Campaign season has begun. Cornellians can expect to see excited candidates papering the campus today in anticipation of the Fall elections for Student Assembly representation.
New Students and Architects will vote today to elect five new members to the 2000-2001 Student Assembly (S.A.).
Three transfer students and 20 members of the class of 2004 will compete for four New Student At-Large seats on the assembly. One position is guaranteed to a transfer student.
The Architecture, Art and Planning seat, left vacant last year, is contested by three students.
S.A. representatives serve one year terms and legislate on many issues. The following is a profile of the candidates for both the New Student at-Large positions and the AAP position.
New Student-at-Large Candidates
Adam Fox ’04
Fox, a native of Boca Raton, Fla., was part of several grassroots efforts “to mitigate environmental problems and help at-risk minority youth” in his hometown.
“I wanted to run because I have the determination and creativity to make this campus a better place for new students.”
Fox’s main issue is financial aid at Cornell. “Extra costs are not included in aid packages.”
“The best thing about Cornell is the opportunity and power that is given to not only underclassmen, but specifically freshmen,” he said.
Daniel Luzer ’04
Luzer, a transfer student from the University of Vermont, was the chair of the Committee of Academic Affairs in Vermont Student Government.
At Cornell, Luzer works with the Committee of Academic Freedom and Professional Status of Faculty to fight for justice for Cornell employees. “Eighty percent of the staff lives below the poverty line. It’s atrocious considering that this is Cornell University.”
Luzer, a student in the school of Industrial and Labor Relations, is a part of the Cornell Democrats and hopes to improve dining and housing for students at Cornell.
“Yes, I am very liberal. It makes sense to be liberal while you are at a university,” Luzer said.
Michael Romano ’04
A chemical engineering major, Romano wants “as much input as possible from my constituents.”
Romano said that before he can “take a position on any given topic,” he will need opinions from a diverse group about the important issues that affect students.
In high school, Romano served as vice-president of the Maryland State Student Government, working with the State Department of Education to address school violence issues and implement changes in the school system.
“I want to meet people, find out what they’re thinking and convey those ideas to others in the S.A.,” Romano said.
David Gross ’04
Gross, the man with the hat, explains, “my purpose is to represent the students, and I can’t do that if there’s no communication.”
Gross hopes to host regular forums to get in touch with his constituents and “find out what’s going on,” Gross said.
Already, Gross has constructed a campaign website to find out what students have to say.
Gross, a native of Lompoc Calif., is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences and plans to major in government.
Rudy Craig Lewis ’04
An economics major in the arts college, Lewis intends to promote reconsideration of dining hall cash-op limitations and advocate lower fees for campus services such as gym membership.
Lewis’ primary goal is “to increase knowledge of the S.A. to the student body.” He expressed frustration that “no one of the study body knows or cares [about S.A.] because they don’t know what its role is.”
With experience in several leadership positions such as prefect at his boarding school, Lewis is confident that he has the ability and experience to be a valuable member of S.A.
Lewis said,”I have what it takes to get things done.”
Jason Frasco ’04
A freshman in the arts college, Jason Frasco is most interested in appropriation of funds for student organizations, housing for new students, and new student programs. “Most importantly,” Frasco said, “I am working to make sure new students have a voice.”
Frasco served as president of his high school student council and as captain of his high school crew team.
“I’m good at dealing with people,” Frasco said, “I can convey to people what’s going on.” Frasco asserts that his experience coupled with his ability to relate to students and administration alike would make him a valuable member of the S.A.
Cory Sinclair ’04
A government major in the arts college, Sinclair wants to “reach out to students so their voices are heard throughout the university.”
According to Sinclair, he has talked with students and hopes to alleviate their concerns. As an S.A. member, his specific goals would include improving meal plan, gym memberships fees, and lines in the eating facilities.
Sinclair, who served as class president in high school, said he has always been interested in student government and thinks “Cornell is a perfect place to get involved.”
Brad Grossman ’04
A government major in the arts college, Grossman cited the need for Cornell’s administration to “promote more harmony” among students because he believes the university seems “fragmented.”
Grossman’s other goals include maintaining program houses and restructuring freshmen orientation. He wants the process to be more “humanizing” and offer a “more gradual transition.” Additionally, he noted that “Cornell is such a large, research university …. I feel like there needs to be somebody who speaks for bioethical concerns.”
