Shreya Sunderram, BC ’19, has been voted the new academic affairs representative by Barnard’s Student Government Association.
The election follows a previous attempt to fill the position in December after the departure of former representative Shoshana Edelman, BC ’18, who left at the end of last semester to pursue a spring study abroad program. According to SGA Vice President for Communications Rhea Nagpal, BC ’19, however, SGA violated its constitution by allowing all seven candidates to present their platforms at the council meeting, rather than narrowing the applicant pool down to two candidates as mandated by the constitution.
As a result, no candidate received the two-thirds majority vote they would have needed to assume the position, necessitating a second round of elections.
Sunderram and Abigail Kosowsky, BC ’20, both pitched their ideas at SGA’s general body meeting Monday night. While Sunderram had previously applied in December during the first election to fill the position, this was the first time Kosowsky ran for the position.
Sunderram reiterated her commitment to improving inclusivity at Barnard.
“I would like to host a huge conference here similar to the BOOM conference held at Mount Holyoke in which we can bring students and faculty together to really discuss issues of inclusivity in the classroom,” she said.
She said that she hoped to push for policies that would help eliminate instances of exclusive comments by professors, referring back to her first pitch for the position.
“We have rampant ableism, classism, sexism, [and] racism within our classroom spaces,” Sunderram said in December. “I think that we need to have a real conversation about how professors treat their students.”