April 2018 Election: Candidates Forum Part I

Student Curriculum Committee Head

Precious Robinson ‘19: Hi I wanna be Head of the Student Curriculum Committee because there are a few initiative that have kind of fallen by the wayside when I was going through some of the old transcripts of the meetings and I wanna bring back the concept of creating a diverse requirement and I also want to start going in talks about ways of making curriculum more accessible and the ability to have more diverse viewpoints in order for all of us to get a more comprehensive learning experience.

Nanda Bhushan ‘19: In terms of the initiatives you’ve mentioned, the diversity requirement and also making curriculum more accessible, who do you see yourself reaching out to in order to make that possible?

PR ‘19: During the POSSE retreat, there was a lot of talks about ways that even the science departments can be able to incorporate more diverse curriculum and so there are some professors who I know so I will be definitely be reaching out to them and also I forgot to mention that I want to create more transcripts of the meetings because I can’t find more of them from two years back and anything more recent. There’s a lot of professors that I know that support this initiative and they just want to hear students’ voices and I think that’s where I can come.

Alisha Clark ‘18: What exactly did you have in mind for a diversity requirement?

PR ‘19: Definitely not something that is just a wellness course or THRIVE, something that is comprehensive. Currently I am working in Philadelphia in an organization that has a whole curriculum that they use to teach about topics like gender and like race, and using those kinds of frameworks help to spark these conversations.

Alexis Giron ‘20: How would you work with THRIVE or with the THRIVE mentors and Dean Rose to help them envision what you want as the diverse part?

PN ‘19: The first year of THRIVE I was also a peer mentor as well as a teacher’s assistant, so I am very familiar with the way THRIVE works, and so definitely like scheduling meetings and reviewing what’s there so we can see where there’s room to grow.


Head of Residence Council

Una Giurgea ‘19: Hi I was asked to run in this position by the two current heads of Residence Council. After being in meetings with them as a dorm president this year, I’ve really seen how they work in this position and really interacted with the way dorm life works on this college. I know that people aren’t always happy with the living situations here and by being Head of Residence Council doesn’t make it necessary to change the way Bryn Mawr’s dorms are functioning.

Leah Baker ‘19: If you are working with Isabel Plakas, how do you see that working?

UG ‘19: I know that she is a lovely human and I am a professional person. I have experience working with my co-dorm president this year and we’ve worked very well together. It’s not hard to be nice to each other and if you keep that in mind, then it’s not hard when working professionally together.

NB ‘19: One important issue in regards to Residential Life this year is how they dealt with the Batten House issue and how they’re moving out because of construction. In a similar circumstance where students’ voices need to be advocated for, how do you feel like you would advocate for their voices as the role you will be playing.

UG ‘19: I actually spent a lot of time in conversation with Angie Sheets trying to figure out why and why we lost the partnership with the apartments and actually how Radnor Township allows work. I actually know a lot about this because I want to get apartment living back for Bryn Mawr students. I’ve argued a lot with the Dean’s office to see if there’s any possibility for this initiatives to work before I can make it a plenary resolution. Also if it comes down to finance issues and rebuilding and the understanding that we’re putting our money towards, why not save up and wait a little bit longer to pay for all the zoning rules we have to rebuild something.




Kayleigh Wilson and Annika Yang vom Hofe ‘20

Bethany Matthews and Caroline Horvatits ‘20

LB ‘19: Why do you want this position?

BM ‘20: (also speaking on behalf of CH ‘20) I want this position because Traditions is what made me feel at home at Bryn Mawr. Parade Night really eased the trancession into Bryn Mawr culture but it wasn’t until hell week that I really felt my group on campus and Traditions facilitated that and made Bryn Mawr a place that is comfortable so I want to participate in making that possible for the next generation of students.

