MEET THE

COMMITTEE MENU

Duke: We swear, election season is almost over! So it's time to meet your candidates for the Duke Student Government and Class Council. Use the menu above to scroll through each of our five committees and learn more about your classmates and how they'd like to represent your interests through student government. Voting will begin on Thursday, April 5th at 12pm and end on Friday, April 6th at 12pm. You will receive a link to the ballot in your Duke email inbox from our Attorney General, Anna Kasrazde. Take this opportunity to read through your candidates' biographies and make the best decision at the ballot.

Jake Satisky

Why would you like to be a Senator of Academic Affairs?

I would love to be a Senator in the Academic Affairs Committee because it would provide an incredible opportunity. With so much going on, it is easy to forget that the backbone of Duke is its incredible academics and academic resources. I see an opportunity to utilize the skills I've established throughout the years--active listening, outspokenness, organization, long-term planning--to strengthen academic life at Duke.

Class registration is one area that I believe could be substantially improved. I want to make the bookbagging process more effective by creating guides or flowcharts to help students figure out what classes to take and by increasing the number of authentic, anonymous student course evaluations.

Another aspect of Duke that could be simplified is advising. Duke has an abundance of advisors that can help students with anything from choosing classes to psychological counseling, but all of those options can be overwhelming, especially to freshmen. I would like to create a website or page where students can type in their problem and then the site will recommend which advisor the student should go to and where their office is located.

Through my experience in high school student government, I have seen the difference student government can make in bringing people together. Student government has a reach and influence that other clubs usually do not have. Other organizations may cater to one particular interest, grade, demographic or event, but government caters to the student body as a whole. I want to cast as wide a net as possible, and I believe DSG is the best way to do so.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. My favorite high school activities were student government, varsity tennis, theater, working as a YMCA referee, and serving on the board of my synagogue's youth group.
2. My experiences with government include paging for the North Carolina Senate and meeting Attorney General Josh Stein and Governor Roy Cooper.
3. I am not afraid to share my opinion loudly in a discussion, which is probably why I get shushed in restaurants a lot.
4. Favorite food: Hamburger. Favorite movie: The Dark Knight. Favorite color: Duke blue (for real!).
5. Since first grade, I've been able to recite all the US Presidents in chronological and reverse-chronological order, which I did for the school talent show in second grade.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

Throughout high school, I was a representative in our Student Government Association (SGA). I was elected President of SGA my senior year, so I learned to manage the leaders of the different committees, make difficult decisions, come up with new ideas, and be flexible when plans do not work out. As President, I presided over events such as charity basketball, tailgates, powderpuff kickball, volleybros, open mic night, spirit week, movie nights, homecoming and the elections.

In addition, I served on the inaugural Leadership Team for my school’s Service Organization, which arose after the administration abolished Key Club. I was also one of three leaders for my school’s Artifact Exhibit, one of the largest annual events at the school, which lets freshmen display artifacts they made in history class to their families, and I was a member of the governor’s cabinet at Tar Heels Boys State, where I asserted myself and became a key leader in crafting the budget.

Anything else?

I want to extend and simplify Duke's resources for those who either do not know about them or are apprehensive about utilizing them.

Please reload

academic affairs

 

Dalia Dichter

Why would you like to be a Senator of Academic Affairs?

I want to be a Senator on the Academic Affairs Committee for three main reasons: to increase the efficiency of student resources, to serve as a bridge between the students, especially freshman, and the administration, and to be a representative that anyone can approach with comments, questions, and concerns. My number one priority is to be available to all of you, and having had the opportunity to meet so many of you over the past three weeks, I have learned that there are so many different issues all of us face. However, I have also found that because we all come from such different background, there are so many different perspectives and ideas. I hope to be able to take all of those and make sure that it is the students being represented.

When students are frustrated about issues on campus or otherwise, they tend to blame the administration and other higher-level officials. By that same virtue, administrators can easily find themselves removed from the student body and unaware of issues facing students’ day-to-day lives. Being a DSG Senator means helping to find that middle ground.

I’ve been an interpreter my entire life. With two deaf parents, serving as a bridge between two worlds has always been a part of who I am. Now, I want to build upon that and help serve as an interpreter for all of my fellow peers and the greater Duke community. Being a DSG Senator, especially on the Academic Affairs Committee means exactly that. It means listening to both sides of a story and translating between each party to help facilitate greater understanding and cooperation. That is my goal, and that is why I am running to be one of your Freshman Senators on the Academic Affairs Committee.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. I am from Los Angeles, California
2. I hope to major in Public Policy/Cultural Anthropology
3. I have two deaf parents, and American Sign Language was my first language
4. I hope to work for the federal government one day
5. I would love the honor to represent my fellow classmates and do my best to make this year the best it can be. Between helping plan events and hopefully updating the website to make our resources more streamlined, my goal is to make all of your lives easier.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

I was a student intern in two different capacities: StandWithUs, a nonprofit centered around Israel advocacy, and the Van Nuys Public Defender’s office. I was captain of the Speech and Debate team for 3 years, and oversaw about 60 team members. I was also treasurer for the Speech and Debate team and helped manage our budget as well as plan fundraisers. Beyond that, I was Vice President of my Jewish youth group (BBYO) in Southern California my senior year, after having held over 10 chapter and regional board/chair positions. I helped plan events for 350+ teens, and I was responsible for 12 different committees. I also served as International Convention’s Inclusion Captain, where I worked on various projects to include inclusion for a body of about 3000 teens.

Anything else?

In all reality, none of us freshmen have been here long enough to truly have a grasp over what works and what does not, but I strive to be available as a resource and a bridge between the student body, DSG, and the administration so that when different issues do arise, I will do my best to help. My goal is simple: to increase transparency and efficiency between the student body and the Duke administration. My plan is even simpler: listen to what my peers have to say and work to ensure that you all feel heard and represented.

Please reload

Lexi Ridini

Why would you like to be a Senator of Academic Affairs?

I would love to represent the Class of 2021 on the Academic Affairs Committee. Though Duke is a diverse community and each student is so unique, we all have one thing in common, our academic qualifications. We are all here to learn and gain the tools to excel in life. For this reason, I would love to be involved in overseeing the Duke curriculum, academic advising, academic services and so on. I feel as though getting involved in student government is rewarding because you not only project your own voice, but an amalgamation of all the voices on campus. Student needs are constantly changing with society and it is important that the student government can facilitate the necessary changes on campus. I would be open to any new ideas, concerns or just meeting my peers to discuss academic affairs at Duke!

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. I was the President of Student Council at my school for 2 years and have been involved in student council since 6th grade.
2. I love meeting new people through different clubs, classes and social activities.
3. I played field hockey, lacrosse and ran track in high school.
4. I have a dog named Lola.
5. I think Duke is a great place because it is so open to change and progress

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

I have lots of leadership experience as I was the Student Council President and captain of 3 of my teams. I was also the student representative on the Board of Education for my school district which provided working experience with adults and a view of how the administration deals with problems and budgets. Additionally, I served on the Student Senate for 4 years. I feel as though I am extremely approachable and easy to get in contact with.

Anything else?

Vote for me!!!! :D

Please reload

Tommy Hessel

Why would you like to be a Senator of Campus Life?

The role of a DSG Senator at its most basic level is to voice the concerns of a class to the administration. But beyond voicing concerns, DSG Senators are dedicated friends to all, especially those within their class, and genuinely want to know the wants and desires of their fellow classmates to not only advance friendships but also policy. Few organizations reach as many students as DSG, and fewer still have the same long-term impact. So having the opportunity to contribute ideas, both personal and from the class, to such an organization would mean helping change the lives of others for the better. And at the end of the day if only a single student’s life was changed for the better, the work will have been well worth it.

