Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty Years of Service to the Student

Politics

Student Elections to be Held Thursday

The 2016/2017 Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives [Courtesy of Student Development]

Coming upon the fourth week of Fall Quarter, two student bodies – the Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives (KCCSR) and the Student Funding Board (SFB) – are gearing up for the 2017-2018 academic year by holding their annual elections for student representatives. Having accepted applications throughout weeks one and two of this term, KCCSR and the SFB have now released the names of the candidates for this year’s election cycle, with election day scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 5. This week, prospective leaders will be eagerly campaigning for one of only a few seats available within these two groups, hoping to occupy crucial roles in determining student life at K. In an effort to get their names out to potential voters, each candidate has provided The Index with a statement detailing their credentials and aims for the position. Without further ado, here are the official statements from your 2017 candidates:

 

Funding Board

The Student Funding Board is comprised of seven elected students, including at least one from each class (first-year, sophomore, junior, senior), as well as three from any combination of class years. The Student Funding Board allocates Student Activity Fee monies to registered student organizations. As elected members, the SFB aims to be a flexible, representative, and accessible resource to the student body.

Kevin D. McCarty (Sophomore)

Hello! My name is Kevin McCarty and I am running for the Student Funding Board. I am running because I believe that, using a combination of my past leadership experiences, I will be successful in fostering positive change within the campus community. As a student leader, I served most notably as the president and founder of a school newspaper written by elementary school students. Here my goal was twofold: to give every student a voice and to make it heard. Through a local non-profit, this newspaper was funded and distributed throughout our community, ensuring all students could express themselves to the fullest extent possible. Further, I have served as an executive board member on a student-run tutoring agency, aimed to serve economically disprivileged students in need of academic assistance. These programs inevitably required funding, and being a student leader I was required to initiate and facilitate these dialogues within the community. Whether this meant selling advertisements, writing budget proposals, or working to negotiate a grant, I was responsible. I think that having spent so much time working on and following budgets, a position on the student funding board would be an appropriate role for me. I am no stranger to the receiving end of a budget proposal, and I am very familiar with what it is like to be passionate about a goal or program and to only be limited by finances. This is a concern I hope to alleviate for passionate students and their proposals as a member of the Kalamazoo College Student Funding Board.

 

Riya Bhuyan (Sophomore)

Hi! I’m Riya Bhuyan and I’m running for a seat on the K College Student Funding Board. I believe that my experiences as a student leader, as well as my commitment to and love for the campus community, make me an experienced and approachable candidate for the job. I understand very well what it’s like to run a student organization and work against deadlines to get funding and approval for programs and events. I was the President of the Economics Society and a Senior Editor of the bi-annual magazine at my high school. At K, I serve as the Treasurer of the International Students Organization, where my main focus is to budget and get funding for programs and events. I have also been on the other side of the table. In high school, I was in-charge of approving and dispensing funds for campus events, and to clubs & societies through my place on the Prefectorial board. I also chaired the International Press at an MUN conference, where one of my jobs was to set the budget for each department. As a member of the Student Funding Board, I hope to ensure that appropriate funding is provided for the events put up, and that each individual or group that approaches the body is treated fairly and equally. I know from my experiences in the past, that my positions in various student organizations will never affect or hinder my dedication and responsibility to the funding board. Through this office, I also hope to build strong relationships within the community, and help facilitate positive change on campus.

 

Shiva R. Sah (Sophomore)

The good financial plan is a road-map that shows exactly how the choices we make today will affect our future. I am well experienced in the budgeting and handling money. Since I come from a business family, I feel that I can use the knowledge that my parents taught me in dealing with money to make our budget work. Furthermore, my internship experiences at three different financial institutions have given me the insight of finance related issues. Also, as a leader of the social organization in Nepal, I had to manage and budget a fund of thirty thousand dollars to make sure our programs and events work effectively. These experiences make me qualified for the position. If given the opportunity to be your representative, I will use the budget in a wise manner by collaborating, discussing and cooperating with the funding board team. I will make sure every penny is used wisely and you can count on my records. I care about your interests and your voice. I care about making sure campus opportunities are as equally distributed as possible for each one of you. Come share your ideas, and I will make them happen. The student funding board member should be good at math to keep track of all those numbers. Vote for me and I’ll make sure our numbers add up. I’ll also have fun doing it because I’m just crazy enough to love numbers. So, please VOTE for me!!

