By YAMINI BHANDARI
This week marks the beginning of Trustee-Council Annual Meeting (TCAM), which is an opportunity for members of the Board of Trustees and the University Council to meet and discuss the policies and issues of the University. As a student-elected trustee, I have the chance to sit with University leaders in order to help provide a student perspective to the issues at hand.
One of the exciting roles I get to play this year is hosting various events to get students more connected with trustees. After the events of last year, it has become clear to students and board members alike that it is critical for students to have the chance to speak to members of the Board on issues that impact the campus. This year’s TCAM weekend will feature “An Evening with the Trustees” on Wednesday from 8 to 9 p.m. in Willard Straight Hall. This event will be a forum where students can submit questions pertaining to any issues on campus that the Board may be relevant to, and have the opportunity to get those questions answered at the event.
The questions to be asked will be selected by the presidents of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly and the Student Assembly, along with the undergraduate and graduate student-elected trustees. The intent of our selection process will be to find questions that are pertinent to the trustees, while selecting questions that touch on the real, difficult issues.
I see this event as a unique opportunity for students to understand how trustees are looking at these issues. Hopefully, it will also inform the trustees on what issues matter to students. There will be trustees from all different committees so they can speak to a multitude of concerns from financial aid/tuition, health and safety, diversity and inclusion among others.
I see this as a start of an era of greater transparency between students and trustees. As a student trustee, I hope to follow up on the major areas discussed and use the discussions as a springboard to addressing those topics.
In addition to this event, TCAM this year will be featuring opportunities for diverse students to network with Trustees at the annual diversity networking reception. This event will feature trustees and council members who care deeply about the University and are open to connecting with students professionally. They will be sharing wisdom they acquired through their career and speak to their experiences as active alumni of the university. There will be representatives from various professional areas from business and finance, sciences and technology, non-profit and government to many more. Students interested in learning about different career opportunities and meeting alumni are encouraged to attend.
I look forward to the events this week and am excited about officially starting my role as a student-elected trustee in my first round of Board of Trustee meetings. If anyone in the Cornell community has any questions or concerns, they can feel free to reach out to me via email.
Yamini Bhandari is the undergraduate student-elected trustee. She can be reached a firstname.lastname@example.org. Trustee Viewpoint appears on alternate Tuesdays this semester.