Student Senate Candidate Statements
Name: Jonathan Rice
Candidate Statement: Fellow Pitzer Students, My name is Jon Rice and I am running to be your Student Senate Chair. My concept for leading Pitzer's student government comes from a simple question: How Might We? Over the next year, I want this to be the question that defines the relationship between Pitzer's Student Senate and the student body. I want to look at Senate as a body for mobilizing the power of our student community, leading us to the best experience possible at Pitzer. The role of the Senate Chair is to facilitate, not dictate. As Chair, I do not want to tell you what initiatives are important; I want to help students accomplish their dreams for Pitzer. Be it saving student spaces like the Huerta room, making your club or event reimbursement easier, addressing concerns with study abroad, collaborating with the other colleges, or changing our ever-evolving curriculum, my goal is to turn your ideas into realities. So ask yourself: How might we? For far too long, Senate has been a body that, while passionate about Pitzer, is disconnected from the rest of our community. Senate should not be about one group of students that volunteer their time on committees and sit in meetings, it should be about what we as the Pitzer student-body wants. Together, we can build an environment where we encourage and make it easer than ever to have your voice heard. After two years on Senate, both as first-year class representative and Executive Board Communications Secretary, I have the knowledge to change the culture. I have spent many hours negotiating with administrators, faculty members, staff, and fellow students about our College. Because of my experience, I can help you navigate Pitzer's governance. I will make myself as transparent as possible if I am elected Chair so that I can be resource for both new and returning students. Asking, "How might we?" is a new approach to thinking about Student Senate. To help both current Pitzer students and those that will be here long after we graduate, I humbly ask for your vote. If you or your organization has any questions, feedback, or ideas, I would love to speak with you! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Amy Brownstein
Candidate Statement: I am running for senate chair. I have been on Senate for the past two years serving as treasurer, class representative, and a member of judicial council. In addition I helped with the search for a new director of career services. While I am currently abroad this semester, I have kept up with what has been happening at meetings. From my previous positions in senate, I know the difficulties senate faces and the areas for improvement. As senate chair I hope to get more people involved in senate. I want people to feel comfortable going to senate and to feel that they can have an impact on the way Pitzer is run. This past year senate has been trying to change the guide for first year seminars. Next year I plan on readdressing this issue with a new sense of urgency. It is important that we change the first year seminar program so that all students have a similar writing level and are all equally prepared for future classes regardless of what major they choose. As senate treasurer last semester, I noticed many issues with club organization and funding. I want to work closely and individually with clubs to help them gain new members, achieve their goals, and ultimately reach full success. Study abroad is also going through an evaluation. I will make sure senate as a whole provides suggestions and feedback during this process. Working directly with the study abroad office, I will ensure problems with some of the programs are addressed. I also want senate to work more closely with other on-campus offices such as career services to ensure that students are getting the most from these services and that on-campus offices have student support in reaching their goals. As the college tries to achieve its master plan, many offices at Pitzer are currently performing self-evaluations. Therefore, right now is the perfect time for students to get involved and express their opinions. I will go door to door and talk with incoming freshmen about student senate and ways to get involved. At least a couple of times a semester senate will organize fun activities on the mounds so that students can learn more about senate, feel comfortable attending meetings, and can get involved. If students have suggestions for issues they want senate to address next year, I will be happy to address these issues to make Pitzer a better place for its students. Though I am currently abroad, I am happy to talk and answer more questions. Throughout the election process I hope to make myself as visible as possible while not actually being on campus.
Name: Braden Holstege
Position: Vice Chair
Candidate Statement: The Vice Chair of Senate plays a critical but under-appreciated role in Pitzer's governance - they are the sole student voice on the Budget Implementation Committee. The College's finances and tuition rates have been, to a large extent a black box. It is my aim to address this as Vice Chair. I believe that greater student involvement in the budget process is essential. My aim is that by end of next year, every student who has the desire will fully understand what is done with their tuition. Is is possible that some of you do not like me. I freely concede that being likable is not my specialty. But no one who knows me can deny the passion and effectiveness with which I represent my views, and the views of the student body. I would bring to the position of Vice Chair 2 years of membership on Student Senate, including a year on the Executive Board. I am also an award wining member of both Pitzer's Model United Nations team, and the Claremont Colleges Debate Union. I have the experience and the skills needed to represent the student body on one of the least understood but most important committees in the college. For that reason, I ask for your vote for Vice Chair.