Personally, as a Senator of Campus Life I would dedicate my time to taking in as much feedback from the class as possible to apply it to real ongoing legislature, continue the Campus Life programs started last year (such as the water bottle filling stations, ePrint expansion, and housing website revamp), and add some of my own ideas about facilitating the move-in and living experience with 360 degree photos of dorms rooms before move-in day, staggered roommate move-in times, and possibly adding inter-house rivalry. Overall, being a DSG Senator looks like the best avenue for helping the most amount of people, and given my past experience, desire to help, and willingness to listen and learn, I believe that I would be failing my classmates and myself if I did not at least try. And there is nothing worse than neglecting concerns of others through failing to fulfill potential.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. Attentive - Always ready to listen to any and all ideas voiced from classmates. (Hesselt17@gmail.com if you'd like to email me any comments/concerns)
2. Creative - Never settle for what is simple or typical and always strive to think and present outside of box. (See my 360 Degree photo of dorms proposition).
3. Invested - Make sure to take the time to ensure a job is executed correctly. Not only invest in time and effort of policy, but actively invest in friendships and lives of others. (Also possible Economics major and manage a portfolio so literally invested).
4. Dynamic - Channel energetic personality into everything I undertake and am able to adjust to situations on the fly.
5. Wholesome - (Coined by Hannah Rubin) Wholesome was a word I heard used to describe me throughout my first weeks at Duke, and has stuck since then. I always just try to live by choosing the right choice, not the easy choice, (even if I have run back to shooters to walk someone back or give out the occasional piggyback ride).
Misc - Hobbies include hiking, kayaking, fishing, 3D printing, soccer, lacrosse, and rowing.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

In the past I have served on the student council of my high school for four years. In that time I was also President of my class freshman year, and Vice President of the Ambassador club. As a captain of my high school's rowing team, I served on the athletic board that worked with other sport captains to address issues relating to student athletics. Being a head of a few clubs also granted me a spot on the club council to deal with affairs pertaining to all school clubs as a whole. Additionally, I was a member of my schools Youth and Government organization and have had exposure to the legislative process. I have also attended two NYSYLC conferences furthering my exposure to leadership skills and legislative methods. Furthermore, I have experience as a youth board member of both the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas where we dealt with volunteers of all ages and developed strategy to facilitate the process of becoming and remaining a volunteer. I also helped alter event nights at the Ronald McDonald House to reach a wider age group and worked with other youth Perot board members to somewhat lobby the actual Perot Museum board on developing a maker space at the Perot Museum.

Anything else?

One quote that I've attempted to live my life by is "first with the head and then with the heart, that's how one stays ahead from the start." It's from an underdog story of a young South African amidst WWII who learns to box and works his way from the bottom up to become one of the best. The main message of the quote perfectly aligns with my desire to run: if you have a vision and follow it will all of your passion, you'll see it though. And I hope to us this as a guiding principle throughout my possible role as DSG Senator.

Please reload

campus life

 

Andrew Kellogg Peeler

Why would you like to be a Senator of Campus Life?

I’m a huge fan of school spirit. I was the guy who painted my face and chest for my high school’s Homecoming football game, but also the guy who went to the jazz band performances and arts shows. I love being a part of something bigger and seeing what amazing things my classmates are doing. That’s why Duke’s my dream school: the school spirit here is incredible and so many people are doing crazy amazing things.
Being Senator of Campus Life seems like the best place to promote school spirit, short of joining the basketball team (which would unfortunately require a two-foot growth spurt or a huge skill increase).


I actually have some ideas for how we can make the community stronger! I want to channel the passion of the dorm wars into Capture the Flag, Dodgeball, and Soccer tournaments between dorms. Wilson and Giles can still destroy each other’s benches, but they can also destroy each other’s hopes for victory.


I also want to see the my classmates’ artwork. I think it would be awesome to set aside sections in the Bryan Center, Marketplace, and Perkins Library for student art displays.


Also, this may just be Giles, but we don’t have a printer in our dorm. Hopefully it is just us, because it’s super annoying. Either way, I would work to get a printer for every dorm that doesn’t have one.


Finally, Marketplace is pretty dang good (it’s just not fair to compare it to West Union), but it could be better. I’d love to see a way for students to request foods they’d like to see.
If you want to get to know me better, I’ll be the guy with his face painted for next week’s homecoming football game, as well as the next jazz band performance.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. I was Class President my Junior and Senior year.
2. I have a lot of ideas for how to make campus life better.
3. My first government experience came at age 4 when I declared myself king over my older brother. It was a short reign.
4. My lip looks like it does because I tried to climb a fence in Sperry's last Wednesday.
5. Yes, I like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

I was Class President my Junior and Senior year and a student council member for the two years before that. As president, I planned Capture the Flag tournaments, Dodgeball tournaments, and a talent show. As student council member, I helped get rid of restrictions on cellphone use. In both positions, I worked to improve campus life in as many ways as I could. As Managing Editor of my school’s newspaper, I negotiated with a board of editors to make effective decisions when we were pressed for time. I think that ability to collaborate and be persuasive will be important in DSG.
My proudest achievement was being voted “Best to Bring Home to Mom and Dad” for the yearbook, which I take as proof my grade considered me friendly, hardworking, and responsible (though maybe they were just saying I’m as boring as their parents). Finally, I love Duke and I will do whatever I can to try and get others to have as amazing a time as I’ve had so far.

Anything else?

I will strive to make our community more fun and close by addressing all aspects of campus life: athletics, arts, housing, and dining.

Please reload

Zachary Rene

Why would you like to be a Senator of Campus Life?

I'm running for Senator of Campus life because I want to be apart of making sure that Duke students have an amazing college experience. Social development and growth is at the core of college life. As the Senator of Campus life I want to make sure that our undergraduate experience is one to remember. I want to get students out of their dorms and exposed to every opportunity that duke has to offer, whether that be a social dinner at a nice venue or a Duke basketball game at Cameron stadium. My main goal is to promote, create, and organize fun and exciting events on campus that anyone can get involved in. Some ideas that I have are to get the dorms and campuses more involved with each other by organizing socials and events. I want Duke students to have to have every chance to explore while here at college.


The function of a DSG senator should be to really get to know their student body and campus as a whole. This should include familiarity with student interests on campus, their passions, and also what is not working at Duke. As Senator of Campus life I can propel greatness at duke by listening to the student body and conferring with administration, and faculty. As a bridge between outside powerhouses and the actual students at Duke, DSG senators have access to so many resources and can easily facilitate discussion and spread new ideas to both parties.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

Voters should know that ...
I am experienced and trustworthy!
I love sports specifically diving and volleyball!!
I'm collaborative and open to new ideas!!!
I'm an extrovert who loves sushi and mexican food!!!!
I will work on fixing marketplaces ice cream machine!!!!!

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

As a student who has always been involved in school administration groups, and other social parties along with academics and sports I am very qualified for this position. In short I served as Class President, NHS president, BCCHS county Vice President, and student representative on my school board. I have always been involved with teams and groups and love working with others to make a difference. I would be more than comfortable representing the class of 2021 and speaking on behalf of us to school administration. My main goal is to voice student concerns and implement change at Duke. Additionally I would love to create ,organize, and implement class activities to not only fundraise for important causes but also promote class unity and spirit among Duke students.

Anything else?

"Take risks. If you win you'll be happy if you lose you'll be wise"

Please reload

Peter J. LaBoy Jr.

Why would you like to be a Senator of Campus Life?

