Student Council Elections 2021-2022

Student Council Elections 2021-2022

About Student Council Elections      

Make your voice heard!

Vote for your peers for Student Council 2021-2022! Voting will be open starting Monday, April 19 at 9:00am and will close Wednesday, April 28 at 5:00pm. Learn more about your peers and why they are running for their respective positions by scrolling down on this page.

All voting will take place on JStop.
https://jstop.jjay.cuny.edu/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Student Election Review Committee

   

The Student Election Review Committee (SERC) is comprised of faculty, staff and students to oversee the election of Student Council Officers and Representatives annually by overseeing election procedures and certifying results. To aid in the oversight of the 2021-2022 academic year Student Council Elections, the committee is comprised of the following members:

Fernanda Lujan (Student)
Christina Tufaro (Student)|
Kenneth Yambo (Student)
Jessica Kovler (Faculty)
Ernest Lee (Faculty)
*Elizabeth Broccoli (Staff)
Maria Vidal (Staff)

*denotes Chair of SERC.

 

 

MEET THE CANDIDATES
 

President

 

Saaif Alam
I Saaif Alam as President aim to create an inclusive environment for all students including members of Student Council.  Here are my important platforms to ensure the success of John Jay students and members of Student Council for the 2020-2021 academic year if elected into this position.

 

Accountability

  • Remain accessible for One-on-One Meetings with students in order to collect concerns and address it to the appropriate avenues such as college departments, John Jay administration, CUNY administration or elected officials.
  • Remain Open to Constructive Feedback from students in order to provide them the best leadership as possible.
  • Provide contact information to student body and respond instantly to emails, text messages and phone calls.

Transparency

  • Providing updates to students about Student Council. University Student Senate, John Jay Administration and CUNY Administration initiatives and   that are affecting our student body.
  • Provide students up to date information about projects and Calendar of Events that benefit the student body.
  • Initiate State of Union Speeches about the goals of Student Council and open the floor to Student Council Executives allowing them to provide updates about their initiatives that benefit the student body.

Inclusivity 

  • Continue collaborating with the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Racial Equity Task Force and Black Student to mandate race courses to become General Education Requirements for graduation in response to the civil unrest that took place in our country,
  • Continue monitoring the progress of the establishing the LBTQ Center and ensure it is built by Fall of 2022 so students from the LGBTQ community can receive support on campus.
  •  Continue organizing training for Faculty members in to better understand accommodation needs for students with disabilities.
  • Collaborate with the Career Center to establish partnership with outside organizations to increase employment opportunities for both Undocumented students and International Students
  • Create Mental Health campaign supporting students who suffer from depression and/or distress.
  • Plan and pass a Resolution through Student Activity Association Board of Directors providing more Student Council scholarships for veterinarian students, students with disabilities, International students, Transfer students, Graduate Students and undocumented students.
  • Initiate Monthly Student Council Open Forums to enable student Council Members to listen to questions or concerns students have from all communities.

Advocacy 

  • Hold College Administration, CUNY Administration and elected officials accountable to better student life at John Jay College.
  • Provide both Students Council and non Student Council Members the floor to become spear head to their respective community.
  • Continue advocating in the Strategic Planning Committee (to the Associate Provost of retention) to hire more Adjunct Faculty members so they can help our Undergraduate students receive the best education to prepare themselves for post graduate contexts.
  • Work in collaboration with college Council Members to pass a Resolution in College Council to allow lower Freshman students to covert grades from C- to a D- to a credit on CUNY First in order to reduce students being placed in academic probation (where they could be on a lesser risk from academic dismissal). 
     

Andrew Berezhansky
My name is Andrew Berezhansky, I am running for Student Council President and my platform is based on five key points:

- Student Centered Activism and Policies
- Inclusion, Equity and Representation
- Sustainable Campus
- Additional and Improved Student Support
- Transparency

John Jay students need support now more than ever. We are paying full tuition to take virtual courses and yet there’s more than ever before that’s sitting and not being spent on what students want and need. We need support for our undergraduate and graduate students, especially the newly admitted students to make sure we’re getting the academic services and support we need to succeed. We need a system that realizes that just because we’re virtual, doesn’t mean we’re not paying attention. Just because we’re virtual doesn’t mean we need or deserve any less support. In fact we need more support. We’re Zoomed out and there has to be a better way of making sure access to information and professors isn’t limited to the chat box.

