April 18, 2018

Manisha Munasinghe Elected as Graduate and Professional Student Trustee

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This post has been updated.

Manisha Munasinghe grad, current vice president of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, has been elected as Cornell’s next student-elected trustee, earning 1,460 votes.

Munasinghe will serve on the Board of Trustees for a two-year period and replaces Dara Brown ’13 law ’18. In an interview with The Sun, Munasinghe said that she was “grateful” for the opportunity and was “extremely excited to get started.”

After completing her undergraduate education at Michigan State University, Munasinghe came to Cornell in 2015 and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in computational biology.

Munasinghe ran on a platform of providing more opportunities for students to interact with the Board of Trustees and increasing the body’s financial transparency.

“I think it’s really important for students to meet and interact with their trustees … to know them not as a body that makes decisions, but as individuals with unique stories,” she said.

Munasinghe hopes to achieve this during her term by fostering regular meetings where students can talk to the trustees and proposed during her campaign to bring back public meetings that former President David Skorton held to go over Cornell’s budget.

“Because the meetings are closed and the minutes are not disclosed, it’s hard for people to know what we’re talking about,” she said.

Munasinghe won by defeating Tatiana Padilla grad and Rebecca Harrison ’14 grad in an election that saw a turnout of 12.2 percent, keeping with the trend of minimal turnout over the the past few election cycles.

The newly elected trustee will serve alongside Dustin Liu ’19 as the only other student voice on the governing board of the University.