Student Senate Election: Candidate Platforms!

Senate President

Renee Collins: Industrial Design | 3rd Year

Hello, my name is Renee Collins and I am campaigning to become your next NJIT Student Senate President!

As a third year industrial design major, I’ve been actively involved in the NJIT community through Student Senate as the Industrial Design Rep, NJIT’s Nucleus Yearbook as Editor-in-Chief, Residence Life as a Resident Assistant in Cypress Hall, Industrial Design Society of America as Secretary, and newly established Black Student Union as Secretary.

As Editor-in-Chief for Nucleus, I met with over 50 clubs, organizations, athletic teams, academic departments, and administrative offices to build stronger relationships and innovate our content to be more inclusive of everything NJIT.  As a Student Senator and Secretary of IDSA, I have been a successful liaison between my fellow designers and our administration to spark the change of a core class in our major. This month, I am also completing our goal of creating a showcase for students to display their work through IDSA, Senate, and CoAD.

Within each of my roles, I have helped build the NJIT community and connect students to clubs, organizations, and the community based on their interests. Through all of my involvement on campus, my main goal has always been to improve the NJIT experience for my fellow students, this is my objective as President of the Student Senate.

  1. Strengthen relationships with clubs and organizations by expediting paperwork and processes, collaborating on events, creating a club contact page, and offering support for club goals.
  2. Integrate Senators into academic departments as a student representative for faculty and a resource for students.
  3. Create a resource within Senate for students to petition for the improvement of courses and professors.
  4. Offer students opportunities to work on NJIT projects to utilize students’ talents, give them work experience, and improve NJIT.
  5. Improve Senate approachability, transparency, and reflection of student body interests

Mark Neubauer: BME | 3rd Year

My name is Mark Neubauer, and I am running for President of the NJIT Student Senate.

I am a junior Biomedical Engineering student, and have been an active member of Senate for the past 3 years as Freshman Resident Rep, Resident Rep, and now Vice President of Student Affairs.

A majority of my work has been focused on Student Affairs. My committee focuses on improving the quality of campus and the student experience. We focus on the areas of GDS, Transportation & Safety, the Campus Center, the Library and the city of Newark. Over the past two years, I have drafted and organized over $200,000 worth of proposals for the Student Activities Fund Review Board. A full list of the SAFRB proposals can be viewed on the Senate website.

I have spearheaded the Public Office Hours program, where the Student Senate asks survey questions on tablets to gain valuable feedback. Thanks to your participation, we have been able to use the data to enact meaningful change, such as extending the Library hours and passing resolutions on academic policy. The survey results can also be found on the Senate website. Your feedback is so important to us that I have led the effort to get our office moved from the 4th floor of Campus Center to the Bookstore space on the 1st floor. This will make the Senate much more accessible to students and easier for your voice to be heard.

I am also President of Honors Student Council and a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity. As President, I promise to work with Greek organizations to improve their image and presence on campus.

My goals for the position of President are:

-To increase Senate transparency and accountability.

-To enact an open-door policy at our new office location so that all students feel comfortable coming to Senate with their concerns and feedback.

-To make it easier for clubs to request funding and supplies through our new financial bylaws. In addition, to improve existing club space with new furniture and equipment.

-To continue large-scale campus improvement projects, focusing on the areas of Campus Center, Library and Outdoor Furniture.

-To make Senate more effective by increased office hours for Senators, filling vacant positions so all students are adequately represented, and utilizing Student-at-Larges, which allow students to be involved even if they did not win an elected position.

 

Senior Class President

Manogna Guduru: Biology | Junior

My name is Manogna Guduru and I am a junior studying biology. As an active student on campus, I’ve gained a lot of experience communicating and working with many organizations and departments. I’ve been on Student Senate since my freshman year where I served as a Freshman Resident Representative, then become the Junior Class President in the fall. I later became the Treasurer where I took over the planning of all of Student Senate’s signature events. Some of my personal contributions will be revamping Fan Fair, cohosted with SAAC, and a spring Casino Night. In addition to Senate, I am the Director of Event Planning for Alpha Sigma Tau and the treasurer of Alpha Kappa Psi. All of these positions have helped me successfully manage a budget and plan large scale events that people will enjoy. My goals for Senior Class President are to increase senior bonding and spirit by hosting more pub nights with incentives for those who attend, to continue the tradition of an excellent semi-formal, and add more events like Taste of Newark. I’m extremely excited to have a great senior year filled with fun trips and events, so vote for me as your next Senior Class President!