II would like to be a Senator of the Campus Life Committee because I really want to bring the diverse community at Duke together through the creation of different programs and events that will increase the integration of people from different backgrounds and walks of life.
During my limited amount of time at Duke I have been able to meet amazing people and participate in a multitude of wonderful events that have inspired me to be the best version of myself possible. I want to take this energy and channel it into expanding the networks and relationships that we have at Duke.
I participated in the pre-orientation program Project Change and it was nothing short of life- changing. The conversations I had taught me a lot about myself as well as the Durham/Duke community overall. I want to give other students opportunities similar to this so that everyone has the chance to grow and learn.

 

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

I’m passionate about bringing the various diverse aspects of Duke together in a way that sparks conversation and new relationships.
I have lots of experience with student government and being in a position of responsibility. This experience comes from being an active SGA member while in high school.
I’m very outgoing and love meeting new people and getting to know more about others.
I want the best for the student body and thus would always be open to someone suggesting new ideas or voicing their opinions on different matters
I am adept at working in groups and can maintain a practical agenda that will address issues productively and efficiently.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

I’m qualified for this position not only because I am experienced but also because I am passionate about forming new relationships and encouraging others to do the same. My outgoing nature and ability to effectively communicate my thoughts will allow me to actively participate in group discussions as well as use my voice to advocate for others. In addition, I love Duke University and want nothing but the best for my fellow peers. This means I will work diligently to constantly improve the different programs and events put on by DSG so that more people are positively impacted and effected.

Anything else?

I want to bring people together and give everyone the opportunity to grow and learn from each other.

Please reload

Brennan Halkidis

Why would you like to be a Senator of Campus Life?

I'm Brennan and I'm looking to make East the best it can be. Specifically, through the Campus Life Committee. I chose Campus Life because I was involved with a Pre-O before O-week and I absolutely loved it. These programs definitely make the transition of moving to Duke so much smoother! Thus, I'm really looking to expand these awesome programs for upcoming classes to enjoy. For our class, however, I hope to hype up K-Ville by making it more accessible to freshman, add more East campus social events while maintaining a more inclusive vibe, and continuously upgrade utilities around East!

Being a senator for Campus Life is a huge responsibility, and I will definitely treat it as such. I see this position as I like to live my college experience: a mixture of work and play. Of course I want to bring fun events to Duke through athletics and residential life, but I also hope to instill purposeful policy changes and unify our campus. Duke is an ever-changing place, give for an example our parents forcing Duke Dining to supplement our appetites! Thus, I will do the best that I can and hope that we can back and support changing East Campus to fit our class’ diversity, personality, and desires. All in all, I'm just a passionate Duke fan who wants the best for our school. Thank you for supporting!

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1) I have a 2 lovable dogs, one of which you may have seen on my flyers. His name is Cody. The other is a German Shepherd named Russell.
2) I'm a dual citizen with Canada, yet I was born in Cologne, Germany and I'm 50% Greek—it's complicated.
3) From growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Duke has always been my dream school.
4) I love to have a good time, whether that means going out with some buddies on the hall, or staying in and playing ping pong until 3AM.
5) Pictures are worth a thousand words. Check out my Instagram: @bhalk4

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

I was decently involved with several leadership activities in high school, which is exactly why I hope to continue these activities at Duke. For example, I was the Student Body President of my high school where I was able to assist my superintendent in a successful campaign for $54 million dollars for my county's public school system. I was also the Vice President of my school's Interact Club, in which we were able to host two blood drives that when combined were the second largest American Red Cross blood drives in the state of North Carolina. I was also the Varsity Tennis Captain at my high school, in which I led a great team of boys to the farthest round of the state tournament we've ever gotten in school history! I was also president of my Mu Alpha Theta chapter. Through these leadership positions, I learned fervent dedication, professional social skills, and quick communication, which I hope to bring to DSG!

Anything else?

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King Jr.

Please reload

Anish Kottu

Why would you like to be a Senator of Campus Life?

Duke was my dream college. I was born and raised Cary, North Carolina, so for all my life, with Duke so close, and as the elite school of the state, and with honestly the best colors ever, how could it not be my dream school? The thing was, I never actually went to the campus until I was like 13, even though I was cheering for them since I was a little kid. And it was for a Duke TiP Summer Studies program that I even went for the nine weeks I did over three years, living on campus, eating at MP, West Union. I heard about LeBron James’ “Coming Home” at The Loop, even. Yeah, the camp was great, but man, it was that campus, it was that food at Marketplace, seeing Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, those were the things I’ll never forget. It was all the smart students on campus that I learned from, and changed my perspectives on so many things, it was living on campus, that all made the experience worthwhile. Campus life was great. And yet, living here now, I’ve seen and heard of problems still. Because no matter how perfect something is, it can always be improved. I decided to run for Campus Life because there was a direct impact on students that I could have, and I knew I would be willing to listen to them one on one and address everyone’s concerns in any way I could. That’s where my slogan, “A Leader Who Listens” comes in. It’s truly what I want to be, a senator who will act only in the interests of the student body, and absolutely nothing else, not even my own. Representatives should not determine policy based on their own judgement. They are meant to represent the interests of the people, not themselves. This is why I’m running for senator, and why I’m doing it in Campus Life.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. I love sports, especially the NBA and NFL, and of course, Duke Basketball, which I've followed since I was basically a kid.
2. I've played chess since I was six years old, and I've won quite a bit of money, and once was among the top 50 players in the nation for my age group.
3. I plan on studying Computer Science and Economics, with an I&E Certificate.
4. I was born in Cary, North Carolina. Duke was my dream school. This is the one place I'll forever love, other than the house I grew up in.
5. I will always fight for what the majority of students in the student body want to see happen. I promise to listen to the voices of all students with no distinction.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

I served for one and a half years on student council in high school, but quit because it didn't have much influence or ability to create change. That's precisely the reason I'm doing Duke Student Government -- because I feel that Duke Student Government is a more legitimate organization that can create impact.
I've managed to start a chess club at my school, and, in spite of the unpopularity of chess, made it a top club in the school, with over 60 people and a team that won the state championships. I've also started the first ever student-created chess tournament in my region.
I've raised over $2,000 a year as VP of Stop Hunger Now, and another $1,000 through running a literal video game club that I introduced an aspect of charity to, by donating tournament fees and cans to charity.


The number one quality for picking careers for millennials is passion. We want to do what we’re passionate about. This is something I’m passionate about, and that’s the pure primary reason for me doing this. Passion produces drive, and that drive is what produces power in a person’s actions. I feel like I’ve found something which I can really pursue, and really help people with. I have a vision I want to make a reality, and my hope is that the student body sees me as fit to represent them.

Anything else?

"All is relative."
"All is relative."
We experience life in different ways based on our past experiences, and everyone has a different perspective on everything. Communication is the issue that stems all problems with the world today, because these people who have different perspectives cannot communicate, what, to them, is a rational thought. As a senator, it’ll be my job to provide as perfect of a communication stream between students and other representatives in student government. I’ll have to understand everyone’s perspectives, and help reach a compromise overall. That’s my goal, if I am fortunate enough to be elected into office.

Please reload

durham and regional affairs

John Honeycutt

Why would you like to be a Senator of Durham and Regional Affairs?