Our college needs to catch up to support the needs of the students who are disabled or are differently abled, parents, veterans, club executives, as well as immigrant, indigenous, LGBTQ+, black and brown, Asian, Jewish, Muslim and the many other student communities who don’t feel heard or seen. We pay tuition and activity fees and so we need the money to go to scholarships, a sustainable campus, a more heterodox and freethinking curriculum with an emphasis on the untold histories and perspectives and much more. The goal must be to have our money invested into things that make us safer, more informed and more financially stable. And most importantly, we must hold the administration accountable to embrace intersectionality and the many voices, perspectives, thoughts and lived experiences we the students have on campus as well as implementing for equitable change and action. We have made so much progress but we have so much more left to do and I would like to be your advocate to do so!

Franklyn Bernabe
Hey Bloodhounds!

It has been a big year for many social justice movements and student advocacy is at its prime, it is needed now more than ever. As Student Council President, I hope to encourage and ensure students are informed and aware of everything that is provided to be successful in their academic journey at John Jay, and be better advocates for justice. Although the definition of success varies for all, students still face countless obstacles in their path to achieve their success and reach their fullest potential. My definition of success is the success of you all, my fellow peers. As your Student Council President, I will work to ensure that I am an ally to your success, and do all in my capacity to help you overcome these barriers by providing guidance, support, a helping hand and create change in solidarity with students.

 As President, I hope to advocate for students by speaking up and ensure the voice of students is always represented in all decisions surrounding the college and student success. Creating permanent change that will be transformative for the student body. One of the biggest disconnects at John Jay is the lack of communication between students, staff and faculty. I hope to serve as a liaison for both parties, and bridge this gap with transparency. Although some of you may not yet know me, I promise that as the year goes on I will do my best to make myself and the Student Council as present as possible in a virtual setting, to ensure that all students know what the Student Council can do for them and know that the Council is here for them, and so am I. I will work tirelessly towards the improvement and growth of the student body academically and mentally.

Thank you!

Secretary

 

Katelynn Seodarsan
I would like to continue my work on Student Council in the 2021-2022 school year. I would like to promote connections with Student Council and the rest of the student body. As the Secretary the students are the most important and their voice needs to be heard. Not all students know how to voice their opinions and as the Secretary I can help bring their issues to light and petition for change. Senior year is an exciting and crazy time because students are trying to finish their last two semesters of classes and celebrate their achievements. With John Jay College being virtual since Spring of 2020 many students have experienced difficulty with classes and socializing with their peers and seniors will have it even harder in the upcoming year due to the uncertainty of our school modality. I believe that I can help the seniors celebrate their achievements as well as support representatives on Student Council.

Sustainability is important to me and I believe that the college as a whole can act to decrease our carbon footprint. Previous administrations have pushed for sustainability in the form of bottle refill stations and giving out reusable cups as merchandise for students to use. I would like to be a part of the next administration to continue sustainability efforts and improve the quality of life at John Jay.

I believe that my prior experience in Student Council from Fall 2019 to Spring 2021 has given me insight to help the student body. If I am elected as Secretary of Student Council then I can continue to support the students across the college whether we are in person or continuing our education virtually. I have a passion for helping others and being a part of the school community. I am currently the chief of staff for the Secretary for Student Council and I know what is expected of me. I can also use my experiences to put my best foot forward if elected into the position. Student Council is a body of people that cares about the community and I am the type of person that throws themselves into a project and puts others first and I know that I will do great work on Student Council as Secretary.