 

Jordan D. Skidmore (Sophomore)

I believe I should be elected on to the Student Funding Board because of my continuous involvement in questioning the schools price policies in the meal plan, housing rules, and overall allocation of money. Kalamazoo college does everything it can possibly do to suck money out of its students and as a member I will see to this and make sure the money is better allocated to the students overall needs in every way. I have previous knowledge from being a strong influence in my high schools funding when on the student council and I intend to have the same strong voice for all student athletes, conservatives, and active members of the K community. In addition to my past experience, I am also currently on the Investment Club board and will be the president for the following years to come. Very simply, I want to serve on this board to make change for the better in the eyes of all students. As a realist, money runs through my mind every day and I would love for an opportunity to share and use my knowledge on the funding board here at K. Thank you for reading my statement and I hope you back my position.

 

Cassandra Cribbs (Senior)

I’m running for the Student Funding Board because I want to help student organizations across campus get access to the funding they need. Student organizations are a very important part of the student experience and their work is vital both for the individual students that comprise the stuorgs and for the campus as a whole. As a member of the funding board, I would be consistently accessible for any organization that needs help with planning and funding, and I could offer ideas that help streamline events and allow for efficient spending. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been working on energy efficiency projects through facilities management, and through a lot of effort and determination, I completed a project at K that Western doesn’t consider viable for another 5 years. I want to bring the skills I gained through that work to the Funding Board and offer it to any other organization that needs it.

 

Quentin N. Baur (First Year)

Growing up in South Korea, India, China, and Brighton, Michigan, I have lived among both wealth and poverty. My life of travel has cultured friendships from a variety of places, including America, China, Iran, and Lebanon. To this day, I continue to connect with a variety of people of a variety of worldviews. These relationships make me develop a sense of empathy towards people of all backgrounds. I have witnessed a common theme that the one thing people want in this world, is someone who will listen to them, someone who will give them a voice. Overall, people want someone to listen and respect their opinions and beliefs. I want to be your voice. In terms of Kalamazoo, I am a huge advocate for inclusive events, safety, and innovation. People should feel important and enjoy their time at Kalamazoo. Even though Kalamazoo has a terrific reputation and a safe campus environment, there are always improvements to be made. They should not be afraid to ask for help, or feel embarrassed if they need to talk. Nor should they shy away from expressing their opinions to one another. In conclusion, I firmly believe that I should be elected as a Student Representative because I will make each student feel safe and inclusive within a non-judgmental environment making Kalamazoo College a better place for all.

George-Joseph Asher (Sophomore)

Hello, My name is George Asher, I am a Sophmore and I am running to be a Student Funding Board Representative. Being a Student Representative I will help further the needs of students across campus and make sure that your concerns are met in a timely manner. Kalamazoo College is an environment that I believe should be a community where everyone feels comfortable and able to thrive. As your Representative, I hope not only to keep this promise but to always be trying to improve The College to help benefit every single student. Any concerns or new goals that you feel need to be addressed at the council I will happily meet with you to discuss these issues and forward them at council meetings. I hope to be able to represent you on the Student Funding Board! 

 

Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives

The Council of Student Representatives is comprised of approximately twenty-eight elected students, including at least four from each class (first-year, sophomore, junior, senior), with the balance coming from any combination of class years according to vote tallies. Student Representatives sit on numerous faculty, college, and Trustee committees, and serve as a voice for students in the work of these committees.

 

Anthony J. Convertino (Senior)

I have always been politically involved, but never as a Student Representative. This year, I decided that I would run for Student Representative and bring a new voice to the table. As a senior, I see this as not only an opportunity to make an impact on campus this year, but also an opportunity to make a lasting impact at K College long after I am gone.

 

Ian V. Freshwater (Junior)

As a Student Representative, I will put the interests of the Student Body first. The main job of a representative is to be the voice of the student on the various faculty committees that run Kalamazoo College. As a part of these committees I will make sure that the decisions made are in the best interest of the students. This year I will continue in trying to make KCCSR more accessible to the student body so that everyone has the chance to voice their opinions and be heard. As a goal for the upcoming year I hope to make K College a more eco friendly and green campus. In conclusion, if you want a representative that will listen and put your best interests first, then vote for me.