In addition to the great honor that would come with being a DSG Senator, it would be my genuine pleasure to represent my fellow students and their specific interests. I want to help facilitate change, and I believe that my efforts would be greatly utilized on the Durham and Regional Affairs Committee. My vision is to see the Duke community actively involved with its city and the political climate of this generation. If given the opportunity to hold this office, the entirety of my focus would be on finding new ways to integrate students into Durham by finding new activities for them to enjoy while also opening up the channels of communication between students and local officials. A DSG Senator is meant to be a model of excellence to the Duke community, and I want to be an example to others of what Duke is all about. I am willing to take on this great responsibility because I care about this university and about the student body as a whole.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

Although I lead a pretty average and boring life, I do have some interesting facts that I believe the public would enjoy hearing. I am a native North Carolinian, from a small town that almost no one has heard of. One of my true passions is for animals: I have three cats, two dogs, and my family also helps to take care of the dogs that my neighbor's rescue. In short, I do have a heart. Thirdly, not to brag, but I do consider myself to be a sweet tea connoisseur. In addition, I am a very sociable person, and I promise that my southern charm isn't meant to annoy you. Finally, I enjoy staying busy and try to avoid being a hermit in my room, so extra work is not a problem.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

Throughout my entire academic career, I have worked to pursue all avenues of leadership and political action. In high school, I organized the formation of a debate club and of chess club. In addition, I actively led the clubs as an officer while also serving as a member of other various clubs such as student council, the Superintendent's Advisory Committee, National Honors Society, and others. Generally, I have a true passion for improving my community and to represent the students here at Duke. However, I believe that my greatest qualification is that I am a people-person. I enjoy hearing other people's perspectives and learning from their experiences. Also, i just enjoy speaking to others, meaning that I am not afraid to sit down and have a conversation, which is what leaders should be doing. All of these traits, in my opinion, showcase how I would perform as a member of DSG.

Anything else?

 

My entire campaign is about empowering others, not myself, and paving the way for others to create positive change their communities and across the world.

Please reload

 

Turner Jordan

Why would you like to be a Senator of Durham and Regional Affairs?

Durham is more than the city that Duke is located in. Durham is our home. Living at Duke, it can often feel like we are isolated from the rest of Durham, and that we live in a "Duke Bubble." It can feel difficult to venture out into the community. I want to be a Senator of Durham and Regional Affairs because I have already seen the vibrant and energetic community that Duke is situated in, and I want to work with the student body to encourage exploration and adventure outside of the gates of East Campus. I hope to organize open forums on Duke's campus with local and statewide politicians to discuss the complex issues that Durham is facing. I want to expand the merchants-on-points program to include more local restaurants, encouraging students to branch out and try new places in Durham. I want to organize joint performances between Duke students and artists in the community, to connect people with Durhamites who share similar interests. As an overarching goal, I hope to deepen the connections between Duke and the Durham community through programs and policies that are designed to accommodate the vast diversity of wants and opinions in the Duke student body. We are all members of the Durham community, and connecting with the broader community provides an outlet for learning outside the walls of Duke. In my short time at Duke, I have been amazed daily at the achievements and ambitions of my fellow students. It would be my pleasure to serve this amazing student body as a Senator on the Durham and Regional Affairs committee.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. I am dedicated to working with my peers and developing policies and programs based on student feedback.
2. I am deeply invested in integrating myself into the Durham community and truly making this amazing city my home for the next four years (or beyond).
3. I am willing to work diligently to achieve the goals that I put my mind to, especially when other people are counting on me to get something done.
4. I am aware of when it is the right time to have fun and joke around and when it is time to get serious and make real progress.
5. I am constantly awestruck by how phenomenal the people at Duke are, and I want to do anything in my capacity to do what's right for the Duke community.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

In my short time at Duke, I have participated in programs that encourage exploration of the Durham area outside of the walls of Duke. I have walked in the streets of Durham, talked to the city's people, and listened to the complex political and ethical issues that the city is currently facing. Despite only being a resident of Durham for less than a month, I am actively pushing myself to become an engaged member of the community. I believe that making individual efforts to be an involved member of the Durham community is a crucial qualification for being a Senator of Durham and Regional Affairs. I have also served on a number of boards, and in my time on these boards, I encouraged efforts to promote inclusivity, especially in regards to areas of low-income. I am also actively involved in leadership programs, such as the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership program, to further develop my skills as a leader while also helping to teach others what I have learned.

Anything else?

Together, we can burst through the Duke bubble and make Durham our home!

Please reload

Heeya Sen

Why would you like to be a Senator of Durham and Regional Affairs?

Working on the Durham and Regional Affairs Committee is how I can be a better steward to my community and influence our university to embody stewardship. I personally want to work in the field of development, particularly in the energy sector. I believe the closer an institution is to the community it is trying to improve, the more effective their programs can be. In the few weeks I have lived at Duke, I have already had the most compelling conversations on the C1 or in a booth at Marketplace. This kind of organic learning is as pivotal to our development as students as classes are. Duke does a good job of facilitating that, but in looking inwards, we tend to neglect the city around us. East campus is figuratively and literally walled off from its surroundings. We have so much to offer Durham and Durham has so much to offer us. I want Duke to foster a mutually beneficial relationship with the city so I can be proud to call both Durham and Duke my hometown.

Durham and Duke don’t exist in isolation. The safety of Durham is in tandem the safety of Duke. The tensions that exist in the city will invariably impact the lives of Duke students at one point in their career. My job as a DSG Senator on the Durham and Regional Affairs Committee would be to facilitate the exchange of ideas between students, faculty, and community members--and then collaborate to bring those ideas into fruition.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

I’m a sincere person. In my friendships and in my work, I stick to what I love.
I think community outreach should be a part of every career, and I want to find opportunities for every student to feel connected to Durham.
I’m a good listener.
I’m genuinely excited to try new things. I think it’s more valuable to give a risky idea a shot and see how it might need to be amended rather than stick to a baseline of familiarity.
I live in Alspaugh 223, there’s a whiteboard on my door, stop by or leave me a message if you wanna talk about Duke, Durham, or any episode of the Office.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

My community has a high number of English as a Second Language (ESL) students who struggle in an English educational system. Because I was learning Spanish, I offered to tutor ESL students in their first language. It was deeply gratifying to watch a girl finally grasp the concept of integration because I explained it in Spanish, albeit haphazardly. What began as a handful of committed tutors has now grown into a non-profit organization called Jóvenes Para Ayudar (JPA) that includes five chapters across Wake County and funds a merit based college scholarships for minority students. In the last two years, I’ve had the privilege of presenting over $6,000 in scholarships that help students further their educational goals and the goals of the community we share. Much of the community work we did was in Durham through organizations like El Centro Hispano. Some of the other volunteer work I did in highschool centered around food insecurity in the Raleigh-Durham area.
 

Anything else?

want to be Durham's Leslie Knope, but with Dame's waffles instead of JJ's Diner.

Please reload

Tyler Long

Why would you like to be a Senator of Durham and Regional Affairs?