Grossman participated in student government in high school and decided to run for an S.A. position when he read about the assembly and “thought there were concerns that needed to be resolved.”
Michael Cohen ’04
Cohen aims to involve the general student public more in the political process and in the decisions of the S.A. “The S.A. does have a lot of power in changing student life in general on campus … from dining to life on campus to student life in general, the S.A. can do a lot to help,” he explained.
Cohen wants to gather the opinion of students and bring them to the S.A. “Back in high school, student government really couldn’t do anything … here it can, and most people don’t know about it,” Cohen said.
A native of Philadelphia, Cohen is a government major in the arts college.
Beth Fischer ’04
A student in the ILR school, Fischer’s main objectives as an S.A. hopeful include enhancing the convenience and dependability of bus schedules and reducing fares and increasing SAFC (Student Assembly Finance Commission) funding for student organizations.
Fischer also hopes to improve freshman housing. One of the main promlems she cited is the University’s consistent inability to accurately anticipate freshman class sizes, a source of much inconvenience for new students who must move into temporary housing when campus accommodations run short.
Ron Zember ’04
Zember, an Agriculture, Resource, and Managerial Economics (ARME) major in the college of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said his political involvement began in the fourth grade.
Here at Cornell, he said, “Temporary housing is big on my agenda, I want to solve that.” Zember has had personal experience with temporary housing, having had to live in a lounge while waiting for his room to be ready.
“They should put up students in a hotel and bus them to class, to put them in a storage
facility or study lounge is outrageous!”
Zember wants to increase communication between students and the assembly.
Scott Moffat ’04
A freshman in the arts college, Moffat is running for S.A. to “fight for the people.” Moffat hails from Toronto, where he has gained experience on his high school’s Community Life Task Force, a program planning committee.
The first things Moffat plans to tackle will be improving the meal plan and restructuring the Freshman Writing Seminar program. He also plans to organize a freshman class trip.
Moffat said the best thing about Cornell is “the people that you meet here.” This is why he wants to run for assembly, to “improve community life and help the people by taking action.”
Frederic Nguyen ’04
Nguyen is running for S.A., he claims, mainly because “my suitemates used effective verbal and physical coercion.”
Nguyen, who is from Minnesota, served in his high school student council during his unior and senior years. Here at Cornell, he “hope[s] to raise more substantive issues which underlie the very foundation of the University,” Nguyen said.
Also, the biology major said his best impression of Cornell was that “if I suddenly stood up in the middle of a class and started spewing long strings of gibberish, 90 percent of the students would wake up and start scribbling down notes, [something like] ‘cpwk bdnweoig,'” Nguyen said.
Ronya Foy ’04
Hailing from Queens, N.Y., Foy said she has an extensive history of involvement in a variety of political activities. As a freshman in the ILR school she said she has already developed a long list of issues around campus she believes she can help solve. In high school she served as President of her local church youth group.
As a Junior Statesman of America member, she discussed current political issues with fellow members nation-wide. If elected, Foy promises to tackle three main issues:
She said will work to improve campus safety by installing more blue lights, work on simplifying the meal plan, and improve communication between the S.A. and the Cornell Community.
Shaun Butler ’03
A transfer student from Kent State University, Butler brings a year of higher education with him. A sophomore in the ILR school, Bulter promises to “stand for free speech for liberal-minded and conservative-minded alike.”
Butler was once a member of the College Republicans but now does not affiliate with political party after an ideological break with their group. Butler promises to work to bring lower ethernet fees, bus fares, activity fees, and physical education fees, among other plans to help students.
“I will be the voice of reason, the voice of accountability, but more importantly, the voice of the students.”
Funa Maduka ’04
A freshman psychology and government major in the College of Arts and Science, Maduka would like to improve Cornell’s sense of community
“I am trying to prove to the students that they aren’t just an ID number,” Maduka said.
As a member of the S.A., Maduka would like to address issues such as improving dining and busing. She believes many of the problems on the Cornell campus can be solved if the issues receive more attention.
“I’m a real student,” Maduka said. “I understand what’s going on. I’m friendly, outgoing, loud, and if you need something done, come to me, and we’ll get it done.”
