Endorsements 2014

Because she possesses clear, tangible goals and experience as a member of the Student Programming Council (SPC), the Wheel endorses College junior Genevieve Roth for SPC President.

Beginning her work with SPC as a freshman representative, Roth, who is running unopposed, is familiar with its strengths and deficiencies, enabling her to be effective in improving the organization as a whole.

Furthermore, her goals are achievable and are rooted in areas that she has seen a need for improvement in the SPC. Roth told us in her interview with the Wheel that she wants to “bridge the gap” between the various student bodies that make up the SPC’s constituency. The organization faces many unique difficulties because it is intended to represent all of Emory University, not just the College, and her focus on reaching out to graduate students and other schools is necessary for SPC’s mission. Roth also said she hopes to foster diversity in SPC, and if all groups are better represented,then SPC will be able to do its job more effectively.

Her belief in greater delegation of duties in the SPC is encouraging because it could allow for a more efficient SPC that could better handle the needs of our community. Going hand-in-hand with her desire to get SPC members more involved through delegation, she also wants to push towards greater transparency in both processes and in spending. This important move would allow students to engage more fully with SPC as a major body, especially as SPC’s budget is one of the largest in the University. While transparency may just be a buzzword, we hope Roth will be able to make serious moves to show how the organizations is spending its money.

We have high hopes that Roth will make a special focus on improving both the relevance of SPC for those students who are not part of the College and on effective spending for major SPC events such as Dooley’s Week, focusing on bring musicians and comedians that appeal to the wider Emory student population while avoiding unnecessary or inefficient purchases. ​We hope Roth will stay true to her platform and make strong strides for SPC in the next year.

The above represents the majority opinion of the Endorsements Committee.

Because of her experience in the organization and her ambitious ideas, the Wheel endorses College junior Sheena Desai for College Council (CC) vice president.

Desai, who is running unopposed, is currently serving her third year on CC, now as vice president of Student Affairs., and she was previously assistant vice president of Student Affairs and a freshman legislator.

In fall 2013, she co-planned the first CultureShock event, an important initiative that has since gone on to successfully bring various cultural organizations together on campus and help students appreciate cultures different from their own.

As the Vice President of Food Advisory Committee Emory (FACE), Desai helped pioneer the Dooley Discount program, which is an agreement with local restaurants for a discount when students shows their Emory IDs.

Desai said that College Council general body meetings often turn to circular conversations as a result of miscommunication, and that is it imperative that the vice president work to restructure those meetings for maximum efficiency. If elected, she plans to frequently have smaller meetings with the CC president and advisor, and to allow time in general body meetings for the representatives to brainstorm and work on their initiatives together. From these initiatives, it is clear that CC needs some internal work and that Desai could bring some improvement. However, we believe that if Desai is elected, she will need to compile a more concrete plan for meeting improvement, which can be difficult to fix at times.

The initiatives with which Desai is concerned are both large and small in their scope, and she believes that College Council has too often neglected smaller projects in the past. As vice president, she would like to gear the organization toward projects such as improving dining and creating an umbrella rental system in the library. We applaud Desai for realizing that focusing on smaller issues is often just as important as creating larger ideas and events, especially for an organization that can take the time to address smaller issues such as CC.

Desai also believes the enrollment process to be difficult and time consuming for students. This year, she worked with members of CC and the Committee on Academic Integrity to create a comprehensive database of course syllabi called the Class Forum. She also plans to make the course and instructor evaluations that students fill out at the ends of semesters available to students who are looking at the same course and instructor in the future and to create a master exam schedule so that students can more easily plan their end-of-semester travels. These initiatives pair well with those of CC Presidential Candidate Alyssa Weinstein, who we also endorsed, and we are eager to see the two candidates work together specifically on the College academic enrollment and calendar, which needs improvement.

Desai also plans to work toward improved, safer bike paths, such as the one from Clairmont to main campus. She also plans to work with Transportation to improve the reliability and convenience of SafeRide and the campus shuttles.