I would like to be Senator of the Durham and Regional Affairs Committee because of my long-standing love of Duke and the surrounding community. I believe that there is a disconnect between this wonderful university and the wonderful surrounding area, despite the two growing rapidly so close together. I'm running on the tagline of "Duke IN Durham, not Duke AND Durham" and that means introducing new and fresh ideas to the student government to make sure that the surrounding Durham community feels as if they are a part of the Duke community as well. This means making promises to both communities such as: increasing participation and focus on the local election and helping people realize the importance of regional government, increasing student participation in volunteerism in the Durham area, working with business in Durham to increase entrepreneurial opportunities, and getting more Duke student deals in local restaurants to increase the number of students getting out into Durham. Additionally, the most important platform I am running on, and the one that I am taking the most seriously, is one concerning a recent decision made by the White House. As most people know, Donald Trump is working on getting rid of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, however, he is allowing permits to be renewed up until a certain date. The only problem with that is that most people protected under DACA do not have the financial assets available to renew their DACA. I will work with local government and Duke administration to act, as some other universities have, in helping people get affordable DACA renewals to show that we stand with undocumented people in Durham and beyond.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. I am a proud first generation college student. I would love to work with the Equity and Outreach Committee to make sure that students that are underrepresented have a voice in student government.
2. I am from a small town in Western North Carolina called Robbinsville (population 620)
3. I love volunteering and helping communities of people that may not be as privileged as everyone here.
4. I love to eat so everyone hit me up and let's go try out different places in Durham even if we have not met yet! (hopefully with new and exciting deals for Duke students)
5. I absolutely love politics and government and I'm excited to see how these midterm elections play out, and I would love to talk to anyone that wants to listen about them.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

During high school I was on student government all four years, and was student body president senior year. Also, I worked on the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Team through the Southwestern Commission. This group came together once a week to make an economic plan for the seven most westward counties, which is one of the poorest parts of the state. This proved to be very difficult but through lobbying and working with regional governments we achieved higher NCDOT jobs throughout Western North Carolina. I learned a lot about local government throughout high school, and feel that the skills that I developed then would put me at an advantage in a role such as Senator for the Durham and Regional Affairs Committee.

Please reload

Rahul Krishnaswamy

Why would you like to be a Senator of Durham and Regional Affairs?

 

As a North Carolina resident, I feel that as a member of the Durham and Regional Affairs Committee, I can help effect change in a community that I love and means so much to me. I feel that Duke is to Durham as Durham is to North Carolina --- each being vital to the other. Durham is an awesome asset that must be utilized to the fullest, with arts and culture and service abounding just a mile away from here in East Campus.

Service-minded? I want to work with local organizations and create a "volunteer" fair, so that Duke students can find community service, internships, and political work easier than ever! Foodie or maybe bored of Marketplace everyday? I want to partner with more local restaurants to bring Food Truck Friday's and other great food right here to East Campus for special events! Politico? I want to collaborate with the administration during the state and national election season so that you can go vote on election day, just in case you missed early-voting! International student or from far away? I want to work with each and every one of you to ensure that Durham feels like your new home!

Durham and the surrounding community has so much to offer to us as Blue Devils --- Talk to me about issues you see on campus and I will try hard to address them!

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

 

1.  I really like exploring my surroundings, wherever I am. I have been throughout North Carolina, from the mountains to the beaches. And in Durham, I love just walking on 9th Street or going downtown or taking the Bull City Connector to new places. I find that through exploration, you get an understanding of the place and the people.
2. While I love public policy, I'm also a scientist at heart. Any decision I make while a Senator will be backed up through lots of research, solid evidence, and the Duke version of peer review (also called talking to you all!).
3. I'm the co-founder of a regional conference for young scientists (the first session is next spring!) - it will focus on presenting new student research and disparities in science. I hope to get Duke students involved!
4. I am a proud "nerd"! It's not something anyone should be ashamed of!
5. I, quite stereotypically, play tennis! The Duke/Durham community, generally, is a great place for sporting events and working out!

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

I served as the Senate President Pro Tempore of NC's Youth Legislature, where I was elected by over a thousand delegates and led the chamber. I previously served as the Chairman of the Senate Health and Human Service Committee (awarded "Model Committee Chair") and was a successful legislator. As a North Carolinian, I feel deeply connected to Durham and the NC community. I know that I can help facilitate discussion with local leaders and organizations as well as with students and the administration to make Duke a better place. I have been involved in local politics, working with local Senator Jay Chaudhuri on his Indian-American Gen Z Summit for Political Engagement, and serving as a page to new NC Governor Roy Cooper. I have also volunteered on various statewide political campaigns, local and judicial. I am experienced and accessible, fired up and ready to go!

Anything else?

My posters show me blurred and East Campus in the background, focused. That's because "my focus is on Duke." I'm not doing this out of a need for self-promotion or any ulterior motive, but rather out of a desire to actually effect change. High school student governments are less policy oriented, which is why I never participated in my school's SGA; college student governments, however, have huge policy-making potential!

Please reload

Anna Kasradze

Why would you like to be a Senator of Durham and Regional Affairs

This summer, I did a pre-orientation program in Durham and talked to residents about their views of Duke. Nearly everyone said that Duke was insulated, and it is true that we can be a bubble. I hope to strengthen the Duke-Durham relationship by becoming senator on the Durham and Regional Affairs committee.

My policy ideas include: creating a weekly informational email about exciting events and internships in Durham that Duke students can participate in, hosting speaker events and dinners at Duke with prominent figures in Durham, and increasing access to free Ubers for Duke students to better explore Durham. I believe more engagement with Durham will strengthen the Duke-Durham relationship, and allow us to take advantage of all the opportunities Durham offers!

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. I love Durham!
2. I want Durham to love Duke.
3. My favorite hobby is successfully implementing policy initiatives. :D
4. I want to hear your ideas--come talk to me or email me at anna.kasradze@duke.edu!
5. I am super excited about Duke Student Government!

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

I'm from Houston, Texas, where I attended a high school that was not really engaged in the Houston community. I tried to change this by starting a club which grew to 100 people and did regular events and fundraisers to alleviate hunger in Houston. I have experience bringing people together to bridge divides, which is what I plan to do if elected to DSG!

Anything else?

To quote Hillary Clinton, I believe we really are stronger together!

Please reload

Aditya Santoki

Why would you like to be a Senator of Equity and Outreach?

When I applied to Duke University I, like many other Duke students, cited the wide range of opportunities from research to global education as my primary reason for choosing and attending Duke. And because of this every year Duke has some of the brightest and most talented students in the world enriching its daily intellectual and collaborative culture.

But despite its renowned success in the past and continued success in the present, Duke’s gap between the opportunities it has to offer and many its undergraduate students (often lower-income students) has subsisted through dozens of university policies aimed just at eliminating this gap.

The Duke administration and student body’s responsibility is to connect undergraduate students and peers and the ideas they have to the resources Duke offers to develop these ideas into realities. And, I believe the role of a DSG Senator is to facilitate this exchange by proposing legislation that integrates the student body’s wishes and the goal of the university to provide an enriching education. Not only does the DSG Senator propose legislation that diminishes the gap between the undergraduate students and Duke’s opportunities, but also by doing so, he indirectly expands the intellectual life at Duke.

From the Academic Affairs Committee to the Services and Sustainability Committee, the common theme I see is the ability of a DSG senator to connect students with opportunities the university has to offer ranging from academic opportunities to sustainability measures to Durham and regional affairs. And that is the role of a DSG senator. And this is why I am seeking the position of Senator of Equity and Outreach, so I can connect students to opportunities at Duke.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. I would like to create a program that would expose all first generation and low income students to the financial, academic, and support resources available at Duke throughout the school year. Ranging from a panel of upperclassmen who described their experiences at Duke to a sessions with financial advisors, this would be a year-round program.
2. My hope is to expand the above program to involve not only students who receive financial aid, but also other Duke students to create a more collaborative environment.
3. Currently, financial aid, student affairs, and research in different departments are all associated with different offices, and students have a hard time contacting the right person or finding the right opportunity. I would also like to create a single resource that would consolidate all of Duke's resources into one platform.
4. I am determined to help students of low-income as a low-income student myself.
5. I would like to help Duke students increase their awareness of the opportunities available at Duke and to make the most use of their potential.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

In high school, I was heavily involved with the Gwinnett Student Leadership Team (GSLT). GSLT is composed of a series of three members of a class chosen by the school faculty and administration in sophomore year of high school. As a member of the three-member team, I was able to receive leadership lessons from business leaders and leadership professionals in Atlanta and across the US. Some of these leadership lessons include analyses into highly effective teams and studies into what skills are needed in a leadership situation.