Sophomore Representative

 

Denisse Batista
Some of us may have gotten the chance to visit the campus pre-pandemic but as a whole we entered John Jay merely through a screen. This has left our freshman year experiences scarce and underdeveloped. If elected, I hope to assist the students by helping overcome the disconnect we have all experienced. Along with assisting the students, if possible I hope to host several events, workshops, etc. that would allow each other to engage with our community as well as other communities within John Jay. Some ideas I have for possible future events are hosting a sports day which would consist of friendly competitions amongst students. Career-centered workshops is another idea I would implement if elected. These would be done through surveying the students on their interests and plans after graduating. For those that don’t have a concrete plan yet, I would create workshops exploring a multitude of resources for life after graduation. To take a step away from academic and professional careers, I would host events centered around personal development. This would range from things such as leadership skills to self- care. The purpose of the events is to cater to the interests of the students to promote academic, professional, and personal growth. Any and all feedback from the students will be prioritized and valued.

Another issue I would like to bring attention to is mental health. The pandemic has brought this issue to the forefront. We are constantly overcoming unprecedented obstacles. Referring back to the switch from in person learning to remote, many of us have had to quickly adapt to situations out of our control. Toxic home environments, mental health disorders, balance of work and school, and several other circumstances that clash with our academic life. What I specifically want to do with mental health is give it the attention it deserves. Many of us push these issues to the side to meet school demands. However, we must come to understand that it is not all about academics, our entire persona is not being a student. We exist beyond the walls of the classroom, this is what I want to bring into our community; authenticity.

Overall I want to create a safe and welcoming environment for students. I hope to create an environment where we will be embraced to express our unique characters and different cultures/backgrounds. This would be done through speaking directly with you guys and making a plan of action that best suits your needs. All work conducted by my will be done with you as the focus.

Naylea Henriquez
As a potential Sophomore representative, one of the many issues I hope to address is how we will handle reintegrating from online remote classes to in-person learning. The pandemic has hit all of us hard, and the immediate drastic change in March of last year had many negative side effects on our peer’s mental and physical health. While some students are excited and ready for a possible return for on-campus learning, many of our peers are worried about what the new year will be like and are very anxious about it. I hope that services will be made available for those who need help readjusting to this type of life again, as well as the ability to choose to remain online for those who feel more comfortable taking that route. I also hope we can provide the incoming freshmen, and some of the previous class of freshmen, a proper introduction to John Jay and show them how strong our community is.

Another issue I hope is addressed relates back to politics. It is no secret that recent elections and political events have caused a divide amongst people in this country, however, it is best to have a plan to prevent any possible conflict on campus. Having a plan will not only prevent possible conflicts, but it can even create a space where students can communicate about how they feel without going down a path of insults and confrontations.

Sharon Molina
If elected as a sophomore representative for the student council, I see my duty to be aware of issues at the college that need improvement, especially from my view as a student myself. Issues I would like to address include more ways for students to deal with mental health issues/stress from school work, creating more volunteer opportunities for students to take part of, more casual fun events for students, and much more. I believe that college students’ mental health is a priority for the student council to consider, they should have the right in having ways to relieve stress that their classes can bring to them, this is why I would want to create more ways students can talk to mental health professionals and have the school discuss publicly how to deal with stress/anxiety/depression etc., In a similar topic, I believe more casual fun events for students can ease the stress that class work adds, especially towards finals week. Some ideas I have for fun events include games (board games, sport competitions, etc.) students can participate in for rewards during community hours, raffles, and art activities. 

I believe in keeping school spirit and unity between students, in relation to their cultures, majors, future professions, etc. An idea that could be strengthened in the college is when possible is a board where students can write/write on sticky notes answers to questions such as “What does justice mean to you?”, “What does your background mean to you?”, “Why are you proud to be a Bloodhound?” etc. If not possible in person, this can be posted on the college’s website and social media. I also would like to address ways students can become confident in their major and future career, through guidance. An idea I have is more alumni speakers/speakers of popular professions in the college that will speak about their experiences of getting into the workforce and how they succeeded in college. As a student, I would see this as extremely helpful to have from my college, to learn from someone who went through my career path to lend guidance. I also have an idea for a program/class that would fascinate students, where students can learn about the basics of money management, job hunting, making connections, how to make a resume, etc. 