Dave Carlucci ’02
As a transfer student in the ILR school, Carlucci hopes “to become more involved with the Cornell community by being elected to the S.A.” Previously a student at Rockland Community College in his hometown of Rockland, N.Y., Carlucci served on the school’s student assembly.
Carlucci hopes to improve the meal plan, extend dining hall hours and work for more frequent busing around campus.
I like to be involved and I want to improve things for students around campus.”
Mike Janovec ’04
Janovec said he has the experience to qualify him for an S.A. position.
“I was President of my class throughout high school,” Janovec said. “I was also student council president and a delegate to Boys’ State, a leadership program sponsored by the American Legion.”
Janovec would like to bring his experience to the S.A., where he would like to focus on numerous campus housing issues.
“I’d like to see something done about the housing jam so the same problem doesn’t occur next year,” Janovec said. “I’d also like to see darker shades in the dorms so I’m not woken up at five in the morning.”
Esther Tang ’04
Tang, a Californian, is a hotel administration major.
She said she decided to run because “Cornellians are so full of brains, talent and motivation … those traits combined with a city like Ithaca and the most powerful form of student government in nation, well, the potential on campus makes me drool.”
Tang wants to “increase advertising of those valuable services we have for disabled people,” if elected.
“My excitement for life, and especially for Cornell, is what distinguishes me from others.”
Michael Sellman ’04
“I love politics and I love being involved.” Sellman, who is from Richmond, VA, was a member of the Judicial Council of his high school. He also founded his school’s pep marching band.
“I think forming a stronger bond between the S.A. and the candidates is the most important thing right now.”
“My big issue is awareness,” Sellman said. Sellman’s hopes that the S.A. might be “a kind of liaison, letting the people voice their concerns.”
“Ithaca is a community that thrives,” he said, adding, “There’s so many organizations; it’s a limitless opportunity.”
Eric Beaton ’04
Beaton has been seen on campus wearing a giant sign saying, “Any questions?” An active listener, the New York City native is doing all he can to find out what other people want. “I care a lot about the safety of new students,” Beaton claims.
He is especially concerned with “the specification of asbestos” in North Campus resident halls. “There were traces of asbestos in one dorm room and one stairwell at Mary Donlon Hall.” Beaton suspects that there are still hazardous asbestos deposits that students still don’t know about.
P.K. Agarwalla ’04
Agarwalla is a classics guru, and plans to major in the subject, along with biology. Hailing from Bowie, Maryland, Agarwalla served as Vice President of the National Junior Classical League in high school
Agarwalla aims to “communicate the needs and wills of the students to the S.A. and to the administration.” He sees that the work of an S.A. representative “doesn’t take place at meetings. It’s really about talking to students and administration and connecting to [students] as well as officials.”
Among other goals, Agarwalla hopes to tackle the meal plan equivalency issue, making it “simpler and easier for students to use and understand.”
Albert Chang ’04
“I’m running because I want to do what I can for the school,” said Chang, a freshman in the arts college.
Chang, who hails from Seattle, Wash., served as president of the Key Club in high school.
“I want to attempt to give more control of many aspects of campus life back to the students.”
Chang added that he thinks the best about Cornell is “the great amount of freedom.”
Architecture, Art and Planning Representative Candidates
Michael Wacht ’02
As a fourth year architecture
student, Wacht promises to bring much experience in leadership and in knowledge of Cornell.
“I was president or editor of many activities in my high school, and on the Cornell campus I have been very active in the leadership of my fraternity,” Wacht explains.
Wacht is running because, simply put, he wants “to get things done.” Chief on his to-do list are strengthening the connections between his college and the rest of Cornell campus. He also plans to lobby to improve the technology and facilities at the architecture college.
Meghan Dubyak ’04
“I have the interest in the Cornell community and the architecture college. Combining these two arenas would best describe my interests in politics.”
Dubyak hopes to improve student-faculty relations and “assure better facilities” for the architecture college.
“I’ve seen how great the College of A.A.P. is, but I think that is should be more a part of the Cornell community.”
Dubyak would also like to “smooth out dining operations.”
“The best thing about Cornell is the strength of its individual colleges and the University as a whole.”