Class of 2024, Meet Your Student Senate Representatives!

Over a dozen candidates from the incoming freshman class competed for Student Senate’s Freshman Representative positions on Sept. 21. Five winners took seats on the Student Senate last week, with varying backgrounds and campaigns. 

Victoria Youseff 

Major: Biology BA (premed) 

What made you want to run? 

I chose to run for freshman representative to guarantee that every student is given the help they need to succeed at NJIT whether online or in person. Throughout my life, I have held many leadership positions inside and outside of school, such as Junior Class Representative and treasurer for HOSA, as well as a tutor and counselor at my church camp. 

What’s your platform/issues? 

I want to do everything I can to give us all that college experience and bridge that gap we may be feeling now. Now, more than ever, students need a continuous line of communication with their professors and classmates. In terms of academics, I want to implement virtual “study groups” for all classes, led by the student body itself so that students are connecting with their peers and will help foster an environment of collaborative learning. Beyond academics, it is important for us to be able to socialize with our classmates, as it is a significant element in campus life. There are many students who are attending school fully online and we all deserve to get a taste of that college experience. With that said, I want to implement “freshman socials” where students can gather virtually for game nights and watch parties.  

What are you most looking forward to? 

I am most looking forward to making a change and improving the freshmen experience on campus.  

Lauren Azer 

Major: BME (pre-med) 

What made you want to run? 

I always knew about Student Senate at NJIT because my older sister, Amanda Azer, was the president last year, and I saw what she was doing, and it definitely caught my interest. I always liked voicing my opinion in trying to better the university, as well as projecting the opinions of those who aren’t as vocal. 

What’s your platform/issues? 

My main platform issues are to provide more areas where students can gather while still social distancing rather than having numerous social isolation areas. A huge part of college is meeting new people and getting the “full college experience” and that is really difficult because of COVID-19. So one of the things I hope to do is to reduce the amount of smaller areas and open up more spots like breakout rooms and bigger tables where students can socialize or hold study groups. Also, I’d like to help the freshman class have a clearer idea of how to reach out to their advisors because the whole scheduling process for many freshmen was very complicated. 

What are you most looking forward to? 

I am most looking forward to getting that “freshman experience” and meeting new people, whether it be other freshman, upperclassmen, and even the administrative staff. By making all of these connections I believe that I can be a very informed and successful freshman representative. 

Daniel Doss 

Major: BME (pre-med) 

What made you want to run? 
As a freshman, I was looking to get more involved on campus. I saw an opportunity to run for senate in the middle of the summer, but I didn’t think much of it. When I thought about it a little more and realized that it was a nice opportunity to get that involvement on campus that I was looking for, I decided to seize it. Also, I had heard from many of my friends and upperclassmen that Senate is a place where a lot of strong relationships are made and where a lot of positive change is sparked, so I became very interested and ended up running. 

What’s your platform/issues? 
My main platform is to fill the holes in the freshman advising process so that they are given the best opportunity to succeed. This affected me personally because entering my first semester as a clueless freshman, my schedule was severely messed up and did not contain any of the required courses for my respective major. I was fortunate enough to know some upperclassmen who informed me that if I followed through with this schedule, I would eventually be a semester behind. My goal is for every freshman to have that “big brother” so to speak and to be able to have upperclassmen to advise them in a more practical manner. This can be done through a buddy system that I hope to implement where upperclassmen are incentivized with community service hours and other benefits and they will help their selected freshman in return. 

What are you most looking forward to? 

This year, I am most looking forward to the freedom that college offers. I have always been excited for the post high school lifestyle of having a lot of free time and not being structurally restricted. Hopefully, college is everything I hoped it would be! 

Christina Hermansen 

Major: Biology BA (premed) 

What made you want to run? 

I decided to run because I saw a lot of little things all over campus that I thought could easily be changed. 

What’s your platform/issues? 

 As freshman representative I will minimize subscription services required, and if possible, have the university absorb costs. I will also advocate for changing the meeting software and ask to increase teachers online training to 2 more 1-hour sessions with trial students, and changing guest policy to 2 fixed people per dorm room instead of 0 so students can socialize while maintaining COVID-19 social bubbles. I also seek to create options for toppings at GDS like lettuce on the burgers and Work on ways for students to make friends, with more online events without administration there and possible in person events. 

What are you most looking forward to? 

I am honestly most looking forward to continuing to meet new people, make new friends and then using all this new free time to hang out with them. 

Michael Schober 

Major: Law Technology and Culture 

What made you want to run? 

I decided to run because I see myself as someone who can connect with a large variety of students of all different backgrounds and talk about issues in their own life or around campus and help them through those issues. 

What’s your platform/issues? 

The three areas of importance for me is student safety both physically and mentally, promoting student financial sufficiency and working to protect and promote student organizations during the pandemic. This includes increased awareness for the issue of sexual assault on campus, especially unreported, student mental health, as well as creating a personal finance bulletin to help students and ensure that departments don’t lose funding due to the pandemic. 

What are you most looking forward to? 

I’m really looking forward to the connections and friendships I will make through Senate. I want to get to know as many people as I can around campus and hear their stories. 

About The Author

Joseph Ayoub

This author has not chosen to include a bio.

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