 

Vice President of Finance

Mansi Sheth: BME | 2nd Year

Hi my name is Mansi Sheth. I am a 2nd year BME student and  running for Vice President of Finance. I am the current Vice President of Finance and I am the Director of Academic Success for AST, a Math Tutor, and a member of a few other organization on campus. As the servicing VPF, I have successfully been able to change the process for club funding. This process now includes online forms as well as clubs creating their own budgets for the upcoming year. For next year, my first goal is to increase transparency by publishing the Student Senate Budget on the Senate website. There are many students who don’t know what the activity fee is used for and publishing the budget will alleviate this problem. Another goal of mine is to perfect the new budget process. I want to make sure that clubs have ample time to create their budgets and they are able to get all the money that is necessary. Lastly, my goal is to reduce the amount of reimbursements necessary for clubs. I want to try and establish a rent a card program where clubs are allowed to rent a debit/credit card to purchase supplies for their events rather than pay out of pocket.  I hope to continue to  my role on Senate. 

 

Vice President of Administration

Manish Singh

My name is Manish Singh and I am running for the Vice President of Administration position. I became part of the Student Senate this year as the Information Technology Representative. As the Information Technology Representative, I held feedback sessions and helped to bridge the gap between students, faculty, and administration. I worked very closely with all the professors and the Director of the Information Technology department Dr. Halper, to address the concerns the students had. I was also part of the Management Committee. I served as an active member and was able to play the biggest role in the committee, helping in setting for events, supply requests, etc. Because of my hard work and dedication, I was able to win the Senator of the Month award. 3 weeks before the fall semester ended, our Vice President of Administration had to resign due to some personal issues. Though it was depressing to see him leave, I saw his resignation as an opportunity for me to make big changes at NJIT. As the VPA, I have been able to accomplish many things. I was able to successfully host the Feedback Fair, manage and work with 40 senators, assist the senators in making changes to their respected departments, get clubs approved, managed the Academic Affairs Committee and the Constitution Committee, made major changes to the Senate Constitution and the SOSAC form, and wrote the 4 resolutions that will improve NJIT. My goal is to run again for VPA position so that I can continue to make changes while completing my goals. My goals would be to increase senator success in all aspects, create a better feedback fair with a higher attendance, head the Academic Affair Committee to correct the issues we have in the academic side, write and purpose more resolutions, and much more. As Vice President of Administration, I will enforce and uphold the Senate Constitution

 

Secretary

Kellen Kadakia

My name is Kellen Kadakia and I’m running for the position of Secretary. I started off as a Student-at-large on Student Affairs committee, where I have accomplished many milestones, some of these are writing multiple SAFRB proposals for Solar tables, The Highlander Monument, etc., acting as head of the Newark Network subcommittee, which works to hold events and publicize the eateries and development of our local community (The Trevor Noah Show, etc.) Also I try to help out wherever I can and actively work towards improvement of GDS, as Freshman Resident Representative. Next year, the Student Senate office will be moved to where the current bookstore is, with a larger space, I plan on creating the Student Senate office into a more welcoming environment for students, where students can freely walk in, create more transparency and showcasing ongoing activities of Student Senate and creating a system that allows me to have materials such as flyers etc. for clubs more readily available.

 

Club Manager

Panchajanya Vangapandu

Hi, my name is Panch, I am a first year Information Technology student. I’ve had the pleasure of serving as Club Manager this previous year and I am running for the position again. As Club Manager, I oversaw the administration of over 70 student organizations and I led Constitution Committee to approve recognition of 10 New Student Organizations. We are currently working on recognizing even more organizations before the end of the year!