I also am an advocate for community service, I believe many students at John Jay would be interested in community service if more opportunities arose. Student Council with help from clubs such as Habitat for Humanity can create fundraisers, have clothing drives, food drives, create opportunities for students to help the less fortunate in NYC, etc. What I hope to achieve as a sophomore representative through the issues I like to address is students having more guidance through their college experience, creating more volunteer opportunities, creating fun events where students can deal with stress from their classes, and create open communication about mental health between faculty and students.

Tzvia Waronker
Hi My name is Tzvia Waronker and I am running as a representative once more because I feel passionately about serving the John Jay community. Raising awareness of student’s needs and creating a place where we aren’t just told that we belong, but that we feel it everyday in our virtual and in-person college; through our classes, clubs, college campus, events, and anything else John Jay related.

With your vote you are electing me to once again have the platform to be able to listen to and address students' concerns, to plan events and think of ways to improve student social, physical, mental, and educational life. To be a part of committees that support John Jay's function. To connect with all the different parts of John Jay and to relay students' needs and concerns to administration.

We all belong, and that’s why I want to continue to be a student representative because when you vote for me I have the ability to be able to vote for you.

Yong Hao Zheng
The position I am running for in the Student Council Election in the 2021-2022 academic year is undergraduates representatives under the sophomore year. The issues I do want to bring up and address about it as a member of the Student Council if I’m elected are cyberbullying, suicide awareness, bullying, and recent events that relate to hate crime, racism, prejudice, and discrimination. As a young fierce justice advocator, I do take consider the morals that every human deserves to be treated with justice, fairness, respect, and decency. I was once a victim of cyberbullying, learning from it I wish upon no one to also have to go through what I went through. I just want to let people know that regardless if I’m elected or not, I will bring the attention that if anyone experience cyberbullying at any time, there will be actions taken to stop cyberbullying as well as reminding everyone on campus that we do not tolerate such behavior. If I’m elected of the position I seek interest in, I will fight tirelessly to make sure everyone deserves a safe learning environment without being harassed both verbally and physically. Another issue I want to talk about is suicide. Every year millions of college students both nationally and worldwide suffer anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, other mental illness, and that I want to remind everyone here at the John Jay campus that they are not alone. Bringing up suicide awareness also encouraged those that if they see anyone who may be showing behaviors or feeling suicidal should be concerned about them even if you don’t know them that well. I am happy to talk with anyone who may feel that they aren’t being listened to enough and that I will make sure their voices are heard as well as they are not alone in this situation especially since the pandemic has changed us both mentally and physically. Like cyberbullying, we the Student Council members will not tolerate any kinds of bullying both inside and outside of the campus. We all want a safe learning environment where everyone feels happy and feels like they are contributing to part of the John Jay community. If such behavior exists, actions and consequences will be taken if necessary by the Students Council members. For the recent events towards many minorities group like the attack on the Asian-American communities, the BLM protests, etc. these tragic events have shown us how vulnerable our world is. The reason why I want to bring up these issues is that I do not want to see that someone on our campus is being treated differently because of their skin color, how they identified themselves as, their culture, and background. I also want to address that the females here on our campus should be treated the same way we treat any normal human being without making them feel uncomfortable both here and outside of the campus. I hope in the coming months and years while at John Jay and graduating after to achieve in educating others of what is right and wrong, the awareness of recent tragic events that happened out there in the world so that we will not tolerate or set an example here at our campus. I also hope to represent the interest of the people as an elected representative where I choose to speak out for the students over this position. I also hope to achieve more effective communications with many wonderful people at our campus as well as getting to know more about them. Lastly, I hope that running for Student Council will also encourage me to run government positions in the future to always uphold my values.          