Name: Sebastian Aguiar
Position: Vice Chair
Candidate Statement: I'm running for Vice Chair because transparency is vital to the proper functioning of any democratic institution. -I will dissect the school's lengthy financial statements and distill the pertinent points in timely reports. -Secondly, I will ensure that our endowment is invested ethically. -Third, I want to protect the value of our endowment by reducing exposure to excessively speculative assets, which puts the financial future of the college at risk. -Fourth, I'll work with the treasury to slow the meteoric rise in tuition costs. The Vice Chair fills in for the Senate Chair and also represents the students in the Budgetary Implementation Committee (BIC), which is: "Responsible for constructing the annual budget of the College and recommending to College Council policy regarding enrollment, financial aid, annual increments in staff and faculty salaries, fringe benefits and expectations relating to inflation and investment income." My friend, Treasurer Yuet Lee, is a very smart, friendly and hard-working man and he deserves to work with a student representative that will assertively (but *amiably*) represent the interests of the student body. When electing a representative, it's wise to ensure that they won't alienate the administration. I intend to build, not burn, bridges by engaging in compassionate discourse instead of competitive debate.
Rising tuition costs are on everyone's radar. For decades, the cost of tuition has risen at approximately double the inflation rate. I will slow this increase by working with our Treasury office to trim the fat, and by shifting costs to prevent students from shouldering excessive financial burden.
ETHICAL INVESTMENT STRATEGY
In professing to practice social responsibility, Pitzer must be cognizant of where we deploy our $113 million endowment. We've already committed not to invest in Wal-Mart, and that's an excellent start. As investors, we've got to think about the triple-bottom line. This entails:
PEOPLE PLANET PROFIT
As Vice-Chair, I will ensure that we aren't investing in companies like Monsanto, Exxon-Mobil or Goldman Sachs. As tuition-payers, Pitzer College students have the uniquely liberal opportunity to help direct how the school spends their money. We are remiss if we fail to ensure it is invested ethically and responsibly. I will act as liaison between the Treasury and student body. These are some questions we must ask ourselves: -What is the importance of budgetary transparency? -How do we protect our wealth as the economic power balance shifts away from the West? -Where can we invest that is consistent with Pitzer ethics? If you're asking the same questions, and want answers, vote for me (Sebastian Aguiar). About me: I'm a Human Biology major, and my interests include political theory and finance. I've served as treasurer of the PAS Hall Council and Health Club, as well as secretary of the Student Investment Committee. I'm involved in campus activism and write for 5C publications. I've been involved in the Occupy movement, and my area of focus has been on monetary policy and financial sector regulation. I also enjoy long walks on the beach, romance novels, knitting pet clothing, Arnold Schwarzenegger-oriented short fiction and poetry, taxidermy, Scoville Units and other perfectly normal things. Vote for me and the rivers of #Senate_Swag shall never run dry--AND THAT'S A PROMISE!
Name: Bailey Masullo
Candidate Statement: Hi Pitzer! My name is Bailey Masullo and I'm currently you're Senate Treasurer! I took over mid semester and since then have fallen in love with the responsibilities. I'm on the path of a math major and love working with all the numbers and the schools finances. I ran because I wanted to be involved in the school, and I got exactly what I always wanted. I hope to be privileged enough to continue serving the Pitzer community as the Senate Treasurer. This semester we've changed a few things to make finances work better and more efficiently including the two-week deadline and implementing new policies for conference funding. I've enjoyed working with all the clubs and getting to know Pitzer and everyone involved. As a freshman the experience has been amazing, and I hope to continue to be your treasurer. We have a new system underway for next year where mostly everything will be online. I'm excited implement change that will better everyone involved with Pitzer. If you have any questions please feel free to stop and talk to me on campus, email me, or come by the GSC 222 on Thursdays from 4:30-6pm! Thank You!
