March 10, 2017

‘Trust in Dustin’ Platform Seals The Deal: Dustin Liu ’19 Elected Student Trustee

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Dustin Liu ’19 has been elected Student Trustee by the Cornell student body, the Office of Assemblies announced Friday morning.

Gaining 57 percent of the votes in the first round, Liu was elected with 2,623 out of the total 4,579 votes in a margin of 1,757 over his closest competitor Jimmy Putko ’19.

Liu, an Industrial Labor Relations major from New Hyde Park, N.Y. and Human Resources Manager at The Sun, said he hopes to “bring students to the table by building relationships and leveraging student voices” in his new position. For Liu, bridging the student body with the Board of Trustees is central to furthering the democratic process.

His campaign platform focused on three main issues: communication and transparency, putting students at the table and developing leaders. To accomplish this goal, Liu believes that “all we need to do is amplify the student voice,” he said.

“The Board of Trustees may make decisions that are sweeping across this university, but they are not the ones who are living on this campus,” Liu previously told The Sun. “We’re the ones who are directly impacted by those decisions, and we should have a seat at the table to make those decisions.”

As for specifically implementing his platform, Liu said that he plans to give reports on Board of Trustee decisions, help promote a better understanding of student governance, compile a semesterly memo to the board informing them of student concerns and highlight student accomplishments.

Liu also added that as trustee, he wants to hold forums and initiatives to understand student concerns, host dinners with administrators to voice concerns on governance-related topics and advocate for student resources.

Liu said that as a candidate, “the personal relationships [he] ha[s] created with different people across campus,” especially through his various leadership roles, was his “greatest advantage.”

“When I first came to campus, I right away got involved in a lot of different communities,” he said. “I feel throughout my time here, I really built a strong perspective of the student experience.”

Liu has served as freshman representative, LGBTQ+ representative and vice president of public relations on the Student Assembly. His roles within the S.A. have also included subcommittee chair on the Greek Excellence Review Committee and co-chair of the Communications Committee.

Beyond his involvement in shared governance, Liu is also a resident advisor in Clara Dickson Hall, facilitator for the Intergroup Dialogue Project, and panelist for the Peer Educators for Gender and Sexuality program.

Liu said his involvement in these organizations has “colored” his experience, allowing him to “develop really strong relationships, as well as a very interesting, diverse, and multifaceted perspective on the Cornell community.”

“My time here on campus has really been about learning,” he said. “But I think there is still so much to learn, so I am ready to listen, and I am ready to bring voices to the table.”

Anna Delwiche ’19 contributed reporting to this article.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Liu won in the final round of voting out of five. In fact, since he gained a majority of votes in the first round, there was only one round of voting.