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.