Name: Marc Lichterman
Candidate Statement: Good day fellow students! My name is Marc Lichterman and I am sending this message to request your vote in my run for Student Senate Treasurer. Within a week of my arrival at Pitzer College, I became involved in a number of student organizations on campus. Through this experience, I have gained an in-depth knowledge of the pitfalls faced by student organizations in the essential realm of navigating the bureaucratic red tape that surrounds Senate funding. Over the course of maybe a dozen reimbursement requests, I experienced first-hand the opacity of the current financial process and the lack of accessible information on how to successfully receive funding in a timely matter. My difficulties left me constantly thinking about how I would do things differently if I were Treasurer: prompting me to run for the position in this year's Senate election. As your Treasurer, my first priority would be ensuring transparency in the funding process and providing as much assistance to clubs and student organizations as possible. I will work to fix the information gap that makes navigating the Senate budgetary process intimidating and often downright frustrating. I will make myself accessible to students both in person and through electronic communications in my constant effort to make it easy for student organizations to get the funding they need. Your vote goes toward increased Senate budgetary accountability to the student body, transparency in the funding process, and a strong commitment to assisting student organizations. I look forward to working with you!
--Marc Lichterman '15
Name: Lauren Cronk
Position: Communication Secretary
Candidate Statement: My name is Lauren Cronk and I am running for Communication Secretary. As a rising senior, I have served on Senate for the past two years as a member of the Aesthetics committee. With two years of committee experience under my belt, I feel I am now ready to serve our Student Governance in a bigger way. Along with my experience as a member of Student Senate, my involvement in other organizations on campus have also given me lots of experience working with Pitzer's dynamic student population. Working as an Event Staff Manager for the past two years has awarded me with leadership experience as well as serious problem solving skills. As a co-founder and the current President of Pitzer Promotions, I have experience leading club meetings and coordinating events with other club leaders. My personal emphasis of attention to detail, organization and my passion for making Pitzer the best place for all of us to not only learn but also LIVE are what make me the best candidate for Student Senate Communication Secretary. As Communication Secretary I would work to reach out to the entire student body beyond simply the voting members of Senate. The Pitzer community as a whole has a right and the privilege of participating in College Governance, and the way in which this is communicated and relayed to the greater Pitzer population could use some alterations. If elected I plan on improving transparency within the Senate process, in turn making Student Senate a place where we all feel comfortable voicing our opinions and working to improve our quality of life here at Pitzer. Please feel free to contact me with any questions!
Name: Phoebe Huth
Position: Communication Secretary
Candidate Statement: Hi Pitzer Community! My name is Phoebe Huth and I am excited to be running for Communications Secretary! I am currently the PAS Hall Council Senate Representative and I would love to get more involved in Student Senate. Unlike other colleges, Pitzer gives the student body powerful influence over major decision making processes. If elected Communications Secretary, I would try to make Student Senate more accessible to students and more pleasant. As a freshman, when I attended my first senate meeting, I was terrified of all the procedures and terminology and I felt it was an exclusive space. Senate is such an important aspect to the Pitzer community. As Communications Secretary, I will make Senate more approachable to every student.
Name: Andrea Gochi
Candidate Statement: Over the course of my two years at Pitzer College, it has come to my attention that many people are unaware of what exactly Senate does, where they meet, and many of the issues that we discuss. If elected Secretary of Senate, I will make sure that our community is informed and well aware of what Senate does and many of the activities that we plan. I am quite experienced, having served as Sophomore representative this past semester, as well as secretary of Women in Science and Chemistry Club. I look forward to a fun-filled year!:)
Name: Andres Pena
Position: Senior Rep
Candidate Statement: Representing the Class of 2013 has always been my goal as a Pitzer College student. I have met almost everyone in our class, and I know how wonderful, diverse, and intelligent our classmates are. Although we will not be the "50th" class to graduate from PZ (we'll be 49th), we must still leave a mark. This year I had the privilege of serving as your Junior Class Rep. and we had successful food events, and those that were interested came to our meetings. For the fall, I am willing to do anything that will attract many of you to attend meetings and help me make decisions for the benefit of our class. As your senior class representative I will work with many offices on campus such as the Advancement Office, Admission Office, President's Office, and Office of Student Affairs, in order to make our senior year the best! In addition, I have already began contacting possible Commencement speakers, including: J.K Rowling, Anderson Cooper, Kevin De Leon (PZ'03), and UN leaders, because our class is not ordinary--we are extraordinary and we deserve it! We will need all the support we can get from Pitzer, which is why I have created great friendships with many administrators. We have had members of our class receive prestigous awards such as a Kemp Scholarship, a Robert Day Scholarship, a Boston Neighborhood Excellence Initiative Award, and a Smiley 100 Young Leader of the Decade Award among others, and I would really enjoy celebrating many more accomplishments from the class of 2013. Lastly, if you recall, our class entered with 250 students of which 45% were in the top 10% of our HS class and our average GPA was 3.9! Not only have we demonstrated our ability to excell as Pitzer students, but we have shown the entire college how wonderful and caring individuals we are through all of our accomplishments. Thus, representing YOU will truly be an honor!
