Learn more about who’s running for SGA and their platform and purpose. 

Good afternoon my lovely Bwog readers and avid fans of SGA! This week’s meeting is a little different because this meeting was SGA’s candidates’ forum! It was extremely exciting to hear for the first time about what each candidate brings to the table so I can make an informed decision on who to vote for in each position. I got to hear from all of the qualified and passionate candidates this week and learned more about what each position does, and the candidates’ goals for their roles. April is the month of new beginnings and a turnover of SGA power. Also, can someone confirm if Columbia has people to clean their dorms? Barnard does not have this. Is this actually true? I really need to know. 

Voting opened at 12 pm today and closes at 12 pm on Tuesday, April 18th. Results will be announced at 5 pm on Tuesday, April 18th. I’m looking forward to finding out who will win and I am here to relay some information to you about the things each candidate hopes to accomplish! 

SGA President:

Mariame Sissoko

  • Previous VP of Equity
  • Previously created policies and events for students of marginalized identities by students of marginalized identities
  • Wants to focus on student-centered policies
  • No more top-down decision-making in SGA

Vice President of Policy:

Emily Lan

  • Focused on admin accountability
  • Ensure transparency in communication between SGA and administration

Vice President of Equity:

Aurelia Tan

  • Previous Representative for Transfer, International, and Commuter Students
  • The past position helped commuters in their college lives
  • Making Barnard more equitable and inclusive to all students

Vice President of Campus Life:

Emily Shami Sher

  • Previously a part of the campus life committee
  • Wants to implement student feedback and input in SGA
  • Engage and include all students across campus in campus events
  • Block parties for pop culture events like the Oscars or World Cup
  • Utilize Instagram polls for students to have input in SGA

Izzy Shimabukuro

  • A previous representative for alum and career service
  • A lot of experience in event planning
  • Trying to improve the sense of community that was lost during Covid
  • Revising old traditions like Greek Games
  • Promote diversity, equity, and inclusion

Vice President of Finance:

Tyra Manning

  • Sophomore class president/previous sophomore vice president
  • Is an Opportunity Program student who knows about the allocation of funds
  • Treasurer in high school and in charge of raising money
  • In contact with the bank and good at doing administrative work
  • Wants to work with directors to fix these funds and allocate them better
  • Increasing financial literacy for students

Astor Wu

  • Previous Co-Chair of Finance
  • Months of hands-on experience in finance at Barnard
  • Wants to work on developing and maintaining a transparent budget
  • More joint council collaboration

Vice President of Communications:

Jay Samson

  • Improving communication with students
  • Planning on helping with SGA’s role by talking to administration

Vice President of Student Services:

Quan Ha

  • A part of working on improving laundry machines at Barnard
  • Wants staff to be trained in cultural competency
  • Working on Barnard students getting the same cleaning services at Columbia (i.e. Barnard students get dorm cleaning services)

Representative for Inclusive Initiatives:

Asstan Cisse

  • Creating a space for marginalized students
  • Create events and work with the VP of Equity to recognize marginalized students during their respective months of celebration

Representative for Health Services:

Ella Ferguson

  • Expand the vending machines and condoms to all dorms
  • Increase the number of Furman counselors

Representative for Sustainable Initiatives:

Bria Dominici

  • Environmental Science major in high school who worked on a landscape audit and school gardens
  • Wants to expand on Barnard’s plan to improve sustainability
  • Building off work to improve the curriculum
  • Wants to create a mentorship program with sustainability for majors and classes to integrate sustainability into classes
  • Campus-wide thrift events
  • Acknowledging Columbia’s affiliation with Harlem in relation to sustainability

Daniella Donzelli Scorza

  • Knowledgeable about ecological research
  • Works with NYC government and companies 
  • Wants to add solar panels on campus roofs
  • Equity-centered work towards sustainability and centering voices of people of color

Renge Shirai

  • Experience in researching the barriers to student engagement in sustainability as an Athena Fellow
  • Trying to create a pilot to accept reusable cups at Liz’s Place
  • Working toward Barnard’s goal of net zero by 2040

Representative for Transfer, International, and Commuter Students:

Rishika Gupta 

  • An international student who understands the experiences that are distinct for them
  • Wants to create more events for transfer and commuter students
  • Mental health support for all the groups
  • Wants to address housing insecurity for transfer students and wants to go back to pre-Covid policies about transfer housing

Emma Vorchheimer

  • Transfer student
  • Wants to create a better transfer student housing formula
  • Planning more events with commuters during the day
  • Ensuring that everyone feels truly supported and represented

Representative for Alum & Career Services:

Serena Bane

  • President of the Women’s Network and has seen the benefit of networking
  • Trying to increase meaningful communications with alum
  • Volunteer circles where alum and students can talk and collaborate
  • Alum breakfasts
  • Roundtables and panels for alum

Adrienne Chacon

  • Working with alumni relations at Barnard
  • Strengthen relationships with current and past Barnard students through mentorships
  • Diversity and equity within career services
  • Connecting alums through group identities and help with marginalized groups to gain career support from fellow alums from their groups

Senior Class President:

Magan Chin

  • Previous Junior class president
  • Open mic nights and senior excursions
  • Help the transition from college to real world
  • Helping with nontraditional paths
  • Senior thesis support groups

Junior Class President:

Summer Jones

  • First-year class president
  • Focused on accountability and inclusivity
  • Encourage transparency and accountability in administration about student workers and engagement in Harlem
  • Supporting students for entrance exams in post-graduation

Chloe Wong

  • Ensure that all voices are heard by SGA
  • Focusing on transparency, community, and equity
  • Open communication with students for events
  • Trying to organize workshops and events with faculty to ensure that all students are supported
  • Community building events
  • Access to resources to achieve goals

Sophomore Class President:

Tifi Grossman

  • Previous first-year class president
  • Wants to try partnering with pre-existing programs like McAC to plan sophomore programs
  • Mixer with other sophomores in other colleges 
  • Celebration for declaring a major
  • Virtual bulletin board for sophomores to talk about their opinions and ideas

Parisa Harvey

  • More communication and programming from class council
  • Monthly study breaks and self-care events
  • Student input to plan a major event and major-specific merch
  • Monthly emails sent to grade for grade-wide events
  • Free menstruation products
  • Working on amplifying marginalized voices

Andrea Rachita

  • Wants to address the accessibility to mental health services
  • Implementation of basic mental health training for students and faculty
  • Streamlining the process of getting a counselor at Furman
  • Address the high demand for therapy
  • Longer-term therapy at Furman
  • Flex dollars instead of point system for Barnard students
  • Unlimited meal swipe plans like Columbia
  • First years can choose their dining plans

Sophomore Class Vice President:

Xuannuo (Sherry) Chen

  • Dining hall points for Columbia dining
  • Focused on trying to carry out financial aid reforms
  • Free period products for Barnard and Columbia buildings

Those were all the candidates and their platforms! Stay informed about voting and student government by tuning in next week!

Final Note: Actually someone please tell me if Columbia students get their dorms cleaned.

Image via Bwarchives