Junior Representative 

  
        
Poonam Latchman
As junior year approaches, many students such as myself wonder where their future is heading. Is law school the way? Are they leaning toward graduate school? If satisfied upon obtaining a bachelor’s degree, what’s the next step? These are all questions I have thought of numerous times that I’m sure my fellow peers have thought about as well. As junior representative, I want to voice the concerns of those who need or want more access to information about their future career path. I hope to achieve this by bringing awareness of opportunities being offered by various programs from John Jay as well as other institutions, agencies, and more. By providing informative workshops and spreading helpful information through huge social media platforms, juniors can be more aware of the many paths they can take to achieve their career goal. Aside from this, it is also very important to maintain a healthy mental health. I have personally seen mental health invade one’s life and become chaotic. School shouldn’t be a source of stress but should be a resource to come to. If elected, it would be great to create a safe environment where students could come to relax their minds and could hear from others and talk about their feelings. It feels great to know someone is listening. Listening leads to communication which could strongly help someone who is struggling.

Julia Jacobellis
As a member of the student council, I plan to create events that will help better involve and educate students at John Jay. Students should be able to have a sense of community with their peers at John Jay, even if everything is virtual. By hosting nights to meet student council representatives or other community events, such as movie nights, I hope to make my peers feel a part of the community at John Jay. I would also like to help the Student Council implement more initiatives and programs surrounding mental health since we are still living through unprecedented times. With classes fully online this semester and last, it has become increasingly difficult for students to maintain their mental health, so I think it is important to ensure that students know what resources are available to them. I know mental health is already a priority with council, but I hope to bring a new perspective and help facilitate more events surrounding it. Additionally, I would love to host events with Spectra and educate my peers about the LGBTQ+ community. 

Graduate Representative

       

Daniel Kronenberg
A college is a microcosm of the greater world around it. A part of the fabric of the community and impacted by the troubles that impact the community itself.  Like a piano with one string plucked, the sound reverberates about the instrument itself, filling it and spilling out into the room that surrounds it. One string is all it takes to fill a piano with sound and our college is just one string. 

Our city has been faced with a challenge over the course of the last year. A pandemic that has shuttered and shattered both commercial business and residential buildings alike. While the businesses slip away due to the tight restriction that shackle them, we became hermits, living isolated from our neighbors, family, and friends. Many of us went from sitting in a classroom to finding a comfortable spot at home to sit with our laptop. It was not easy, and it still is not. The question is, what will happen when the school doors reopen?

Planning for the present does not work; it is already here. You can only effectively plan for the future and that is where we need to focus. We need to imagine those doors reopening and the student body flowing back in. What will we face when things have returned to normal. Does the trauma of the pandemic fade simply away because we want it to?

What of the troubles the pandemic brought with it besides disease? An increase in hate crime against Asian Americans; an increase in depression and anxiety; isolation, weight gain, fear in general. The same way the issues that plagued us during the presidential election did not simply disappear when someone new took office, when our doors open again the Pandora’s Box that was the pandemic does not just simply close back up: the trauma lingers. My platform is that we meet it head on. We address the trauma and create a safe environment for every student who is a part of our student body. A culturally sensitive environment that caters to the needs of the diverse group of people we call classmates. We will work with both the Health Service, the Counselling Center and our fabulous Masters Programs in psychology to develop an effective plan to address the trauma of COVID as it affects our student body.

We can be the force that others point to as influential and inspiring. We can be the ones who accept each other and try to understand our unique needs and motivations. We can be that string that reverberates when plucked, calling out to the community, filling it with our tone. It all starts on campus and spreads outward from there. As your Graduate Representative, I hope to be a part of it.

International Representative

       
           
Michaela Herrit
The issue I would like to address that I hope I could achieve is to build a closer relationship between the local and international students. From my personal experience, I do believe creating an environment that is warm and welcoming is important which could affect our studies and future. So, I transferred twice before I entered John Jay. In my freshman year, the school has a strong community that is welcoming and friendly to all students especially the international students, it does not matter where they came from, what is their race, color and even age, because they know that we came far away from our home and they wanted us to feel like home, here in the United States, feel that they are the part of the family and create memorable moments. In there, I can build a good close relationship with others; I can learn many different cultures and many more. A year later, I transferred to another college which has 180-degree different atmosphere. Here, I felt like I am an outsider in my own school, where I am not a part of it. The student organizations are not active to engage student especially us. They do not encourage international student to get involved, where I felt like they do not really care about us. During my sophomore year, I do not have much memorable memories that is warm, because all I did is just study with no building any connections with people or even having friends outside the classroom. I wanted to get involved in any organization, but I could not find much information about how to join and it is hard to reach them. Here, in John Jay, I do not really feel like an outsider even though during this difficult time, I still feel like the part of the family. I still keep on receiving updates through email of what is happening in the school, the staff especially those who work for the international students keep on encouraging us to be active in the organization and that is why I am here applying to be the Student Council’s member. But after all, I still felt that we can, and need do something more so that the students especially the international students does not “left out” even though we are still separated and cannot meet each other. If I got elected to be the international representative, I hope that I can achieve those hope. 