Name: Lucia Reynolds
Position: Senior Rep
Candidate Statement: Despite the pull of extraneous distractions, I have remained an attentive member of Pitzer's student body during my time here, and I would love nothing more than the chance to display all my knowledge on the inner workings of this place than by serving as the Senior class representative. I have three years worth of experience with all the logistical measures involved with the position, such as planning events, mobilizing students, bringing speakers and raising funding, but I also hold the opportunity to help students to achieve what they want through the framework of the school very dear to my heart. Since I cannot be certain of what the position will call of me, I will at least promise to keep the consideration of the entire class in mind with all decisions; I know because everybody here is a smarty pants how many ideas there are that could improve what is left of our time at Pitzer, and I hope to work those ideas towards fruition. That being said, my concern with class involvement will be neither neglected nor overly demanding; Particularly given how busy a year it is as a student, I do not wish to be overbearing when unnecessary, but instead efficient. In the words of the late Christopher G.L. Wallace, "everything you get, you've got to work hard for it", and I intend to work hard for you!
Name: Sophy Cohen
Position: Senior Rep
Candidate Statement: Entering my fourth year at Pitzer College, there is nothing greater I want to do then be a representative for the Class of 2013. Over the years, I have had unique and awesome experiences that I wouldn't have anywhere else and I want to give back to our community. I've single handedly planned SAC Birthday and brought Super Mash Bros. to college my freshman year, helped the application process for the Admissions Office, coordinated visits for high school seniors to visit Pitzer, was SAC rep for Senate my sophomore year, planned numerous on and off campus activities (including Harry Potter week!) for PAct, worked closely with the 5C social chairs for two years, wrote weekly events emails for the student body and continuously planned events with SAC as co-president my Junior year. I know that as Senior Class Rep, I have the skills, expertise, resources, and connections to make our senior year activities incredibly awesome and enjoyable. With creating networking events, raising funds for our senior gift, throwing smaller and bigger parties for our class and selecting our graduation speaker (not without your help!) I will do my very best and won't let you down! Thanks PZ and vote for me!! xoxo, soco
Name: Kyle Roland
Position: Junior Rep
Candidate Statement: Pitzer is an amazing school, with incredible students and such a high level of potential...that is not being used. For whatever reason, Senate consistently lacks participation, despite being such a politically active institution (weird, huh?). This needs to change, and I think the primary issue is with voice. Students do not feel like they have one, and do not feel as though they can affect the school's policies. The school is moving toward being a top down institution that does not address the needs of the bottom (the students). I believe the students should have the greatest say in what direction the school moves. There is a growing sentiment among the student body that the students are not being treated as responsible adults capable of handling themselves. My goal is to give more voice to the students, which in the end will spark more student involvement in their institution creating a cohesive democratic system.
Name: Ryan Madden
Position: Sophomore Rep
Candidate Statement: I just want to become more involved in the process and change of pitzer policies and student affairs after seeing and experiencing first hand some problems with the current way things are organized.