 

Nicklas S. Klepser (First Year)

I should be elected as a Student Representative because I will always, to the best of my ability, make decisions that best represent the will and needs of the student body. Because I was president of my high school’s student council I have valuable experience with student leadership, and the responsibilities that come with it. As a down to earth person, I shall invariably resolve to lend an ear to the complaints, wishes, and requirements of all students and try to embody the diversity of opinion that this school holds dear. Furthermore, I excel at making logical decisions based on the facts of the situation and not on my own emotions. This will be useful, as my actions when elected will not only impact me personally, but also the entirety of the student body. As a Student Representative, I intend to serve in any role required of me to make changes that improve the quality of life here at Kalamazoo College. Whether it is one big change that impacts everyone, or a series of small changes that impact many over time, I want to simply help create the tools that will allow every student to succeed.

 

Mya D. Gough (Sophomore)

Hello! My name is Mya Gough. I am a sophomore and this will be my second year participating in Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives. Last year I was on the Education Policies Committee. I believe that each individual’s opinions matter. As a student representative I will listen to my peers and make sure I represent their opinions to the board in a precise and accurate manner. I am willing to dedicate time towards deeply understanding areas of focus at K and developing a course of action to reach our goals. I am a social person so you can feel free to come to me and explain your thoughts and/or concerns. When you vote for me you can be confident that I will listen and understand your thoughts and work towards implementing them into our discussions. I am dedicated and driven to make Kalamazoo College the best campus for each individual person. Vote for me for Student Representative!

 

Katie Guo (First Year)

Hello! My name is Katie Guo, and I am a current freshman at K. I am an extremely reliable and assertive student with skills and experience in negotiating, in problem solving, and in leadership. I believe my experience in representing my high school as State Secretary, President, and Vice President will aid me in fully representing the student body at K. My goal as a student representative is to connect with each one of you at K to gather views about your college experience. I will voice your needs, concerns, and opinions to the wonderful staff of Kalamazoo College. As a student representative, I will make a real change and improve the life of students at Kalamazoo College.

 

George-Joseph Asher (Sophomore)

Hello, My name is George Asher, I am a Sophmore and I am running to be one of your Student Representatives. Being a Student Representative I will help further the needs of students across campus and make sure that your concerns are met in a timely manner. Kalamazoo College is an environment that I believe should be a community where everyone feels comfortable and able to thrive. As your representative, I hope not only to keep this promise but to always be trying to improve The College to help benefit every single student. Any concerns or new goals that you feel need to be addressed at the council I will happily meet with you to discuss these issues and forward them at council meetings. I hope to be able to represent you on The Kalamazoo Council of Student Representatives!

Andres Del Castillo (First Year)

Being a freshman, I want to take advantage of the time we have here on campus and help everyone make the most out of their experiences on campus too. I am running to be elected because I want to be actively involved in making K a better place for everyone. I want to help bring everyone together and help to close the gaps between people on campus.

 

Karina Pantoja (Sophomore)

I am dedicated to making sure that the voice of the Sophomore class is listened to, valued, and accurately represented when addressing issues and ideas to the board. Since I was an active member of KCCSR for the 2016-2017 school year, you can be sure that I have the experience and skill set to handle the position of Student Representative and to serve on different committees within the college. I want to ensure that the community of Kalamazoo College continues to come together and work at improving our home as best as we can.

 

Julia K. Woods (Sophomore)

As a candidate for student government, my first and primary objective is to listen to all the voices of my student body. I intend on representing my peers as authentically and empathetically as possible in order to execute the wishes of the student body. As a student representative, I would like to primarily focus on changing some aspects and maintaining some aspects of how we define our liberal arts education is. Many students struggle taking explorations or pursuing interests outside their major or track because they feel that there are so many stipulations of achieving where they want to go. One of the most beautiful aspects of K is that we all have the opportunity to take explorations outside of our disciplines. I want to help any students who struggle taking that opportunity. The other amazing part about K is that the classrooms are small enough, everyone can have an opportunity to be heard. This isn’t always a reality, for some students feel uncomfortable voicing their opinions in the classroom, however, I believe that we can cultivate classrooms where everyone can be heard without feeling like they or their opinion will not be accepted. I want to hear the voices of our students as to how we can make liberal arts and classroom discussions more accessible to everyone.