However, the main purpose of GSLT was for us to receive these leadership lessons, and then bring them back to my high school to share with our peers. Not only was I able to learn how to lead effectively and work in a highly motivated team, but also I was also able to follow my passion and connect my peers with the leadership education that was going to be so valuable in their future lives. As a DSG Senator, I believe I can take the leadership skills I built on in high school and perfect them through similar initiatives at Duke that will further connect students with leadership opportunities on campus.

 

Anything else?

Aditya's can-do attitude + our ideas = success

Please reload

equity & outreach

 

Lizzie Bond

Why would you like to be a Senator of Equity and Outreach?

The greater wisdom that society dictates should guide one’s undergraduate experience lies in the conception of the academy, namely Duke, as a birthplace and a marketplace for ideas, debate, introspection, and, ultimately, intellectual growth; yet, the divisiveness, polarization, and intolerance that has come to define our era in American society arrests the free exchange of ideas, thereby collapsing the vision of the academy altogether. Arguably, the dire health of which we—as Americans, as young people, and as students at Duke—suffer, finds its roots in the limitation on diversity and depth of thought to which we are exposed and in the greater and immeasurably divided landscape of the United States today.

Yet, in a recommitment to the higher ideals of preserving open discourse and constructive academic dialogue on campus in a setting of free inquiry and expression, I would dedicate myself, as a Senator on the Equity and Outreach Committee, to advocating for policies that protect freedom of expression at Duke. The eminent issues of our time and, specifically, those on Duke’s campus today, necessitate multi-faceted discussion that makes people of diverse backgrounds and identities based on various races, genders, points of view, and the like, to develop greater understandings of and configure solutions to such issues that cripple our campus and society.

While only a first-year, I have become aware of the university’s increasing need to re-affirm its commitment to freedom of expression and the open exchange of thought in the classroom and across the community. I am proud to attend an institution where the values of tolerance and diversity are held in such esteem and are unwaveringly addressed and bolstered; yet, much like Duke and, by extension, its student body, benefits from the incredible diversity, openness, and commitment to ending intolerance and injustice that are already present on campus, it would, too, benefit from an affirmation to ensure that such intolerance and injustice is not extended into the academic space. By being exposed to and interacting with students of diverse opinions, rather than learning and living in environments of stifled free speech and limited ranges of views represented, Duke students will be better equipped to tackle the injustices and intolerance that present themselves off-campus and in the world.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. After having lived in various places along the East Coast, including Pennsylvania, Maryland (where I now live), and Virginia (where I graduated from high school), due to my mother's career in the U.S. Navy, I'm fascinated by how regional differences affect cultural and political patterns.
2. I absolutely love following and engaging in politics, and am always eager to discuss anything political from political philosophy to current events.
3. I am planning on double-majoring in political science and chemistry, and am undecided about pursuing law school or medical school after Duke.
4. As a self-described Anglophile, I enjoy studying British history, culture, literature, and art.
5. I would be thrilled and humbled to represent our class on the Equity and Outreach Committee, working towards putting in place policies that fortify Duke's commitment to freedom of expression on campus. I would love to hear any questions or suggestions you might have about promoting and protecting freedom of expression on campus; feel free to reach me via Facebook or email.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

The pursuit of promoting and protecting freedom of expression and open inquiry has been one to which I devoted considerable effort. I am currently a student representative with a group called Students for Free Expression (SFE), which was founded at the University of Chicago to put in place policies that protect open discourse on campus and cultivate "a culture where all are free to communicate without fear of censorship or intimidation." My role with SFE has allowed me to connect with students from colleges and universities across the country who strive to empower students to express their views openly and with pride, and to bring similar aims to campuses across the country to reinforce the true purpose of education: to challenge one’s own thoughts, ultimately teaching him or her *how* to think, not *what* to think. In addition to my work with SFE, I helped to found the political organization, Bridge the Divide (www.bridge-the-divide.com), along with two of my peers, to ameliorate, through the power of political conversation among young people, the political divisiveness and intolerance that currently plagues much of the national and global political scenes. We have connected many young people across the country and around the world, including our over 100 ambassadors, with the resources to engage in open, political discourse with individuals of political backgrounds across the political spectrum both online and in-person.

 

Anything else?

"Vote for Lizzie Bond to free Freedom of Expression...my word is my Bond"

Please reload

Jia Jia Shen

Why would you like to be a Senator of Equity and Outreach?

Duke is great, but what can we do to make it even better?


Equity and Outreach committee members are dedicated to answering this question. What can we do more about supporting international students? What can we do more about supporting marginalized groups? How can we increase collaboration between student groups on campus to make campus life even more inclusive, more interesting, more unique? How can we make life easier for those with dietary restrictions and increase access for those who need it?
 

These are all questions that I'd like to work with the student body and administrators on solving. I want everyone to have the most fulfilling and open experience here at Duke that they can, and that means innovating and creating plans to fix and improve on what the community suggests. As your Senator, I'll be working on all these ideas and more with you and Duke Student Government, which is great- I love collaboration, and even more than that, helping others and reaching out.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. I'm from Alabama, where segregation still exists in the state constitution D: but that's why I want to work on equity and outreach!
2. I'm also an undecided major!
3. My favorite place on campus so far is the Center for Multicultural Affairs rooms- especially La Casa.
4. I still sleep with a blankie?
5. Bama, not Auburn. Sorry Auburn fans.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

I've worked on desegregation in my school system and helped unify school culture through student affairs on SGA; I've worked on curriculum development for marginalized groups; I've worked with ESL teachers on low-cost private tutoring for international students; I argued against changing my school district to a traditional block schedule (where classes are only semester long) so that AP and Performing Arts/Music kids would not be limited, by logistics, in which courses they could take.

Anything else?

I need you- I need your input and your ideas, because only one person means only one viewpoint. So help me out, and submit your thoughts to https://www.facebook.com/jjdsg17/ to help me create an even better platform and goals for the future!

Please reload

Bella Smith

Why would you like to be a Senator of Equity and Outreach?

I knew that I wanted to be a Senator of the Equity and Outreach Committee when I first read through the DSG website and came across the Equity and Outreach Projects of 2016-2017. As I read through each project - PASH, Gender Inclusive Bathrooms, and especially, Resources for Undocumented Prospective Students - I had experienced an immense sense of pride for Duke that I had not yet experienced before. I knew that this committee is home to ambitious, motivated and daring individuals, whom I can learn from and work alongside to identify and solve social inequalities and injustices on our campus.