Name: Lily Simon
Position: Sophomore Rep
Candidate Statement: As a rising sophomore and somewhat of a "watcher" instead of a "do-er" freshman year, I feel that Pitzer is lacking a presence among the 5C's that I would like to bring attention to. As sophomore rep, I feel as though I can cater to the needs of my class as well as introduce my (and our) ideas to the senate to really make Pitzer stand out and contribute as compared to other schools. I'd like to focus on our presence in the 5C environmental analysis program, specifically. As a representative on senate, I am given the opportunity to share my ideals for the school as well as yours. I'm sure there are other areas in need of improvement and I am more than thrilled to work with students. Pitzer is a great place, but as a student looking for more opportunities than just clubs and activity committees, I think I have a lot to offer to make actual changes to available Pitzer programs so we can all make the most out of our educations without limitations.
Name: Stephen Colon
Position: Sophomore Rep
Candidate Statement: My initial goal is to provide an activities program that excites students for the learning environment they're a part of and bonds them to the school, with the hope of developing lasting memories and creating a meaningful college experience which future alumni can draw from in the formation of their post-baccalaureate lifestyles. My desire is that all students would make connections with their colleagues and no student would leave Pitzer feeling "alone in the world." Furthermore, I seek to promote the student voice and increase on-campus democracy by working directly with students to discover their desires and needs while forming solutions to fulfill those needs. I am thrilled to offer my passion for the peoples' voice, my dedication to the task at hand while maintaining a greater perspective, and my past experience in positions ranging from coordinator for student conferences with over 1,500 attendees to member of the Board of Directors for a nationally-accredited nonprofit group. I am more than prepared for any challenge presented to me and cannot wait to serve my fellow student.
Name: Melissa Hernandez
Position: Academic Planning (one)
Candidate Statement: I believe I should be elected into the Academic Planning because I want to make a difference in Pitzer. Working with the faculty and the administration, I do my best in making things easier for them and attending to their requests. I have met candidate after candidate when it comes to faculty hiring, and I want to do more. And since I work with the administration, I know I will be able to see their view as well as give a students' viewpoint in deciding who will be a part of our community because in the long run, the faculty are here for us. I want Pitzer to give the fullest it can give, and I believe, I will be able to do that.
Name: Maria Krol-Sinclair
Position: Academic Planning (one)
Candidate Statement: As a member of the APC, I will make sure that students are aware of and involved in the decisions that shape how our school will look in the future. I will make it my mission to strike a balance between Pitzer's historical identity and the modern expectations of an academically rigorous institution.
Name: Charlotte Colton
Position: Campus Life (two)
Candidate Statement: I would like to be on the Campus life committee. I have an interest in the use of non-academic spaces for clubs and other student run organizations.
Name: Shiyana Gunasekara
Position: External studies (one)
Candidate Statement: Study abroad is an essential part of a Pitzer student's college career and caters to roughly 72% of our student body each year. I want to use my position on the External Studies Committee to bring our study abroad programs and approvals to its full potential in serving our students. Study Abroad is one of the aspects that makes Pitzer stand out to our students and it should be in its best form, and because of that, I want to help maintain Pitzer's External Studies programs as being one of the best experiences a Pitzer student has the privilege of having. I have heard some critiques of our study abroad program and I want to address them and make the necessary changes so that our students don't feel the need to complain about the process of one of the most important parts of our time here. I was fortunate enough to be approved for a non-Pitzer program that was my ideal fit for a study abroad. The experience of applying and being approved made me understand what an appropriate non-Pitzer program is and also where some of our existing programs may fall short. The committee needs a student who is enthusiastic about travel and interdisciplinary/intercultural learning, and that student is me! I've been blessed with adventures to over 27 countries and those trips have made me who I am today. I want to help shape the opportunities for our students to have those kinds of life-changing experiences.
Name: Monica Loomba
Position: External studies (one)
Candidate Statement: My name is Monica Loomba I am a rising senior and I am running for external studies. I was on senate last year in the external studies department. I worked during the WASC accreditation period, as well as helped to evaluate special study abroad opportunities for the 2011 school year. Student input in the study abroad system and programs is essential in order to maintain Pitzer's successful programs. I would love to serve as the student liaison for Pitzer's community the next academic year to establish sustainable study abroad policy for students to come.
