School of Engineering and Applied Science students will have a lot of no-brainers next week: Most of the candidates for the Engineering Student Council executive board, class councils, and special representatives are running unopposed.
The candidates were announced yesterday, and nine of the 11 categories are uncontested, including the executive board and councils for the classes of 2013 and 2014. Three students are running for the seat in the University Senate for a SEAS undergraduate.
Campaigning began Monday and voting is open from April 2 through April 5. The candidates will hold a forum from 3 to 5 p.m. on April 1.
Project Blue is the only party running for executive board, headed by University Senator Tim Qin, SEAS ’13, as president.
“I think we were all kind of surprised, because we thought it would be more contested,” Qin said. “But we’re definitely excited with the ideas we have for next year.”
The party’s slogan is “Make Columbia Engineering bluer.” “We want more school spirit—more interschool collaboration with CC, GS, Barnard, and the graduate schools—and most importantly, communication with students,” Qin said.
“You can’t have good policies without input from the student body,” he added.
Rounding out Project Blue’s ticket are Bora Kim, SEAS ’13, as vice president of policy; Caroline Taylor, SEAS ’14, as vice president of communications; Siddhant Bhatt, SEAS ’14, as vice president of finance; and Sheila Misheni, SEAS ’14, as vice president of student life.
“I would like a lot of participation from the non-ESC members from the general SEAS community,” Kim said. “People do want to work on policy changes, but it’s hard to make the changes when you don’t know exactly how things work currently.”
Kim said she plans to make a handbook documenting “how everything works on campus,” from alcohol policies to student government.
Three students are running for the University Senate seat vacated by Qin: Logan Donovan, SEAS ’13 and current vice president of policy; Adam Hadar, SEAS ’15; and Akshay Shah, SEAS ’14 and class of 2014 president.
“I feel like I’ve done a lot of policy and got a lot of things done for council,” Donovan said. “Senator felt like a logical move to accomplish most things for SEAS.”
Shah said the biggest challenge for him as a University senator would be communicating the purpose and necessity of the University Senate.
At the same time, he said, “There needs to be a two-way communication. People need to tell me their issues so I can raise them in the senate.”
The class council races for the classes of 2013 and 2014 are both uncontested. Mary Byers, SEAS ’13, is leading the SEASian party to be reelected as class of 2013 president, and Daniel O’Leary, SEAS ’14 and class representative, is running for president of the FuTASTIC 14.
Two parties, CE Change and Kung Fu Pandas, are running for election to the class of 2015 council.
CE Change includes Tanay Doctor, SEAS ’15, for president; Andre Paiva, SEAS ’15, as vice president; and Aditya Naganath, SEAS ’15, as class representative.
The Kung Fu Pandas, the current class of 2015 council, is once again being led by Joshua Boggs, SEAS ’15, as president.
“We’re very influenced by what we’ve done and witnessed and learned from the past year,” Boggs said.
Boggs said one of the biggest focuses for the party is promoting student group collaboration.
“We have a ton of money to give out on student council. Our biggest ability to effect change is in financing—it’s one of our most overlooked aspects of our council,” Boggs said.
Boggs said he would also like to improve engineers’ student wellness in “all facets of student life,” from dining and facilities to pushing for the ability to take elective courses pass/D/fail.
Running again with Boggs are Shensi Ding, SEAS ’15, for vice president; Manali Yavatkar, SEAS ’15, for class representative; and Edward Zahrebelski, SEAS ’15, for class representative.
Six other races—for the special representatives for academic affairs, student services, and professional development and alumni affairs, as well as the three liaisons to the other undergraduate councils—are also uncontested. Four are first-years and two are sophomores.
For a complete list of candidates, read our Spectrum post from Monday.
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that all six special representative and liaison candidates were first years. Spectator regrets the error.