 

Quentin N. Baur (First Year)

Growing up in South Korea, India, China, and Brighton, Michigan, I have lived among both wealth and poverty. My life of travel has cultured friendships from a variety of places, including America, China, Iran, and Lebanon. To this day, I continue to connect with a variety of people of a variety of worldviews. These relationships make me develop a sense of empathy towards people of all backgrounds. I have witnessed a common theme that the one thing people want in this world, is someone who will listen to them, someone who will give them a voice. Overall, people want someone to listen and respect their opinions and beliefs. I want to be your voice. In terms of Kalamazoo, I am a huge advocate for inclusive events, safety, and innovation. People should feel important and enjoy their time at Kalamazoo. Even though Kalamazoo has a terrific reputation and a safe campus environment, there are always improvements to be made. They should not be afraid to ask for help, or feel embarrassed if they need to talk. Nor should they shy away from expressing their opinions to one another. In conclusion, I firmly believe that I should be elected as a Student Representative because I will make each student feel safe and inclusive within a non-judgmental environment making Kalamazoo College a better place for all.

 

Azra Ahmad (Senior)

Education to me is more than academics. I learn and grow by exploring and engaging beyond academia. I am motivated to be a part of this student representation because of my passion to learn about K community and grow as a leader. I care about the needs and concerns of our students and I am interested in becoming a part of the student group that strives to improve our campus environment into an accepting, inclusive and a progressive community. My passion to learn and grow has lead me to work in the Office of Admissions as an Admissions Intern, in the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life as an Interfaith Student Leader Intern, and has motivated me to participate in multiple student organizations. I am the co-president of Muslim Students Association (MSA), I am a member of Sukuma, a student group that provides a space where students can share their experiences as underrepresented science students and learn from each other. I am also a part of Business and Economics Club, Model of the United Nations (MUN). I also participate in the events hosted by Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership. Given my interest and involvement on campus, I believe that I will be an effective member of Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives in the goals this body aims to accomplish, and beyond.

 

Kevin D. McCarty (Sophomore)

Hello! My name is Kevin McCarty and I am running for KCCSR. I am running because I believe that, using a combination of my past leadership experiences, I will be successful in fostering positive change within the campus community. As a student leader, I served most notably as the president and founder of a school newspaper written by elementary school students. Here my goal was twofold: to give everyone a voice and to make it heard. Through a local non-profit, this newspaper was funded and distributed throughout our community, ensuring all students could express themselves to the fullest extent possible. Further, I have served as an executive board member on a student-run tutoring agency, aimed to serve economically disprivileged students in need of academic assistance. At Kalamazoo College, I have continued on a similar trajectory. As of this year, I am the Civic Engagement Scholar for my favorite volunteer program, the Woodward After School Program. I also have the privilege of working as a layout editor for The Index, a role completely new and exciting to me. This year my goal has been to find a way to make sure every student’s voice is heard within the community at K College. I think that having spent so much time working to give young students a voice, this would be an appropriate role for me to take on. I hope with this role I can work to build enduring relationships within the K College faculty, in order to best facilitate a meaningful and fruitful dialogue about student concerns at Kalamazoo College.

 

Gabriel T. Stanley (Sophomore)

Last year I was able to serve as a Student Representative on KCCSR as it was just starting to take form and I’d like to continue to see the progression of the organization into something that’s able to provide a tangible, beneficial, impact on campus. I think that the first step to doing this is by increasing the accessibility of information on the practices of college administration and creating a transparent relationship between the student body and the administration. More than just providing a time for students to attend KCCSR meetings, there should be active encouragement of speaking out against issues that the college or community is facing. It’s also necessary to ensure that the values of the students are being reflected by the policies of the school, especially in times where the governing authorities are making active efforts to manipulate legislation originally put in place to ensure the safety of every individual. K College has previously made the right decisions in continuing programs that have been rescinded by current U.S. administration, notably the Title IX guidance, but I think that it’s important to stay prepared for whatever decision could be made next. Political partiality aside, I’d like to do my best to represent the student body and work with anyone who has issue with the way that campus problems are handled. More than anything else, I think that ensuring that the student body and administration form a working community that values respect and collaboration is what needs to be strived for.