For next year, I hope to publish a thorough list of all the student organizations so the Students can know what we have available on campus, publish a concise and thorough packet as a handbook for all existing clubs, and students looking to form new clubs, work on a new online document submission form, and conduct more effective Club Cabinet Meetings. I hope that these changes will bridge any gap in communication between Senate and student organizations, increase transparency, and allow clubs to access available resources more efficiently.

 

Public Relations Manager

Angela Chisholm: Mechanical Engineering | 3rd Year

Hello NJIT, I am Angela Chisholm and I want to be your next NJIT Public Relations Manager!  As a third year Mechanical Engineering major, I have been committed to Residence Life as a Resident Assistant, Black Student Union as Founder and President, First Fellows as a Peer Mentor, and InterVarsity.

As an RA, I encourage students to become more involved in the NJIT community by connecting them with clubs and events related to their majors and interests.  I work closely with first-year students and provide regular events for them.  Their feedback has given me a new perspective on how we reach students.  We are a great student body and I am dedicated to enhancing the college experience for both residents and commuters.  I will show that by achieving the goals I have set for the upcoming year.

Term Goals:

1.    Improve advertisement for Senate events and achievements

2.    Collect feedback from students by expanding Senate outreach

3.    Reflect the diversity of NJIT’s community through student events

 

College of Architecture and Design Representative

Pier Paolo PalaArchitecture | Senior

Accomplishments:

  • Assisted with and co-hosted the most attended feedback session at CoAD.
  • Assisted with proposal to relocate Student Senate office to first floor of Campus Center.
  • Developed proposal to install charging lockers at Littman Library.

Goals:

  • Develop a framework for leadership experience to be passed down from student organization leaders to aspiring students, through the form of a CoAD Council, composed of the leaders of CoAD’s student organizations, representatives from the Student Senate, and individual studio representatives.
  • Establish a system for curating and displaying student work across Weston Hall, and identify new areas for exhibition.
  • Revamp 5th floor lounge into a usable relaxation space. Designs could be created through an internal student competition, studio assignment integration, or survey polling the student body.
  • Explore options for more student competitions and design charrettes.
  • Explore options for interdisciplinary collaboration with Newark College of Engineering, whether through combined studios/labs or shared electives.

 

Architecture Representative

Ashley Griffith: Architecture | 3rd Year

My name is Ashley Griffith and I am currently a third year architecture student. The position that I am campaigning for is Architecture Representative.

The main goals that I would like to focus on are: accessible to printer/ material cutters, studio maintenance issues, elevator/walkway issues, bathroom maintenance, and curriculum issues.  My main goal is to ensure comfort and safety for the architecture students. I am a proud member of Alpha Sigma Tau where I am the Vice President of Operations. I have been on the IFSC for two years now, where I was previously Director of Philanthropy and Community Service and I am now the Executive Director. I also currently have a job as an AutoCAD intern on Rutgers campus. I have also been selected for the Student of Architecture and Design Super Jury Showcase in fall 2014, spring 2015 and fall 2016. In addition to this I’m also in Albert Dorman Honors College and I have earned Dean’s List for the past 6 consecutive semesters. I am confident that after holding these leadership roles and achieving these accomplishments I can accomplish these goals for the architecture school.

 

Digital Design Representative

Sophia Chan: Digital Design | 1st Year

My name is Sophia Chan and I am running for Digital Design Major Representative. As of now, I am a second semester freshman majoring in Digital Design. This past year, I have been involved in several organizations on campus such as the Nucleus Yearbook, TECH observer – an annual magazine distributed by the Albert Dorman Honors College, Honors Social Committee, and the Women’s Swim Club. Also, I have been able to be a part of senate as the Digital Design Major Representative for part of the Spring 2017 semester. I was also a student mentor at JerseySTEM this past semester.

My goal as a senator would be to help publicize the major and let other students know more about what we do as digital designers. I think it would be really cool to try and find an opportunity for CoAD students to display/showcase their work for the rest of the school or even collaborate on projects for the NJIT community.