Purusotam Shah 

 

 

 

Transfer Representative
         
Lydia Davila

If I were to be elected as a Transfer Student Representative, a few issues I would address would include the lack of personal outreach to students, advisors not informing incoming students about important information regarding their majors, and the lack of instruction on possible scholarship opportunities for transfer students. By working together on these problems, we can come up with a solution that best fits our staff and student body.

A solution that I would apply to fix all three issues would be to implement personalized advisement contacts. These advisors would be responsible for making sure that students are receiving clear, accurate, precise information regarding their majors/academic paths, scholarship opportunities, and any assistance required to help the students through their time at John Jay. Contact from an advisor would be required before midterms and at the end of the semester to see how they did and if they need any assistance. Having clear open lines of communication between students and academic personnel would ensure that our student body is receiving strong reliable support throughout their journey at John Jay.

With my help, I know that we can accomplish making transfer student’s transitions to John Jay a lot less stressful than they have to be. Targeting the problems listed would allow students to put their focus more on their courses and less on worrying, helping them feel welcome and at home at John Jay.

Janice Johnson
I would like to instill confidence in every student no matter their educational background. Confidence in themselves and in the staff can only lead to achievement and success! I would like to introduce a bigger and better platform for students to speak about not only their issues, but the ways that they think our school can improve the experience for prospective students. I intend to introduce and create ways for students to get involved in student government.  I hope to inspire students to achieve more than what they set out for. Whether that be through internship programs, mentorships, or advisement from peers and staff- achievement is the ultimate goal!
 
Faculty Student Disciplinary Committee
      
               
Michaela Herrit
The issue I would like to address that I hope I could achieve is to build a closer relationship between the local and international students. From my personal experience, I do believe creating an environment that is warm and welcoming is important which could affect our studies and future. So, I transferred twice before I entered John Jay. In my freshman year, the school has a strong community that is welcoming and friendly to all students especially the international students, it does not matter where they came from, what is their race, color and even age, because they know that we came far away from our home and they wanted us to feel like home, here in the United States, feel that they are the part of the family and create memorable moments. In there, I can build a good close relationship with others; I can learn many different cultures and many more. A year later, I transferred to another college which has 180-degree different atmosphere. Here, I felt like I am an outsider in my own school, where I am not a part of it. The student organizations are not active to engage student especially us. They do not encourage international student to get involved, where I felt like they do not really care about us. During my sophomore year, I do not have much memorable memories that is warm, because all I did is just study with no building any connections with people or even having friends outside the classroom. I wanted to get involved in any organization, but I could not find much information about how to join and it is hard to reach them. Here, in John Jay, I do not really feel like an outsider even though during this difficult time, I still feel like the part of the family. I still keep on receiving updates through email of what is happening in the school, the staff especially those who work for the international students keep on encouraging us to be active in the organization and that is why I am here applying to be the Student Council’s member. But after all, I still felt that we can, and need do something more so that the students especially the international students does not “left out” even though we are still separated and cannot meet each other. If I got elected to be the international representative, I hope that I can achieve those hope. 
 