 

Riya Bhuyan (Sophomore)

Hi! I’m Riya Bhuyan and I’m running for KCCSR. I believe that my experiences as a student leader, as well as my commitment to and love for the campus community, make me an experienced and approachable candidate for the job. I was a Prefect in high school (yeah just like it is in “Harry Potter”), and a part of my job was to be the voice of the student body; bridge the gap between them and the administrators. I was also the President of the Economics Society, a Senior Editor of the school magazine, and the Vice Captain of the varsity Tennis team. As part of a non-academic research project, I started an “upcycling” campaign in school, and conducted several workshops on how to turn “trash” into “treasure.” I was also involved with the Teach India campaign that gives unemployed Indians vocational training in spoken English. These experiences have definitely impacted my journey at K. For example, I’ve recently started a new student organization called “Enactus.” It is part of a global network of university programs that are focused on entrepreneurship for social development– combining my interest in economics with my passion for social justice. I serve as the Treasurer of the International Students Organization, where my main focus is to budget for programs and get funding for events. I see my role as a Student Representative as being an extension of my current involvement on campus at a larger scale. I believe that my leadership style involves staying in-sync with my peers– listening to them, and bringing their concerns and ideas to light. Through this office, I hope to build strong relationships within the community, and help bring about positive change on campus.

 

Kaspar F. Hudak (Junior)

In my time at K I have participated in a volunteer initiative (Maple Street), worked a campus job (Phonathon), volunteered as an Interfaith Student Leader, lived in a Living-Learning House, and have just started interning at the Archives and directing WJMD Radio. As per K’s emphasis on experiential learning, I feel that I have experienced life here enough to make certain (possibly controversial) observations of the college and what I think should be done. Faced with running a deficit, the college has responded by enlarging the freshman class, and restricting them from living off-campus until winter of their Junior year, to ensure the college gains revenue from them studying abroad or living in the dorms. I disagree with this measure and will attempt to reverse it. On the subject of revenue, I will continue to search for and entertain suggestions from the student body regarding a completely environmentally-friendly, prison-divested investment portfolio for the college. Taking into account the disturbing nationwide trend towards corporatized college administration noted in The Fall of the Faculty by Benjamin Ginsberg, I believe our outstanding faculty should remain on college decision-making committees, perhaps in greater numbers. I also seek to encourage the expansion of and participation in anti-racist and anti-colonial educational/leadership initiatives such as ERACCE, which as of last year was completely funded by the college for the first time. Finally, I will continue to endorse the activities and interests of the Arcus Center and the Intercultural Center, including any critiques of the college that they may offer.

 

Arun K. Shrestha (Sophomore)

It was 8 years ago, back in Nepal, and I was playing guitar for the first time. My urge to play was so profound that “I played it till my fingers bled,” as Bryan Adams sang in his song “Summer of Sixty-Nine.” I continued to play without ever thinking of stopping. I then joined my local school rock band and won a major competition. After 8 years the same feeling is burning in my heart: the desire to do something for the community where I live. That’s why I am running for Student Representative. I don’t possess a magical wand that can solve every student’s problems with a flick of my wrist, but I can assure you that my drive is infallible, and I will work until my fingers bleed. Though I worked hard to become a decent guitarist, I plan to work even harder if I am elected. I will use my position to create transparency and equal opportunity for all students. I believe that every opinion matters and I will try to become the voice of all students in council meetings, and will fight for each subgroup of students, including students of color and the Kalamazoo LGBTQAI (etc.) community. “Desire, burning desire, is basic to achieving anything beyond the ordinary” -Joseph B. Wirthlin

 

Ansh Chaudhary (Senior)

As a student representative at K, I would make sure to hear the demands of students and do my best to have your voices heard at meetings. I strive to make the campus a better place, which is achieved by meeting your requests as quick as possible. I have had leadership experience in multiple student organizations on campus. These experiences required me to plan many events, host a plethora of meetings, at which I make sure to vocalize my concerns, and have many other responsibilities related to the job. I would say that I am an open-minded person and I take people’s opinions, no matter what it is, into full consideration when I make decisions or formulate arguments for any matters. This is an important quality to have as a student representative, as it would make it easier for me to get along in groups, and be able to make sure students’ demands are heard at meetings. Your vote is a vote to have your voices heard and demands met.