Finally, CC’s activities are not well known to many students at Emory, and Desai stated she wants to improve the organization’s transparency, which is lacking, and she hopes to improve CC’s digital presence and to use that presence to better communicate with the student body. This piece is critical, especially in the social media age, where organizations are expected to not only create new initiatives but also market them.

Desai stated that she has made an effort to connect with all members of CC, and that they feel comfortable coming to her with questions or for help. For her strong ideas and passion for the organization, Desai will be a good candidate for CC vice president.

The above represents the majority opinion of the Endorsements Committee.

With her noteworthy experience in College Council (CC) and emphasis on incorporating diverse ideas, Alyssa Weinstein has outlined several initiatives that would strengthen CC internally and externally. The Wheel confidently endorses Weinstein as the best candidate for CC President.

Weinstein’s platform includes initiatives that would make CC more accountable, such as increasing use of its Standards Board to make sure members are accomplishing what they set out to do, as well as ideas to improve the College experience such as an expanded scholarship for students with financial need who take an unpaid internship.

During the past year, she has taken action to make ideas such as the Online Pathway for University Students (OPUS) Waitlist become realities. More importantly, she aims to take these initiatives to the next level. Her platform includes linking OPUS with the Course Atlas to make course registration more efficient, and she aims to improve the Class Forum as well. We believe that the Class Forum could be a useful and important tool — but only if CC expands and increases marketing of the Forum significantly. Weinstein recognizes that the Forum needs some serious work. Additionally, her emphasis on improving the Club Liason System, which pairs CC members with individual student clubs as an accountability measure and resource, showcases her focus on excellence.

CC is, at its core, a budgeting organization, and it is one that has historically had considerable issues with managing finances. While Weinstein’s opponent, Goldy Tenreiro-Braschi, emphasized the budget much more intensely than Weinstein did, we believe Weinstein’s work with fixing CC’s budget this year has been promising and will allow CC to focus on other issues in the future. However, as CC has little financial record or memory to work with, Weinstein should continue to focus on CC’s budget if elected, as its historical mismanagement means further attention is needed to ensure the budget runs smoothly for years to come. We also hope that Weinstein will take note of Tenreiro-Braschi’s general concern for CC’s internal processes, where accountability is a major concern. While Weinstein hopes to encourage use of the Standards Board, perhaps more direct and mandatory usage is necessary.

​Overall, we are hopeful that Weinstein will make a strong and effective CC President, continuing to turn around the crisis-filled historical legacy of the organization and making it a body that truly serves the College.

The above represents the majority opinion of the Endorsements Committee.

College sophomore Max Zoberman is organized and committed to making a change on the Student Government Association (SGA) executive board. In the year that he has served as SGA Campus Services chairman, Zoberman has increased communication between SGA and the student body and has worked towards creating a safer, more inclusive Emory community. Due to his commitment and initiative, the Wheel fully endorses Zoberman as a qualified candidate for SGA vice president.

In Zoberman’s time as sophomore legislator, he has worked to increase the communication between SGA and the student body. Zoberman, who is running unopposed, often reaches out to students via email and many Facebook groups to increase awareness around new initiatives and gather student input, and it is never difficult to know exactly what he’s working on or has accomplished. This year, Zoberman engaged the Emory community through his Yik Yak and nighttime shuttle initiatives,and, through trial and error after both resolutions, he has learned to pay close attention to student feedback. Zoberman plans to ensure SGA consults the student body before making major decisions as vice president, and we are fully confident in his ability to do so.

Zoberman’s platform includes making itemized breakdowns of club expenditures more available, which would make important strides toward increasing transparency, and increasing inclusivity on campus through advocating for gender-neutral signage for some bathrooms on campus. Along with College juniors SGA President Jon Darby and SGA Vice President Raj Tilwa, Zoberman authored the recent gender-neutral language initiative for SGA’s Constitution. While many different candidates have used “inclusivity” in their candidate statements and platforms, we believe Zoberman has the record and commitment to make strides in the University’s inclusiveness.