Name: Esther Ha
Position: Diversity (one)
Candidate Statement: I am very interested in the Diversity Committee position. During my last couple years at Pitzer, I have noticed the great divide between the white and ethnic communities, especially within the politics of the student body. There have been many issues/controversies such as the student-talk emails about the diversity committee itself as well as the mockumentary "CCC" that should have had further discussions beyond the internet. I am very active within the Asian Pacific Islander community across the 5 colleges, however have been searching for ways to be able to link all the ethnic groups together. It is important for the distinct separation between the different groups to dwindle so that the separation between the ethnic groups and the rest of the student body may do the same. I would like to hold a collaboration event with all the ethnic student organizations on campus and gain a greater sense of community. Planning an event together will allow students to interact with peers that they may not have talked to otherwise. As mentioned before, I have worked with most of the API groups across the five colleges and have been an active member of APAC as well as a sponsor for the sponsor program. I believe I can bring a fresh outlook to the committee, especially through my passion for issues concerning diversity within our institution. As an Asian American Studies major, I have become aware of the Claremont College history of the minority groups and every time it is mentioned, I am usually left confused and at times, appalled. I believe having knowledge of past events is vital when aiming to create new programs. I also believe that because I have not been involved with Student Senate before, I will be coming into the position with a non-biased view on matters.
Name: Nicholas Romo
Position: Diversity (one)
Candidate Statement: Hi my name is Nicholas Romo and I ask for your vote so I can continue to serve the Pitzer community by sitting on the Diversity Committee. Alongside my fellow students, I worked to ensure that Pitzer hired the best faculty candidate. Part of my platform is to bring to the table the opinions of students of color and minority status. I am proud to be able to serve the student body and with your vote I hope to continue my work.
Name: Emily Haynes
Position: Environmental Senator
Candidate Statement: It is my goal as Environmental Senator to ensure that the Pitzer Administration and Student Senate are staying true to our core value of environmental sensitivity in every decision that is made. As an Environmental Analysis major, I am deeply committed to environmental protection and awareness. Pitzer is made up of the next generation of leaders, and in order to be responsible leaders we must consider the impact that our decisions have on our shared environment. I have previously served as part of Student Senate on the Academic Planning Committee, and was inspired by the opportunity to work so closely with faculty, staff, and students. As Environmental Senator, I will build off of that experience and make every effort to include the views of my fellow students in each step the decision-making process. I will work closely with a diverse partnership of students, faculty, and staff at Pitzer and other 5Cs, to make our campuses as sustainable and environmentally responsible as possible. To quote The Lorax, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not." Pitzer, I care a whole awful lot, and I hope that you choose me as your Environmental Senator for the 2012-2013 academic year!
Name: Erin Komplin
Position: Judicial Council - non voting members (five)
Candidate Statement: After three years at Pitzer, I have had a variety of experiences and understanding in terms of Pitzer policies, and overall student needs. By being elected for Judicial Council I hope to use these experiences in order to effectively support and look at instances from a nonjudgmental point of view in order to actively engage in productive changes and decisions for the college.
Name: Camille Matonis
Position: Judicial Council - non voting members (five)
Candidate Statement: After One of the best thing about Pitzer is the way that its small size creates a strong sense of community. We are all encouraged to be active participants in this community and to voice our opinions. So far I have been very involved in the Pitzer community and nearly all of my experiences have been positive, so I would like to take this to the next level by becoming a part of student senate. I want to be able to directly communicate with the administration and to know that I have some influence on (or at least am aware of) the decisions being about about Pitzer. A position on the judicial council would be appropriate for me because I hope to major in environmental justice so I take a particular interest in the area of justice and the council would offer me the chance to learn even more. If I am elected, my primary objective would, obviously, be to represent the students and act in their best interests. Over the past 7 months that I've been at Pitzer, I have come to understand the many perspectives of student body well. Most of all, I want the opportunity to observe Senate at work, to be aware of inside happenings at Pitzer, and to contribute to my community.
Name: Mackenzie Sundborg
Position: Aesthetics (three)
Candidate Statement: I would like to be elected to the aesthetics committee again because i've already been on it for two semesters, and I know the ropes of the committee. I also really enjoy helping students express themselves through art.