 

Sage M. Ringsmuth (First Year)

My name is Sage Ringsmuth and I would like to be your student representative for the freshman class. In the past I have always enjoyed leading, and I’m interested in the inner workings of the college. I would be a great representative because I like to listen to others and offer creative solutions; try to help whenever I see someone in need of it, and when I notice a problem routinely arising, I take action. As your freshman representative I will always be open to your input and issues, and I will endeavor to answer any questions you might have. Diversity is a part of my background so I am confident that I can help come up with creative solutions to make life easier for K students. Your vote for me is a vote for a better K!

 

Hannah L. Kerns (First Year)

My sense of drive and positive example-setting, embodies the mission of a Student Representative. I aim to be actively involved with a variety of programs and people on K’s campus. Building relationships with people of vast friend-groups and backgrounds is one of my goals and is supported by those who I surround myself with. I am a leader with a mission to succeed. My determination and dedication is evident in my academic prowess and relationships I possess. I am a natural leader who consistently leads discussion and change in and out of the classroom.. My desire to not only identify my weaknesses, but to fix them makes me a detail oriented influencer and friend to many who is rarely satisfied with a first attempt. I take criticism from my mentors, and teachers and apply it because I am constantly focused on improvement. In a world where most students struggle with critique of any kind, I seek it. My ability to see problems, address them, and try to make a situation better makes me a role model to those around me. Whether in the classroom, with my friends, or in a group of people I have just met, I constantly put forth my best effort with everyone’s interests in mind. As a Student Representative, I want to make sure the voices of all students are heard. Often times, important voices are drowned out and become lost in the crowd. I want to make those voices HEARD! As a member of the council, I want to serve numerous groups on campus and maintain the positive atmosphere on K’s campus.

 

Maria E. Fujii (Senior)

I consider myself to be an active member of the Kalamazoo College community. I enjoy making conversation and like to think that I make a considerable effort in engaging with those outside of my own interests. When coupling my ability to engage in interpersonal communication with my observant nature, I believe that this is the perfect combination for a student representative at K. I hear what students have to say when they are amongst their colleagues and friends. They definitely have opinions about issues on campus; they just don’t feel that they have the means to express them. I want to be the bridge that turns these cafeteria conversations into a reality. I want to instill faith in the members of K College that their opinions can make changes on campus. I know that I can accomplish this in collaboration with KCCSR. Life as a student at K can be hectic. However, with my timeliness as well as my organizational and multitasking skills, I thrive off of the crazy. I love putting in hard work and not stopping until I accomplish what I set out to. Further, I know that my listening skills and patience in addition to my approachability will ensure that I am an effective student representative. One of my most valuable interpersonal skills is my ability to respect to a viewpoint, even if it conflicts with my own. Further, I can put myself in their shoes and assess the situation from their perspective, which enhances my ability to work in groups. I believe that the best brainstorming comes from collaboration. Bouncing ideas off of one another motivates me and augments my ability to think critically and creatively. I strongly believe that this will work in favor of KCCSR as well as the K community.

 

Rosella G. Lochirco (Sophomore)

I want to be elected as a student representative because I care deeply about this school community and I will effectively communicate student concerns to the administration. As a member of the women’s soccer team and a representative on KCCSR last year, I feel confident in my ability to facilitate discussions about what our school community needs and how to achieve those goals. The Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives is a great group because it focuses on transparency and effectiveness rather than hierarchy and prestige. I want to be a member of this elected body so that I can participate in the core purpose of the group: to give students a voice on faculty committees. I am open minded, very approachable, and excited about meeting new people and exploring new ideas for our college. If elected, I would represent student needs with integrity, attend all KCCSR meetings so that I can communicate those results with the student body, and I would pursue two additional goals. First, I would support the creation of a student/faculty committee on athletics. After the recent NCAA and MIAA sanctions, it is important to keep the student body informed and to give students a say in athletic department decisions. Second, I would seek out a faculty committee that deals directly with increasing diversity in admissions at K. It is very exciting to welcome the class of 2021 as K’s most diverse group. It would be awesome to continue additional dialogues about diversity in admissions at K. Thank you and I hope I can earn your vote!