Zoberman’s strong focus on campus safety also differentiates himself from other candidates in student elections. We feel that the safety of the student body should be a top priority of the University and applaud Zoberman for taking on this responsibility as an SGA representative when the University may fall short. As vice president, Zoberman plans to re-evaluate the efficiency and safety of the NightOwl and SafeRide shuttles. He is currently working with the Office of Transportation to develop TapRide for the Emory campus, an app for shuttles that is similar to Uber. Zoberman also hopes to increase lighting in dark areas on campus, create GotchaRide, where golf carts would patrol the campus at night, and work closely with Interfraternity Council (IFC) to ensure there is an adequate disciplinary process for sexual assaults. ​For one problem, Zoberman comes up with multiple solutions. We feel that with his previous experience as chair of campus safety gives Zoberman the perspective and experience to execute these plans. These safety initiatives are a few of the examples of Zoberman’s determination and leadership that we believe he will bring to SGA.

Though we do have reservations about the feasibility of Zoberman’s joint Oxford-Emory orientation initiative, overall, we feel that ​the initiative addresses the disconnect between Emory’s Atlanta and Oxford campuses, and that Zoberman has a strong grasp on the intricacies of SGA and is prepared to address any problems and issues SGA faces if elected.

We feel that Zoberman has proven to be an extremely worthy candidate for the role of SGA vice president due to his past SGA record and future ideas to address the concerns of the student body. His focus on safety and inclusion combined with his experience as a legislator gives the Wheel confidence in endorsing Zoberman for the position of SGA vice president.​

The above represents the majority opinion of the Endorsements Committee.

Due to his previous experience  and his ability to lead and motivate the legislature, the Wheel endorses College junior Raj Tilwa for Student Government Association (SGA) President. However, we that find some of the initiatives Tilwa promoted in his campaign for SGA Vice President went unfinished, such as advocating for underrepresented groups on campus, such as students with disabilities. Therefore, our endorsement comes with some hesitation.

Although Tilwa cites unexpected and unforeseen circumstances for the inability to accomplish these goals, we hope that as SGA President, he will work to ensure he can accomplish the goals outlined in this year’s platform while also handling the day-to-day tasks of the position.

We believe one of Tilwa’s greatest strengths lies in his ability to lead and his institutional knowledge of SGA. This background, coupled with the important personal relationships he has with Emory administrators, will allow for a smooth transition between leadership and allow for SGA to continue operating at full speed, where Tilwa will be able to know exactly who to contact in order to get different initiatives completed. However, these personal relationships could also be detrimental to the role of SGA President, where, at times, Emory students may be critical toward the administration. As SGA President, we hope Tilwa represents and responds to these students and is willing to be critical of the administration when necessary and to challenge the status quo.

Although we are not extremely inspired by the ideas outlined in his candidate statement and platform, we do believe there are some important changes he can bring to the Emory community.

One of the larger projects he will face will be in the already ongoing implementation of a management and collaboration platform. Citing the ineffectiveness of the Emory Bubble, Tilwa has said Emory needs a truly integrated social platform to allow for students to really engage with one another. Tilwa’s emphasis on improving Emory’s digital infrastructure is critical, as students need a place to become informed about events, club chartering information and more. As long as Tilwa continues the strong communication that SGA has instituted this year and ensures student feedback and support for the new platform, we believe this is a strong move in the right direction.

Tilwa also included in his candidate statement the TapRide app, which is in progress, to allow students to call SafeRide shuttles through an app much like Uber. We are excited for this idea and hope that if elected, Tilwa can deliver on this promise as well.

The above two ideas highlight some of our favorite portions of Tilwa’s campaign. Other ideas such as continuing to grow the Student Experience Fund, pushing for a neutral programming space at Emory and increasing support for independent student initiatives, to which he would devote 30 percent of his executive budget, are also important to his candidacy.

