SGA Candidate Rundown of Contested Positions

by Olivia Goldman

The ubiquitous
balloons of SGA

Accumulated from their platforms and the SGA Candidate Forum held on Sunday night, here is a rundown of the positions of all the candidates that are running contested in this year’s election.

If you plan on taking time to consider your vote, here’s my analysis on this year’s election: almost every position can be boiled down to two types of candidates. One candidate will have an abundance of experience with SGA and (hopefully) the ability to use their working knowledge of the system to be effective in representing general student body interests. The other candidate in almost every case has very little experience with SGA politics and usually has been intensely involved with other organizations on campus, thus has the ability to bring a new voice and connect SGA to the interests and concerns of specific communities on campus.

Both general types candidates are valuable to SGA, which has the reputation for being (as most governing bodies are) confusing and stagnant. In my opinion, weighing the benefits of these contrasting backgrounds is crucial for this election, so take into account the ability of each candidate to defend their side of the SGA experience versus an outsider’s perspective. Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it—if you want to know more about the candidates, read their platforms on eBear!

SGA President
Aliza Hassine (BC ’14—History)
Aliza has served on SGA as the President of the class of 2014 for the past three years. She has been active behind the scenes on many projects including the University Unity Forum that took place last semester between student governments across the University to address the issues that became apparent during Obamanard as well as the relationship between all the colleges within Columbia University. She intends to make a more transparent SGA by creating a website that would publicize information such as updates on SGA meetings. She has professed to be SGA’s “biggest advocate, as well as it’s biggest critic.”

Madelyn Popkin (BC ’14—Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies)
Maddy comes to the race with little experience in SGA, but a determination to represent many less-heard-from communities as well as an inclusive range of interests throughout campus. As a transfer student, a Well-Woman peer educator and President of Q (Barnard’s LGBTQ club), she has been at the forefront of progressive projects such as working with the administration for gender-inclusive bathrooms on Barnard’s campus. She intends to focus more on inter-Barnard relationships to project a sense of unity to the other colleges within the University. Knowing the importance of the ‘A’ in LGBTQA, she aims to bring a sense of “allyship” to SGA.

VP for Finance
Deepanjali Dalmia (BC ’14—Economics and Math)
Deepanjali claims to have accumulated a comprehensive knowledge of finance and economics through classes and involvement in various business organizations on campus such as Columbia Women’s Business Society. Inspired to give back to the Barnard community, she intends to increase transparency of and make for a greater degree of student influence on college finances, as well as help campus organizations manage their budgets. She also plans to monitor the distribution finances to groups on campus, to make sure the clubs that need funds receive what they need and money does not go to waste.

Julie Tauber (BC ’15—Economics and Math)
For the past three semesters, Julie has been a member of Barnard’s Financial Advisory Committee, a representive group of Barnard students that regularly meets with Chief Operating Officer Gregory Brown to learn about and give input on the state of Barnard’s finances, as well as hold events to such as the Town Halls with COO Brown. Julie intends to continue to increase Barnard’s financial transparency for the student body. She also plans to alleviate language fees and work the Financial Information Exchange Initiative, which would help make available the information necessary for Barnard students to receive access to college funding for new campus initiatives.

Representative for Diversity
Taysha Milagros Clark (BC ’16—Undeclared)
Taysha is involved with a variety of groups on campus such as Q, Grupo Quisqueyano (Columbia’s Dominican culture group), and has worked with SGA in this past year as a class representative. She intends to use her experience from high school coordinating events celebrating cultural diversity to create a broader sense of diversity on campus and highlight the intersecting identities and values of Barnard.

Julia Qian (BC ’15—Undeclared)
Julia, currently on SGA’s Committee of Diversity, is an international and transfer student. She aims to further publicize the committee’s event “Word of Mouth” for sharing the diversity of opinions and stories that exist on Barnard’s campus, as well as working on events that celebrate Barnard’s international culture, rather than the separate cultures of different minorities on campus. She also intends to work with admissions to make Barnard’s website available in different languages for students and parents that may not speak English as their first language.

Representative for Student Services
Claudia Flores (BC ’15—Psychology)
Claudia plans to work with Barnard Health Services and Furman to help come up with strategies for students coping with stress on campus. She intends to work on Furman’s image to make the counseling center feel more accessible and work with Health Services to incorporate more student feedback, including conversations about hours of operations.

Rachel Rosen (BC ’14—Economics & Social History)
Rachel is chair of the Student Health Advisory Committee and has been a Well-Woman Peer Educator for the past two years. She intends to use her knowledge on campus wellness resources to improve the quality and accessibility of these resources. She plans to reach out to the student body for feedback, as well as work with Barnard Primary Care, Well-Woman, Furman and ODS as she has been in the past to “improve and diversify health options.”

Representative for Arts and Culture
Lindsay Forcade (BC ’14—English & History)
As a past participant in Barnard’s theatre department productions, Lindsay intends to promote the arts as well as participation in the arts by making the arts more visible and accessible to the student body. She also plans on helping students in dual-enrollment programs with Julliard and Manhattan School of Music feel more at ease.

Adrienne Nel (BC ’16—Art History, prospective)
Currently a member of SGA’s Student Curatorial Committee, Adrienne helped organize the Interfaith Arts Gala and helped expand Faces of Barnard. Additionally, she has a knowledge of campus club policy from working on the SGA’s Student Organizations Committee, and is the Arts and Entertainment section editor for The Barnard Bulletin. She intends to work on displaying student artwork throughout the year, continue to maintain the Faces of Barnard project and make sure cultural and art related events are well advertised.

Representative for College Relations
Rachel Harrus (BC ’16—Undeclared)
Rachel, conscious and admiring of students of various academic needs at Barnard (such as double degree programs), intends to use her relationship with the Career Development Office to ensure that students’ needs are served. She also plans to communicate information from various offices with the rest of the student body.

Tianye Sun (BC ’16—Undeclared)
Tianye, a first-yer excited by the energy of Barnard’s campus, plans to reach out to the Seven Sister Coalition, Career Development and Barnard Alumnae Affairs to enhance Barnard’s relationship with other communities with similar initiatives.

Olivia Goldman is a junior at Barnard and Editor in Chief of The Nine Ways of Knowing.

All photos courtesy of Faces of Barnard.


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