Undergraduate University Student Senate Delegate

                  
            
Denisse Batista
The switch to online learning back in March of 2020 disrupted a lot, especially for the youth. While we were able to adapt to this change with time, it was no easy task. The online experience is vastly different than in person in crucial ways. One key area that I personally believe was greatly affected is community outreach. With the transition from in person to virtual a lot of students experienced what I refer to as the great disconnect. This was less about individual fault, I see it as a systemic issue.  This flaw in our system is one I would like to address if elected. Working alongside other student delegates I want to improve the learning environment. To avoid the continuation of the disconnect students are experiencing, I as a delegate would act as the voice of students to communicate with instructors and other faculty at John Jay. These conversations would be based on exploring the approaches being taken with students, evaluating their effectiveness and implementing the feedback of the students into this system. This effort would be one of many. It is not just about changing the classroom environment. It is about changing the John Jay environment to serve the needs and interests of the students. As a delegate and committee member, I will actively seek ways in which I can assist my community.

We live within a system that has and continues to fail us-I intend on contributing to the much-needed change if elected. Working as a delegate and committee member, I will actively seek ways in which I can assist my community. My intention of contributing to the needed change for our current system is not limited to my community. I plan on helping the John Jay community as a whole. No change can happen overnight. It is a tiring process that is worth every last drop of sweat. As said by Mahatma Gandhi, the future depends on what we do in the present. We must begin turning the wheel of change now to ensure that those that come after us do not experience the faults we have.

Devon Brooks
Do you believe that Black lives matter? Do you believe that Blue lives matter? Or maybe you would consider transgender lives... how about all lives matter? The truth is that all of these denominations have two things in common: they are alive, and they are human. As a result of recent events here in America, I feel that it is important for school environments to sustain a level of neutrality that all lives are allowed to learn, grow and make their societal contributions without having to be concern for the safety of their lives or fear of being harassed for their race, culture, religious beliefs, gender or sexual orientation. The truth is that as absurd that this might sound to us; these are everyday realities for most of us. I believe that the two most important issues that we face today are xenophobia and gender inequity. I feel that the third United States president, Thomas Jefferson, had said it best that “we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. I believe that what our forefather was trying to convey that it is our responsibility to ensure that “Human lives matter."

The only discrepancy is his statement, I dare say, he should’ve said both all women and all men are created equal by their creators. I believe that men are responsible for joining all women, to unite together in support of gender equity. I believe that American born citizens ought to speak out more to their law makers to expand on immigration that all dreamers can get their share of the three fundamental rights of life, land and liberty. Personally, as a Christian, I made a vow to embrace people of different religious beliefs in hopes that I’d be an example to follow for someone who are not as open-minded. I also feel that equality also comes in the form of having more single-person public restrooms ought to be available in our school to accommodate for transgender and non-binary student given that on-going development on LGBTQ health awareness, both mental and physical.

There are so many ways that we as a community knows as John Jay’s College to ensure that everyone who comes to our college is welcomed and experience less of the subtle social casualties of discrimination. Society is ready for a change. Not just any change, but a fundamental change in daily interactions that ensues more cross-cultural dialogues that promotes mutual understanding and reduces the amount of harm caused by words, thoughts and actions. I personally take a stance against the idea that naming an illness after a group of people because it is absolutely wrong. Anyone found inside of our college who uses that vernacular ought to be thoroughly admonished and punished to the fullest allowable extent.

It is true that some things in life do not really matter. However, we can most definitely agree that all Human life matters.

Michaela Herrit
The issue I would like to address that I hope I could achieve is to build a closer relationship between the local and international students. From my personal experience, I do believe creating an environment that is warm and welcoming is important which could affect our studies and future. So, I transferred twice before I entered John Jay. In my freshman year, the school has a strong community that is welcoming and friendly to all students especially the international students, it does not matter where they came from, what is their race, color and even age, because they know that we came far away from our home and they wanted us to feel like home, here in the United States, feel that they are the part of the family and create memorable moments. In there, I can build a good close relationship with others; I can learn many different cultures and many more. A year later, I transferred to another college which has 180-degree different atmosphere. Here, I felt like I am an outsider in my own school, where I am not a part of it. The student organizations are not active to engage student especially us. They do not encourage international student to get involved, where I felt like they do not really care about us. During my sophomore year, I do not have much memorable memories that is warm, because all I did is just study with no building any connections with people or even having friends outside the classroom. I wanted to get involved in any organization, but I could not find much information about how to join and it is hard to reach them. Here, in John Jay, I do not really feel like an outsider even though during this difficult time, I still feel like the part of the family. I still keep on receiving updates through email of what is happening in the school, the staff especially those who work for the international students keep on encouraging us to be active in the organization and that is why I am here applying to be the Student Council’s member. But after all, I still felt that we can, and need do something more so that the students especially the international students does not “left out” even though we are still separated and cannot meet each other. If I got elected to be the international representative, I hope that I can achieve those hope. 
 