Overall, Tilwa is a strong candidate who has presented many useful, tangible ideas to the table, but we hope he can deliver on these promises while still maintaining the strong communication the current administration has already established. We hope he can channel his obvious passion for the Emory community through ensuring he accomplishes most of the goals outlined in his platform in the coming year if elected the next SGA president. ​

This article was updated on Friday, February 27 at 10:00am: A previous version of this endorsement stated that Tilwa did not fulfill his 2014 campaign promise to increase alumni engagement. That statement, which appeared in the first paragraph, was updated as Tilwa has been developing an alumni engagement program called “Emory for Life” which will be piloted during Fall 2015 orientation.

The above represents the majority opinion of the Endorsements Committee.

Due to his vision and experience within and without the Student Government Association (SGA), the Wheel endorses College sophomore and current Vice President of Communications Jon Darby for SGA president.

The SGA President has an obligation to represent the student body in its entirety — it should not be an organization that solely dictates the actions of student groups. Darby proves fit for this position through his vision of SGA, a transparent and efficient organization that incorporates the voices of all students on campus, regardless of race, gender, religion or socioeconomic status.

Darby has proven through his platform, interview with the Wheel and candidate debates that he will do everything in his power to ensure that minority groups are being represented and heard. He hopes to create and expand spaces for all marginalized groups on campus, and we believe that he is capable of following through on this promise.

As current VP of Communications, Darby’s platform centers on technology, and he has the appropriate experience to turn his ideas into practice. More specifically, Darby assisted with launching the new SGA and College Council (CC) websites, depicting his ability to concretely enact changes.

Furthermore, his ideas to use technology as a means to increase communication between SGA and the students is a great first step to increase transparency and understanding of SGA. He wants to bring SGA to the people by creating a feedback box on SGA’s website, where students can view others’ ideas and choose to upvote or downvote them. This allows SGA to get diverse opinions from all pockets on campus — integrating student opinions with productive decision-making.

Darby also hopes to make it easier and less intimidating for students to draft a bill by creating a guide catered to students. This will foster dialogue between the student body and SGA, facilitating his vision of all inclusivity and increasing student engagement with SGA.

Additionally, Darby wants to use technology to increase SGA-to-person interaction. For example, he plans to take recording the SGA sessions a step further and introduce live-streaming so students who can’t physically make it to the meetings are still able to stay actively engaged with decisions that directly impact them or, at the very least, decisions that use their money from the student activities fee.

Darby has a very specific vision of the SGA — one that is all-inclusive and technologically efficient. We do, however, encourage Darby to adopt his opponent, College sophomore Kimberly Varadi’s, idea of changing the speaking order at SGA meetings in order to prioritize the students who want to speak and bridge the gap between the legislature and the students.

Additionally, we hope to see Darby advocate for printing stipends, another idea his candidate proposed. This will give students who are financially stressed a small yet important relief. We feel as if these initiatives will be effective additions that will help reach his goals.

Due to his current role as VP of Communications, we feel that Darby will be a potent and productive leader, using a variety of means to connect and inform the student body and therefore better representing the students that elect him.

Based on his outward-looking vision for SGA, his previous experience within student government as SGA Representative-at-Large and his tangible ideas regarding communication with Emory’s student body, the Wheel confidently endorses Raj Tilwa for the position of SGA Vice President.

A current SGA representative-at-large and a College sophomore, Tilwa’s platform includes a focus on advocacy for underrepresented groups on campus, including students with disabilities. We feel that Tilwa’s attention to minority groups on campus is important to a student government whose aim is to represent the entire student body and goes hand-in-hand with Darby’s focus on marginalized groups on campus.

To increase communication with the student body, Tilwa has proposed a series of town hall meetings each semester to address important issues in the Emory community. We recognize the value of increased open dialogue with administrators and community leaders about social and political issues relevant to the Emory student body.

