Courtesy of Akshat Toshniwal

College Council (CC) needs its next president to be someone dedicated to moving beyond performative measures. The student body needs someone to better connect various clubs and organizations on campus while addressing crucial issues such as fund allocation and mental health resources. Akshat Toshniwal (23C) is that person and the Emory Wheel’s Editorial Board strongly endorses him.

Toshniwal’s passion for bettering CC, combined with his extensive experience in student government, will bode well in the next year. His platform, while ambitious, is replete with realistic goals to better CC and the overall college experience for Emory students.

As a member of the Finance, Audits and Budgets committee for CC, Toshniwal has a strong grasp of the financial issues currently facing the organization. Most recently, as vice president of audits, he led an overhaul of the system used by CC to audit clubs and organizations. With the heavy financial importance of CC’s activity, Toshniwal is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of audits and budgets. This knowledge will help CC clean up its muddled systems for both, hence why Toshinwal stresses continuity in the work toward improvement. “These are things we’ve already started working on, so I do plan to continue working on them next year, irrespective of the position,” Toshniwal said. That said, we believe Toshniwal would be even better positioned to enact the changes he envisions in the role of CC president due to his experience, realistic benchmarks and aim to better connect the Emory College community.

Toshniwal also plans to prioritize mental health resource awareness, such as advocating for better accessibility to Counseling and Psychological Resources (CAPS) for students through conversations between CAPS, legislators, administration and student organizations. In addition, he intends to lead the effort to raise awareness about TimelyCare, a telehealth service available to Emory students 24/7. We encourage Toshniwal to work closely with other divisional councils, as well as the new Student Government Association (SGA) leadership, to ensure progress on mental health support. While we appreciate that his platform addresses mental health resources, we find his goals in this area to be lukewarm. Toshniwal, if elected, should develop a more actionable and comprehensive plan to address the current shortcomings of mental health resources at Emory.

We support Toshniwal’s priorities under the “Advocacy” section of his platform, like hosting H1B and Employment Networking Nights in order to help international students access career-assisting resources. His background as an international student from Bangalore, India, also uniquely positions him to understand the needs of international students and thus better support them during their time at Emory. In addition to the mental health component of this platform pillar, Toshniwal also hopes to “formulate avenues for diverse and inclusive collaborations with organizations” across CC. “I really want organizations and students to work with us to create the change that we want,” Toshniwal said regarding his vision toward cultivating a more connected and active CC. 

Should he be elected, Toshniwal must prioritize creative ways to increase connections between College Council and the student body. The second part of his platform, “Connectivity,” begins to address this dimension of CC and his vision for the coming year. We endorse any effort to better connect students, organizations and their divisional council. Combined with the “Accountability” section of his platform, which outlines his goal of strengthening liaisons between the students and the Emory administration, Toshniwal’s promise for improvement will not be far away. 

From supporting the arts community in Emory College and revamping Emory’s academic fair at the start of each Fall semester, Toshniwal brings fresh ideas to the table, in addition to a breadth of experience that will be crucial for the Council’s continued financial improvement. Toshniwal, however, must remember that he is not alone in this endeavor and must work more closely than ever with his CC peers and students in the College generally to make his goals reality. 

Toshniwal struck us as passionate, prepared and eager to lead CC into a more connected and transparent future. We urge college students to join the Emory Wheel’s Editorial Board endorsement by voting Toshniwal for CC President come election day. 

Editorial Board Editor Demetrios Mammas (23C) serves as a chief of staff for the College Council and Editorial Board Chair Ben Thomas (23C) serves as chief justice of the Constitutional Council. Both recused themselves and none were involved in writing or editing this editorial.

The above editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel’s Editorial Board and Opinion Editor Sophia Peyser. The Editorial Board is composed of Rachel Broun, Jake Busch, Kyle Chan-Shue, Demetrios Mammas, Daniela Parra del Riego Valencia, Sara Perez, Ben Thomas, Chaya Tong and Leah Woldai.