 

Alaq Zghayer (First Year)

As a student representative, I believe I can bring a perspective that is needed and shaped by my background. As an Arab with a Muslim family, I will represent a minority at K that can go unnoticed. I will add to K’s inclusiveness by making sure certain groups within campus do not feel alienated, whether that be minorities or people with political opinions that do not align with the majority. I will address pressing issues on campus with sound judgement and a desire to be productive, not destructive. I have had a passion for government and politics that is beyond my comprehension; to be able to put that to use at K would be a dream. Allow me to serve the student body through promoting inclusiveness, addressing our issues as a campus, and being a voice of our class.

 

Brandon L. Lopez (Senior)

This year I’ve noticed a drastically different campus from when I was a first-year and first served on the student government board. Many things at this institution have changed and there are now more black and brown bodies on campus than ever before. But that’s just it, were still being treated as brown and black BODIES. Now that we have the numbers it’s time to stop [exclusively] focusing on getting our people here and start [additionally] focusing on what we’re doing once we get here. I myself am a Puerto-Rican, born and raised in Chicago. I know what it is to come to a place that has so many amazing promises and yet no path upon which you can walk to attain those promises. I can’t save the world, and in one-year I can’t fix everything that’s wrong, in fact the bare truth is that likely most of us will only be able do the minimum in terms of change. But more important than change, I seek to instill hope and inspiration as well as open a path to resources by which we can accomplish our goals. If you vote for me you’re taking a chance, just like anyone else, but one thing is for sure. I will never shut up, I will never stop asking questions, and I will never stop pointing out all the BS, fakeness, and self-interested greed that finds its way into our movements when it comes to supporting each other. I want to be perfectly clear that neither I, nor any other candidate, can make you any certain promises except for one: I know what it means to be a student of color in this bold new world, I know what it means to feel painfully alone. You are not alone.

 

Shivani Rana (Junior)

Fellow Kalamazoo Hornets, My name is Shivani Rana and I ask you to give me the opportunity to be your voice at Kalamazoo College. Having been a student representative working within kcollege these past years, I will take on the position of being your Student Representative with the same ambition I have in all aspects of my life, to make a positive difference. I care for this community and how every single student feels at this school. I want to listen to every concern and have the chance to act on it. If you give me this opportunity, I promise to be approachable and to work hard to make this school more inclusive, more supportive and more like the learning environment that you need to succeed. Being a student is hard work. Balancing a large load of academic work, your social life and the many occupational advancement opportunities on top of the stress of everyday life is difficult. I understand that we are all different and that we do not all work the same. I know us students have so much on our plate and we enjoy the security of knowing our College will take care of us, give us the help we need to move forward and develop us into strong college graduates that society would be proud to embrace. Let me hear your concerns when you don’t feel secure. I ask you to have faith in me to get your points across, so you can go back to doing what you’re here for, to learn, gain experience and develop into a strong blossoming professional. Vote for me to be your voice, and together we can make K an even stronger college!

 

Emiliana N. Renuart (Sophomore)

As a Student Representative serving on KCCSR, I would use my platform to make sure all student voices are recognized and brought to the table when considering new ideas and decisions. As a sophomore, I have the opportunity to hear from my fellow students about their thoughts and concerns on big upcoming issues and opportunities, like studying abroad or declaring a major, as well as general feedback on college departments, events, stu-orgs, and everyday life at K. As a Student Representative, my goal would be to ensure that there are opportunities for students to take a break from the intense schedule that classes at K often foster to relax and recharge, whether that be at special events, like Cafsgiving or DOGL, or by working to improve day-to-day life based on student feedback. I’m looking forward to the possibility of serving the student body as a member of KCCSR!

 

Maya E. Gurfinkel (Sophomore)

At Kalamazoo College, students have space to give their input on campus-related issues, but there is a lot of work still needed to produce a thriving campus environment. I see my part in this work as being a direct voice from students to faculty and staff. This could mean sitting down to talk about our campuses work on inclusivity and recognization of our diverse campus body, to reinforcing our agreement of being a sustainable college. These aspects of our campus to my mind don’t get enough attention. If I were to be a Student Representative I would come to the position with my knowledge and experience of discussion and debate around these concerns. Being a voice for students is a job I don’t perceive as easy and without a strong commitment. I don’t expect to represent the ideas of every single student, but I plan to focus on topics I know are at the heart of many student’s experiences with Kalamazoo College. I am applying and running for this position because I know I can bring a unique outlook for change within our campus structure.