Tilwa’s previous experience within SGA has shown a consistent dedication to students’ interests. During December’s discussion over the controversial fee split bill, Tilwa co-proposed to table the conversation about the changes in order to allow more debate and education about the issue. While the bill passed anyway, Tilwa’s efforts to increase debate and deliberation both inside and outside of SGA is notable.

Tilwa has stated an interest in improving the value of an Emory degree by strengthening networking connections between Emory’s undergraduates, graduates and alumni. We feel that this could be a valuable effort, if successful, since such networks can improve educational opportunities and job placement after college as well as alumni donations and interaction with the University.

The Wheel believes that Tilwa’s concrete, feasible ideas and steady advocacy work for students make him a very capable and exciting candidate for the vice presidency of SGA.





The Wheel reluctantly endorses College junior and current College Council (CC) Treasurer Omair Kazi for CC President. While we feel he is the most fit to lead CC in a productive direction, we are concerned about his lack of experience and ideas outside of fiscal policy. We hope that, if elected, Kazi will work closely with CC Vice Presidential Candidate Alyssa Weinstein to develop more concrete ideas.

Although Kazi’s ideas may be limited in scope, they are more concrete and constructive than his opponent, College junior and current CC vice president Adam Chan. Furthermore, Kazi’s leadership style, which, he described, focuses on personal relationships with his colleagues, makes him a comparatively better candidate.

Kazi wants CC members to understand their primary role of serving and supporting student organizations through funding. As current CC treasurer, Kazi’s strength is monetary policy. Additionally, as the former treasurer of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Pakistani Student Association (PSA), he has experienced the budget processing from the side of student organizations. As president, he intends to make this budget process friendlier to these organizations.

Kazi wants to shift CC’s mentality of seeing the funds they allocate as CC’s money to viewing it as the students’ money. Consequently, Kazi believes they should treat members of student organizations with greater respect.

Despite our concern about Kazi’s failure to address issues outside of finances, we nonetheless acknowledge the importance of strong fiscal policies. Through the allocation of funds, CC has the power to impact the lives of many students. We therefore recognize the value of Kazi’s experience as treasurer.

While the Wheel endorses Kazi as the better of the two CC presidential candidates, we do so with great hesitation. Though Kazi has strong fiscal ideas, we feel that the CC president must be knowledgeable about all issues that affect the Emory community.

We strongly encourage Kazi, if elected, to work closely with potential CC vice president Alyssa Weinstein to implement many of her concrete and innovative ideas.

College sophomore and current sophomore legislator Alyssa Weinstein is organized and committed to making a change on the College Council (CC) executive board. In the year that she has served, Weinstein has increased the social media presence of CC and is working toward a bike share program with the help of Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Ajay Nair. Due to her commitment and initiative, the Wheel endorses Weinstein as a qualified candidate for CC vice president.

In Weinstein’s short time as sophomore legislator, she has already identified the structural problems of CC, such as the inefficiency of the general body meetings (GBMs) as well as the communication between student organizations and legislators. She plans to improve efficiency and communication as CC vice president, and we are confident in her ability to do so.

Weinstein intends to increase communication and collaboration between the executives and legislators of CC. She plans to send the minutes from meetings to the entire CC body. We feel that with her experience as a legislator, this opportunity affords Weinstein a unique position to identify with other student legislators and to better communicate their concerns and desires to the executive board.

Weinstein proposes a number of unique initiatives and concrete ideas, which she plans to implement, if elected. The bike share program and her plans to address problems with SafeRide provide a few of the many examples of her determination and leadership that we at the Wheel believe she will bring to CC.

Additionally, she wants to increase communication between CC and all students through social media and online promotion. Weinstein already has a strong grasp upon the communication problems that CC has been experiencing and is prepared to address those issues if elected.

We feel that Weinstein has proven to be a worthy candidate for the role of CC vice president because she realizes the potential CC has to address the concerns of the student body. Her focus on listening to student concerns and acting upon them combined with her experience as a legislator gives the Wheel confidence in endorsing Weinstein for the position of CC vice president.