And even within these initial few weeks of school, I have identified many issues in need of reform. The interactive online program Haven lacks the prompted interaction that its counterpart Alcohol EDU has and is far too text heavy to truly engage those who are not already passionate about the issue of gender violence and sexual assault. I have heard far too many times that individuals chose to click and scroll through the program as fast as possible. I am proposing an investigation into finding possible alternatives and supplements for gender violence and sexual assault education. Additionally, I would like to catalyze collaboration between the Commission on Memory and History and the Equity and Outreach committee so as to more intensely address the issue of celebrating and preserving Duke’s history while staying in line with modern values and promoting equal representation. While acknowledging the National Panhellenic Conference’s policy which “prohibits the presence of alcohol in chapter houses,” I believe that it is unfair that this policy has effectively eliminated sororities from hosting large scale social functions at the frequency and magnitude that fraternities do. I believe that creating spaces where not only fraternities can host can be intensely beneficial.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. Learning that 40% of undergraduate women and 10% of undergraduate men at Duke reported being victims of sexual assault allowed me to realize, for the first time, the full magnitude of work that can be done to improve the community and values of Duke
2. I am currently involved with the Women’s Center and am joining organizations that encourage conversations about pressing ethical, social, and political issues on and off campus such as Duke Conversations, Duke Democrats, and TED X Duke.
3. I am extremely approachable and always down for a good conversation. I firmly believe that I can learn a lot from each and every individual, so PLEASE make my day and strike up a conversation with me!
4. My favorite quote of all time is, “It’s weird not to be weird,” by John Lennon
5. If elected to the Equity and Outreach Committee, I will do everything in my power to ensure that you, your culture, your identity, your background, and your opinions are celebrated, protected, and represented.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

Each Friday, from 2:45 to 5:00 PM throughout my sophomore to senior year, I could be found passionately researching, theorizing, and discussing ethical dilemmas and current events during my school’s weekly Model Government meeting and immediately after, with the school’s Ethics Bowl club and team. Each week, we convened to discuss issues as local as my high school’s administrative decision to end a popular senior tradition called “Freshman Friday” to events as universal as the French Burkini Ban, Transgender Medicaid, proposed bills such as CISPA and CISA, and the US Army Hairstyle regulations alongside my fellow Model Government and Ethics Bowl members. Through serving as an Executive Board Member of Model Government and as Captain of the Ethics Team, I actively sought out and explored ethical and social issues in search of the most just solutions. Additionally, I have served in many other boards and leadership roles. Most notably, I served as the Managing Editor of The Hilltop Beacon – my school’s monthly newspaper – the Vice President of DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), and on the Executive Board of the Long Island chapter of Friends at Home – an organization dedicated to facilitating friendships between teens and children with special needs.

Please reload

Shreyas Gupta

Why would you like to be a Senator of Equity and Outreach?

I personally am interested in being a Senator as there is always room for improvement and I strongly believe that I can be a significant part of important, positive changes at Duke. I am also a firm believer in the value of continuity in leadership, and if elected as a freshman, I will have the opportunity to represent and provide a constant link between my fellow students and policy-makers for several years. I am specifically interested in the Equity and Outreach committee because issues related to diversity, equity across a variety of student types, and inclusivity are what can truly shape a Blue Devil’s experience on campus but are the issues that are most commonly attacked or in danger. I have been a supporter of the University and its impact on students for many years; my sister was a member of the Class of 2014, and through her experience as a female leader and her work for the LGBTQ community on campus, I quickly established a genuine desire to make Duke an even better place for its diverse and vibrant student body. As a student, friend, sibling, and leader of this school, I look forward to the opportunity of leaving a lasting mark on the place I, and so many other brilliant individuals, call home.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1) I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but have lived most of my life in the US (Richmond; Charlotte; Denver) - I am fortunate to have had unique global exposure at a young age

2) I love to cook because cooking allows me to combine many different experiences and cultures into one dish - my favorite cuisines are Indian, Thai, and Italian

3) I have been in love with Duke and the opportunities that it provides for nearly a decade - I sat in the student section in Cameron during Kyrie Irving’s first game and cheered on my sister during her graduation a few years ago

4) I consider myself an amateur photographer - currently only landscapes but I hope to get more into portraits (Humans of Duke?)

5) I genuinely believe I would be a great representative for the Class of 2021 and can’t wait for us to make the most of our time here together

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

Three years after moving to Colorado, I was faced with a large shift in my academic career, as I decided to leave my assigned high school for a school where I knew no one. Our class elections were held within weeks of the start of the school year - I knew that I wanted to get to know students deeply and really understand the implications of various decisions on our day-to-day lives, so I decided to run for Class President. 

 

I ran a campaign focused on establishing relationships with everyone - students, teachers, staff - and not just at a surface level. Two weeks later, when I found out that I had won, I felt genuine excitement walking through the hallways being able to greet each and every member of our class. By serving as a continuous representative for all students throughout my four years in high school - new students, minority students, sponsored students -  I fostered and promoted a strong sense of community and commitment. The situation today for the Class of 2021 is very similar to what I faced four years ago; I am confident that I can provide a similarly strong sense of continued leadership here at Duke.

Anything else?

Vote YES for Shre-YAS!

Please reload

Rebecca Torrence

Why would you like to be a Senator of Services and Sustainability?

In the few short weeks I’ve been here, Duke’s many resources have made a huge impact on me. However, I’ve also seen a lack of attention to mental health. In an environment this intense, it’s incredibly important that we’re provided with tools to make our mental wellness a priority. I want to be a Senator of Services and Sustainability because I want to give freshmen those tools. In particular, I want to bring 24-hour psychological services to East Campus, so we can always have access to help when we need it. I also want to provide mental health education during the first weeks of school, so we can set our minds right before thinking about anything else. By increasing mental health awareness on campus, we can show everyone that there’s no shame in getting help.
 

Mental health is my top priority, but I also really want to improve Marketplace. I’ve talked to some of the staff, as well as to many of you, and I can tell there are lots of changes that need to be made – both to the facility and to our meal plan itself. I think transportation needs some upgrades too, especially during O Week, and I'd like to make some minor renovations, particularly to Lily and a few of the dorms. I’m really excited to talk to all of you about your ideas, so please come up to me! I love meeting new people, and together, we can come up with effective solutions to the problems we see around campus.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

First, I’m a go-getter. If I see a problem, I’m going to do whatever it takes to fix it. I’m a very passionate person, so I dive in head first to everything I do. However, I do know how to have fun – work hard, play hard, you know? I love Duke, and I’m excited to work on making it even better. And, I think most importantly, I really, really want this position.

Why are you qualified for the job?


I was involved in student government all throughout high school, and I’ve served as the president for multiple clubs. But that would mean nothing if I didn’t have the leadership skills, confidence, and drive to show for it. Luckily, I do. I know how to get things done. I know how to be assertive while still being empathetic. I know how to maneuver dealings with administration, but I also know how to stand up for myself and my class when I see something that needs to be changed. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

Anything else?

A few days ago, I heard someone say that the reason freshmen have to deal with unfair conditions is because they aren’t going to advocate for themselves. Well, Class of 2021, here I am. I'm going to advocate for you.

Please reload

services & Sustainability

 

Yash Patil

Why would you like to be a Senator of Services and Sustainability?

Hey y’all! During the past few weeks at Duke, I’ve fallen in love with the University and truly believe that being a senator is one of the best ways I can give back and implement change. I would like to be a member of the Services and Sustainability committee to advocate for a clean, green Duke. I’ve always been fascinated with renewable energy technologies and sustainable advocacy. As such, I truly believe that it’s our generation’s duty to live sustainably, reduce our carbon footprint, and keep the earth clean.

As for ideas, I have a few initiatives that I believe will positively impact not only the student body but also the overall campus sustainability. These ideas include having more water bottle fillers in dorm hallways, working with Duke Dining to implement using food points at 9th street restaurants, exploring the possibility of hand dryers in bathrooms, implementing post-food composting at Marketplace, looking into outfitting the hallways with dimmable lights at night to save electricity, and exploring possible renewable initiatives (ie. solar bench) on east campus. I am always open to suggestions so please feel free to reach out to me!

(If you’d like to read more, please check out my website & platform at https://yash4dsg.wixsite.com/greenduke)

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

a. I’m very interested in renewable energy technologies, startups, and technology in general.
b. Avid model airplane/helicopter builder. Been building hobby planes for the last several years and am fascinated by aviation and airports.
c. Love documentary’s and movies- watched a movie every day this summer (favorites were Forrest Gump, Boyhood, The Sixth Sense, and Icarus).
d. HUGE sports fan (Soccer – Arsenal & Barcelona, NFL – Panthers, College Basketball, and Tennis).
e. Born at Duke Hospital and am from Cary, North Carolina. Been a Duke fan since I was a kid!