 

Biology Representative 

Efstathia  Baronos: Biology | 1st Year

Hello! My name is Efstathia (Anna) Baronos, and I am running for Biology Major Representative. I am currently a Biology Major in the Honors College Class of 2019 and am in the Accelerated Medical Program with St. George’s University. In addition to being in an accelerated program, I am an Honors Ambassador recruit, a Member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and participate in organizations including Pre-Health Society and American Chemical Society. If I am elected, I will keep in constant contact with the Biology students so that they can voice their concerns about completing their degree.  I will build a strong connection between the students and the administration, in order to allow easy communication so that the concerns can be addressed in an efficient manner. If you elect me, I promise to put in my foremost effort to make the Biology degree that meets and surpasses your expectations. I wish you educational success and hope to be your liaison to achieve your goals.

Ayeh Khalil: 1st Year

Hi everyone. My name is Ayeh Khalil and I am the current Freshman Commuter Representative here on Senate! Now that my term as Commuter Representative is up, because I am a sophomore next academic year, I am running to be your Biology Representative!

Some of you may already know me as I am very active on campus. I am secretary of Amnesty International and co-founder of the new Model UN club! I am currently on Senate working on getting us Highlander’s some much needed improvements around campus, such as new outdoor furniture and fixing the stairs leading up to the campus center terrace.

I have enjoyed my time on Senate but, am not finished with everything I’d like to achieve and I hope to get the chance to continue working on general campus improvements if elected into the Biology Position. If I am elected as the Biology Representative I will be able to begin working on improvements for us biology majors as soon as possible because I am already well established within senate and the biology department.

My plans include working hand in hand with the biology department on improving our advising system and making curriculums that are clear and easy to follow. I have also begun a system for pre-med students to get easier access to shadowing opportunities in near by hospitals and would like to implement something similar for biology majors interested in getting research close to or on campus! These are just a few of the many things I have planned if elected into this position. If elected I have no doubt that you will see improvements as biology majors within the first month of my term!

 

BME Representative 

Brian Smighelschi: BME | 3rd Year

I have two academic years of experience in undergraduate neuroscience research at Rutgers

I have graduated from an NJIT-affiliated leadership program– Emerging Leaders Program (ELP)

  • Learned many new techniques and leadership styles
  • Held my own leadership strategy workshop

GOALS

  • Increase and strengthen communication with NJIT’s BME community and administration.
  • Amass a larger turnout to BME feedback sessions and learn what implementations were good or bad and possibly what students desire to be implemented.
  • Ensure BME students also learn more about the goals of NJIT Student Senate and establish their stance with present missions.
  • Organize a system of communication between BME students and Senate to ensure issues are heard by more senators, allowing for similar change in their programs and have a wider array of issues and changes in areas they may not focus on.

I wish to become BME Representative in order to enhance the communication of the BME community not only with Student Senate, but also between themselves and staff. Due to my experience in solitary work and leadership, I feel that I have a strong blend of skills that will allow me to strengthen the role of BME Representative and become an integral part of the community. Through the help of BME students and Senators, I feel this position can bring a great change to the BME Department as a whole as it continues to grow as a subsystem of NJIT.

 

Chemistry Respresentative

Yasmine Ghattas: Chemistry and Biology | 1st Year

During my time at NJIT, I have been involved in Senate as the Chemistry Major Representative and a Senator at Large, and have helped write and work on multiple proposals to make the campus greater. I am also working currently in two biology labs as a lab research assistant and am I am hoping to continue my research during the summer.

During the next term, if I was re-elected to be the Chemistry representative I want to work on increasing communication between students and department. I also want to have tiered Chemistry tutoring session for Commons and have tutoring for higher-level Chemistry Courses and Honors courses.