 

Shiva R. Sah (Sophomore)

Some fish love to swim upstream and some people love to overcome challenges. Challenges and experiences from solving those challenges have made me stronger, developing some leadership qualities in the process. Three years ago, I opened a social organization where hundreds of youth supported to impact the lives of earthquake victims of 2015 in Nepal. While my family was sleeping in the street because the house was not safe (because of aftershocks), I was working with my team to make the positive impact in the societies. Even over this summer, I worked with 60 youths to assist flood victims in Nepal with necessary relief materials. I helped people fighting with death. I have seen many corpses and I have learned to work in such a critical and life-threatening situation. These experiences and challenges helped me develop leadership qualities. Competency, focus, and experiences differentiate me from my peers. In Maya Angelou’s words, “My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.” I want to bring a positive change and sense of belonging to K family at K-college, meet new people and students, organize different kinds of events, practice and improve my leadership skills and enhance college experiences. Most of all, I want to be a leader and leave behind a remarkable impact. I promise I will make student’s voice heard to the college community. I will make communication between college and students easier. I should be elected because I do my work best of my ability for the task I take on. VOTE for me! Make your college experiences better!

 

Cody Howrigon (Senior)

I want to be a Student Representative because I believe I can serve as an effective mediator between the student body and the college. I want to accomplish two main things as a Student Representative. Firstly, I would like our Student Government to return to the structure it had in years past. I had the opportunity to sit-in on several meetings last year, and I found that the lack of student positions (President, Vice-President, Secretary, etc.) created a lot of inefficiency throughout the course of each meeting. I would like to see this changed. Secondly, I would like to promote a closer relationship with the Index. I think it is important to have a representative from the college’s newspaper as often as possible in order to provide the student body and the K administration with the clearest depiction of what it is that we do in our meetings.

 

Caryn K. Hannapel (Sophomore)

As a student representative, I will actively engage socially and academically with Kalamazoo College’s student body. I believe that student representatives should have every student’s best interest in mind. Being an involved student allows me to gain an understanding about what individuals and groups of students hope to see at Kalamazoo College. I will be able to use my own academic experiences, as well as social skills, to ensure positive experiences for current and incoming K College students in the future. Throughout the entire school year I will make sure this job is a top priority. I believe that committing yourself to a group is important. Everyone must be a team player and be willing to devote the necessary time to provide the school with the support and organization it needs. Engaging with our college’s decision-making body is a proactive way to ensure all students are receiving the type of college experience they came to Kalamazoo College for. As a student representative, I plan to promote student individuality and expression in both academic and social settings. I will use my past leadership experience and problem-solving skills to help provide opportunities and support for every student’s passions and needs. Hard work, organization and dedication are what student leaders are made of, and I am prepared to be just that.

 

Cassandra Cribbs (Senior)

Hi! I’m Cassie, in case we haven’t met. I’ve been a member of the Council (or one of its various forms) every year that I’ve been at K; if elected, this will be my fourth. Since I first joined, the organization has gone through a bit of an identity crisis regarding its role and purpose as an elected body. If re-elected, I hope to both define the Council’s role on campus and expand its ability to advocate for student issues on campus. I’d also see supporting my fellow representatives as an important part of my own role on the Council. We’ve had a very high turnover rate over the past few years, and I see passing on my own knowledge and experience to other classes as an important way to enable future iterations of the Council to have a greater impact on campus. A more structured and better-defined body would ensure that a vital forum for students to have their voices heard remains accessible for later classes, which can then use it to advocate for their own interests. Some of my past projects through this organization have included getting students access to Microsoft Office for free through Information Services (which, if you didn’t know before: you can get Office for free with your K-email!), locating and fixing Wi-fi dead zones in dorms, and advocating for LGBT inclusivity around campus. This year, I hope to both continue to expand on my past work as well as assisting other students (fellow representatives or otherwise) in their own work to better the overall K experience.

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Student Elections to be Held Thursday