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

During high school, I served on student government as a class representative, senator, and student body vice president. Through these experiences, I learned the nuances of student government. More specifically, I heard about my classmates’ concerns about the academic environment and go about implementing solutions to improve the school. In addition, I was heavily involved in planning many of the events at my school, which included Prom, Homecoming, Movie Nights, and many more.

As part of being involved in my high school’s student council, I was a leader in organizing a dance known as Enloe Charity Ball, an annual event that raises money for a local nonprofit organization. Over four years I helped raise a total of $425,000 for nonprofits that dealt with early childhood education, domestic abuse, food insecurity, homelessness, and high prescription costs. In doing so, I learned the importance of bringing my classmates and community together to start a grassroots movement. Charity Ball brought together people from all walks of life for a singular cause and I hope to do the same for sustainability at Duke.

Anything else?

Just Chill & Vote Yash Patil!

Please reload

Joseph Touma

Why would you like to be a Senator of Services and Sustainability?

IOn the Services and Sustainability Committee, Senators work to improve the services offered to students, from dining to transportation. Furthermore, the committee seeks to make Duke’s campus as sustainable as possible, introducing new technologies and practices that could be implemented to better preserve our planet. My interest in being a Senator extends from both my involvement in politics and my previous experience on my high school student government. I want to make our food tastier, our transportation faster, and our campus greener.

My platform is simple: promote and protect.

Promote student happiness.
*Adding more frequent C1 buses on weekends, especially before, during, and after football and basketball games.
*Providing oversight and funding for fixing Marketplace’s soft serve ice cream machine.
*Establishing a mail/package pickup location on East Campus. Freshmen shouldn’t have to make a forty minute round trip to pick up packages!
*Providing free Uber rides for students with tight class connections between two distant locations. For example, between Trent Hall and Gross Hall.
*Requesting Duke Dining to increase equivalency of missed meals at Marketplace.

Protect our planet and university.
*Composting and/or recycling paper towels in East Campus dorm bathrooms.
*Creating an app for Duke Vans, similar to Uber, that allows instant requests for rides to protect vulnerable/incapacitated students at night time.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. I co-founded Bridge the Divide, an international political organization promoting civility and tolerance across borders and party lines.
2. I am one of two West Virginians in the class of 2021.
3. I am an Eagle Scout. My final project was a major landscaping project for a local church in need.
4. I was Spikeball partners with President Price at a tailgate last week.
5. I am serious about this position and the responsibilities of being an elected official. I was on my high school student government for four years.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

My work on a nonpartisan political organization I co-founded last year called Bridge the Divide is a unique experience that will help me serve effectively as a Senator. Today, the organization, focused on promoting civility and political tolerance amongst youth, has nearly one hundred ambassadors in over twenty countries. We have partnered with a variety of organizations and are planning a conference this October in Los Angeles with appearances from major politicians, celebrities, and activist organizations. We also host respectful online discussions on a variety of policy issues, some of which have totaled over 1,000 comments. My work in creating Bridge the Divide, from sitting through numerous board meetings to interacting with students around the world, will help make me a more effective Senator on DSG. Also, our focus on progress through civil discourse and productive policy discussions will be helpful when coming across divisive or controversial issues. In addition to Bridge the Divide, my work as a four-year member of my high school student government will also serve me well should I become a member of DSG.

Anything else?

Not your average Joe.

Please reload

Noor Sandhu

Why would you like to be a Senator of Services and Sustainability?

I would like to be a Senator for the Services and Sustainability Committee. I would like to be on this committee because it fits with my goals to actively listen to fellow students about positive changes and concerns that can improve their overall experience on campus. Senators have a proactive and dynamic role in empowering student voices to improve student life and academic learning and this committee oversees all of the services and facilities on campus that impact the undergraduate student life. Part of my platform includes many ideas on how to use the many committees that this Committee is responsible for and ensure that Duke is the “gold standard” for campus and academic life.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

Here are a few things about me:
1. I have a record of policy and law changes in North Carolina
2. I am passionate for active changes as described to me by fellow students that can improve student and academic life
3. I love meeting people from different backgrounds
4. I was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina and have loved Duke my whole life
5. I believe in effective activism that actually makes a difference

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

I have actual experience of making real change in the world happen. I drafted a state bill that would make the first time conviction of stalking of a minor a felony in North Carolina after my personal experience with stalking. I successfully lobbied for support from the NC Bar Association, NC DA Association, NC Law Enforcement, NC Pediatrics Association, and multiple NC Women’s Advocacy Groups. I effectively advocated and collaborated with multiple North Carolina Governors, politicians, and with the North Carolina General Assembly to pass this legislation. I know what it takes to be a leader and create sustainable changes. This is why I would be very effective as a Senator especially on the Services and Sustainability Committee. I am completely dedicated to helping people I was also very active in my high school's form of government.

Anything else?

An active and effective Student Senate in Duke Student Government is key to successful leadership on our campus and can serve as the standard for all universities to follow.

Please reload

John Bokman

Why would you like to be a Senator of Services and Sustainability?

Seen as I have only been here for a matter of weeks, I feel like it would be arrogant to say that I know exactly what major changes should be implemented or new policy reform would Duke a better place, so I will not pose any specific plans. What I will say is that I am interested in learning more about what is going on here. Services and Sustainability includes Duke’s transportation, the Duke card, dinning and overall facilities. These being complicated systems, controlled and organized by the school administration with minimal student perspective, often contain flaws that can be inconvenient and frustrating to the student body who use them on a daily basis. For example, the overcomplicated meal swipe program that shorted us on a full week of food was only just revised this year. Small issues like this can be an annoyance when there is already so much going on, and I mean no criticism to the administration who runs these organizations, but I think an involved student perspective could go a long way in resolving these minor issues much more quickly, and make life a little easier for all of us. This is the role I want to play; I want to search the systems and infrastructure around us, locate the weak spots, and push the change that will improve them. I’m not here to tell you that I can change the entire Duke experience or promise some ridiculous policy change, I am just going to try and make things a little better one move at a time. My interest is not in some overzealous, over-the-top reform, but in the small correction needed to make everyday events just a little more efficient.

Five things you want the Class of 2021 to know about you?

1. When I start to dig into something I very quickly find myself completely absorbed in it. I think you can expect me to handle DSG the same way, when I find an issue that interests me, there is nothing I would rather do.
2. The first few days here were overwhelming, but now that I have started to settle in, I really enjoy meeting new people.
3. I want to hear what other people think about our community and what can be improved.
4. I am comfortable in a student government position having done it for a few years, and have experience planning and running events.
5. I don’t really care for the politics of this role or gaining some sort of PoliSci experience, I’m just trying to get involved and do the job.

Why are you qualified for the job?

 

In high school, I was a student council member for my junior and senior year. One of the things I specialized in was hosting big events, especially regarding sports events because my school was very athletically and school spirit driven. These events included pep rallies, dances, and community meetings. One of the more interesting events that I was responsible for was a 130-person game of Assassins that occurred at the end of senior year to celebrate the coming of graduation.


I also have a background that I think will differentiate me from a lot of the other applicants. I grew up working on a horse farm so I have a strong inclination toward the Services and Sustainability Committee and their environmental policy. In addition, I have experience in computer programming and am interested to see how new technologies and applications could benefit the current systems and facilities; I would really like the opportunity to work with the OIT office.

Please reload