via the app as to when a bus driver is planning to take a break. This information would be sent to the app three bus stops before the break, so that students can plan around the delay. I’m also excited to improve course registration by combining WebReg and Degree Navigator to allow students to check course requirements more easily as we select our classes. Another project I’m very excited to work on is providing access to private spaces for students to use to communicate with mental health professionals. Since many students have roommates or live in situations where there is limited privacy, affording students the ability to reserve rooms specifically for this purpose, will help ensure that students are getting the help they need.  

 

Why is it important for you that you are a female RUSA presidential candidate?

I think it’s important to set an example for other women considering running for elected office that gender does not make you any less qualified for a position.

 

You discuss your plan to end rape culture at Rutgers in your candidacy announcement. Do you plan to bring the #MeToo movement to Rutgers through legislation?

The way I see it, the #MeToo movement has been largely embraced at Rutgers.  I think that by encouraging those who are comfortable and willing to share their experiences, we are spreading awareness about the pervasiveness of sexual assault and violence which will help us as a student body recognize the magnitude of this issue so we can address it.

 

What makes your ticket and your candidates different from the others?

I can’t speak to the differences between myself and all of the other candidates in this election, since I assume that others will announce their candidacy over the coming weeks. I can say, however, that the members of my ticket are active in a variety of communities within Rutgers, and bring with them creative solutions for the issues students are facing on campus. What differentiates our ticket from any other ticket that Rutgers has seen before, is the combination of energy and experience demonstrated by all members of our team.

 

Is there anything else you want you want the students of Rutgers to know about you or your plans?

I want your feedback! Please let me know what’s on your mind and if there are any particular issues at Rutgers that you’d like to see addressed. I’ll be posting more information about my platform and ticket over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes out!

 

Thanks for sitting down with me, Suzanne. Good luck!

 

Don’t forget to vote!

 

 

Photos courtesy of Suzanne Link.

 

Correction: Her Campus at Rutgers was contacted by two students who intend to announce their candidacy for RUSA president, Jessica Tuazon and Julie Serrano, and confirmed that there may be more than one female candidate. Declaration of intent to run for student government forms have not opened and thus no formal candidacy announcements have been made. HC Rutgers published this article based on no prior knowledge of additional candidates, making our initial angle premature. HC Rutgers is committed to providing all candidates for RUSA a platform.