Gregory Kirsopp
I’m running for USS Representative because I have the passion and the skillset to address critical issues facing, both our John Jay student body and the CUNY student body at large. In the midst of a global pandemic, the decisions our student and faculty leaders make are critical and have a direct impact on our education.

The key issues I seek to address as USS Representative are:

• Calling for no tuition hikes during this pandemic
• No cuts to the CUNY ASAP program
• Expanding the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) to cover 12 semesters
• Calling for the passage of the New Deal for CUNY (Assembly Bill 5834)
• Continued investment in campus mental health services, supporting the nearly 15% of
CUNY students facing homelessness, and ensuring no student goes hungry

These are crucial issues that are vital to supporting our John Jay student community as well as
ensuring the betterment of CUNY as a whole. Working with elected officials, student leaders,
and executive boards is, quite literally, part of my daily schedule. This week I was proud to join
with other CUNY leaders and the Young Invincibles organization to lobby members of the New
York State Assembly and Senate to call upon them to support these critical issues and bills, and I
will continue this advocacy once elected USS Representative.

 

Tzvia Waronker
Hi My name is Tzvia Waronker and I am running as a representative once more because I feel passionately about serving the John Jay community. Raising awareness of student’s needs and creating a place where we aren’t just told that we belong, but that we feel it everyday in our virtual and in-person college; through our classes, clubs, college campus, events, and anything else John Jay related.

With your vote you are electing me to once again have the platform to be able to listen to and address students' concerns, to plan events and think of ways to improve student social, physical, mental, and educational life. To be a part of committees that support John Jay's function. To connect with all the different parts of John Jay and to relay students' needs and concerns to administration.

We all belong, and that’s why I want to continue to be a student representative because when you vote for me I have the ability to be able to vote for you.

Graduate University Student Senate Delegate
         
Saaif Alam
I Saaif Alam as USS Graduate Delegate aim to create an inclusive environment for all CUNY students.  I want to provide my best dedication to help CUNY students successfully transition to in person classes.  Also, I want CUNY students to have the best experience to adapt to in person resources when expected to return to their respective campuses for Fall 2021. Here are my important platforms to ensure the success of CUNY students for the 2020-2021 academic year if elected into this position.

Here are my important goals that I want to achieve as Graduate USS Delegate for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Advocacy

  • Advocate for more funding from Governor Andrew Cuomo to better fund CUNY campuses. 
  • Lobby State elected officials to address the funding cuts of our Adjunct Faculty members 
  • Continue lobbying CUNY Administration and elected officials to address the lack of Counseling Services, Academic Advisement, Academic Tutoring Services Financial Aid CUNY students encountered during the pandemic.
  • Continue advocating for Mental Health Awareness for CUNY students.
  •  Continue advocating for Sustainability Initiatives to address climate changes that affect our students,
  •  Continue advocating for racial equity, gender equity and inclusivity for all CUNY students.

    Transparency
     

  • Continue being transparent with all CUNY students the actions elected officials that are effecting Student Life.
  • Continue providing newsletters to all CUNY students about lobbying initiates they can attend.
  • Continue increasing transparency of University Student Senate events that may engage all CUNY students to attend as a whole.
  • Provide awareness about the significance of the University Student Senate representation in John Jay campus.

Engagement

  • Allow CUNY students to participate on providing their experiences to elected officials, so elected officials can better represent them,
  • Organize CUNY wide Open Forums to allow CUNY students participate or ask questions about any CUNY related policies or initiatives that are effecting student life.
  • Allow CUNY students to participate in a discussion so they can vocalize their method to become successful.
     
 
Purusotam Shah