 

Civil Engineering Representative

Niyam Shah: Civil Engineering | 1st Year

Hello, my name is Niyam Shah and I am currently a freshman civil engineering major in the Honors College. With prior experience in Senate as a student-at-large, I have helped in organizing and implementing several events this past year. Most importantly, I have worked with the current CE Representative, Aswina Ranasinghe, to help improve our CE department and create a mentor program within the department. As a member of ASCE, I have also played a role within our Steel Bridge Team, which aims to win the regional competition this year. Furthermore, I am the winner of a $500 Phase-I Grant for my research which I conduct in the CE department under Dr. Zhang. Some goals I plan to accomplish during my term include:

  • Helping more students pass the FE exam by incorporating more resources and practice sessions
  • Be the link and create a channel of communication between students and administrators
  • Get more CE students involved by having more CE related events throughout the semester

Rameez Khan: Civil Engineering | 2nd Year

My name is Rameez Khan and I am campaigning to become the Civil Engineering Representative for the John A. Reif, Jr. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. My freshman year I was a member of the American Water Works Association. AWWA is a club that deals heavily in the influence of water and maintaining its high quality standards for people all over the globe. To add on, over that spring break, I was put in charge as group leader of my Alternative Spring Break 2016 assignment. Currently in my sophomore year, I am the treasurer of the Engineers Without Borders. In EWB we seek to help out with humanitarian causes in various developing nations such as building portable water filters in Haiti and Sri Lanka. Additionally, in my spare time this semester and last semester I’ve been a Student-at-Large. I’ve helped the current Commuter Representative setup commuter events through our Commuter Events Committee. These are some ideas with the advice of current students, which I will give my full and complete attention to help initiate ASAP:

  • Address the need for the plotter in the CE Lab to be more readily available during peak times of usage for students
  • Make sure toner / cartridge ink is refilled frequently in the CE Lab, so that students do not need to wait so long to receive their work
  • Address concerns related to there being computers in the CE Lab that do not respond / freeze frequently, not being able to click the start menu
  • Look into getting the front door of Colton Hall open late at night for civil engineering students to gain access to the CE Lab
  • Encouraging more students to go to the CE Lounge and engage with ASCE related activities

 

Computer Science Representative 

Pitika Jain: Computer Science | 1st Year

Hi, I’m Pitika Jain, and I’m a first-year computer science major. I’m part of the Albert Dorman Honors College, and I’m running for the computer science representative. As fundraising chair for SWE, I organized events that brought in funds which were used towards conferences and our events. I collaborated with other executive board members to organize events such as the Sadie Hawkins dance, etc. In addition, I recruited new members and utilized my time in meetings to encourage member participation in the organization. I also serve on the Finance and Student Affairs committees in Senate, where I use my voice to influence funding of other clubs and organizations on campus and write proposals for allocating Senate’s funds. As the computer science representative, I want to facilitate communication between staff and students making it easier for students to be able to talk to advisors and have more of an input in their program. Looking forward to a great year!

Dhanush Sureshbabu: Computer Science & Applied Physics

Computing a brighter future for CS students My name is Dhanush Sureshbabu. I am currently a Computer Science and Applied Physics Major (Class of 2020), and am looking to acquire the Computer Science Rep position for the 2017-2018 school year. I am a founding member of Alpha Kappa Psi, a Student at Large for Senate, the Vice President of Honors Hall Council, and a member of many other clubs such as AIS. I have helped run events contacted vendors, hosted Trivia Nights and general body meetings, and have vowed to live by the values of my fraternity. I recently talked with the chairman of the Computer Science department, Dr. Cristian M. Brocea and came up with some goals: Goal 1: Increase tutoring for CS and ask professors to post the most recent exam on Moodle. Goal 2: Host an internship panel Goal 3: Professor feedback and performance analysis. I believe that my passion for computer science and helping others will enable me to best help the CS students of NJIT.

 

Industrial Engineering

Ibraheem Othman: Industrial Engineering | 1st Year

Hey Highlanders! My name is Ibraheem Othman. I am a first year Industrial Engineer running for the Industrial Engineering Representative Position.

I am the current IE Rep for the NJIT Student Senate as well as Co-Founder of the NJIT Model UN Club. I entered Senate towards the end of this semester’s term and was unable to effectively work on many of the goals I had set out to achieve.

I understand the voice of the IE Student Body has not been heard, but it is time we work towards fixing that. As IE’s, we are not given the opportunity to choose a concentration within our major nor do we have much advisement when it comes to future career paths. If re-elected, I will be working closely with the MIE Department to address all of these issues and offer programs and other solutions to our current predicaments.

 

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