AH ‘20: For me, it was Lantern Night that made me feel at home. I want to be able to make it enjoyable for everyone, including the first years, especially that is when I feel it matters most, to feel that you are really part of the community. As Traditions Reps this year, there is a lot going on behind the scenes that I didn’t know about and that I think that works can always be improved, and I think we would like a chance to be able to do that.

SM ‘18: How many traditions are there & can you list all of them?

KW ‘20: The main traditions are Parade Night, Lantern Night, WTF Week, and May Day. There are smaller traditions like Mugging, Convocation Picnic, and other.

BM ‘20: There are 5 traditions: Mugging, Parade Night, Lantern Night, WTF Week and May Day. Also Mugging Ceremony will be coming back early for Customs Week.

Catherine Bunza ‘18: What leadership positions have you had that make you qualify for this position?

BM ‘20: I’m currently a supervisor at New Dorm Dining Hall, so I feel that that position has made me very qualified. I have had to think on my feet quickly, communicate between workers and managers, like I would with students and faculty in this position. I’ve also worked as the Editor in Chief of a literary arts magazine, which dealt with distributing tasks to multiple groups of people and I’ve also dealt with event planning and advertising.

AH ‘20: I am a Traditions Rep right now. In high school, I was the founder of a Chinese club and that involved planning big events like Walk-a-Thons and etc. So I do have experience with event managing.

AC ‘18: Traditions is under SGA, therefore, you need to attend SGA meetings. Are you competent enough to be able to fit all of your schedules next year with all the things you do and as a part of SGA? How do you see yourself doing that?

KW ‘20: Annika and I have really been looking to get more involved with the student body and that is why we have decided to run for Traditions. We would like to devote more time to being active with the student body and SGA. Being Traditions Mistresses would allow us an opportunity to participate more in the student body, so we have put in a lot of time to devote for [Traditions Mistresses]. We plan it to be our main responsibility for next year, if we are allowed to be this position.

BM ‘20: Because Traditions is very critical in Bryn Mawr community, it is very important to be in touch with the community and to be able to hear opinions and voices, so I would be very committed to go SGA meetings and I would make it a priority to schedule everything. I would be able to sort things out and make it my priority.

AG ‘20: As Traditions Mistresses, how do you plan on allowing the student body to have voices in different traditions and events?

BM ‘20: Caroline and I are planning on maintaining the office hours post-traditions, but we also want to establish office hours before traditions, so that we know what the community is looking for, if there were any problems in the past, and etc.

AH ‘20: We also discussed having meetings in addition to the post-traditions meetings, either on a regular basis or before each tradition. It is just as important to be accessible as possible to everyone, so going to SGA meetings will be a big part.  

LB ‘19: As a follow-up question, office hours are not as widely attended, so there are other way to ask questions via Google forms. Is there any ideas for feedback that you guys have?

AH ‘20: One thing that we could possible do is send out a form asking people what they think could be changed so that if they can’t come to office hours, we can still get feedback online.

BM ‘20: I would want to send out a form around traditions in case the office hours were not accessible, but I would also want to have a form that is always available online in case issues didn’t necessarily follow the patterns of traditions, so that it is always accessible.

AC ‘18: What is your least favorite tradition at Bryn Mawr?

KW ‘20: My least favorite tradition is Parade Night because to me, it just makes me want the other traditions to come faster. Even though Parade Night is a great way to welcome students back onto campus after summer break, it just builds up the anticipation for the other traditions throughout the year.

BM ‘20: My least favorite tradition is Lantern Night. I did love having my lantern but it was a creepy atmosphere. Our year did sing the Sophias and that was a little messy so I do think that our current Sophia option with the Night Owls that was created through the poll was very effective and made it a more enjoyable experience

UG ‘19: Traditions Mistresses are given a lot of hate from the student body, and it is often times very unfair, but it is something that you are going to have to deal with. Do you think you can handle that?

BM ‘20: That is a very key part of the job, and that you are going to need to hear everyone’s voices. It is still important to hear the voices, and so I would want to be able to take it without taking it personally and try to get what people are saying and what people are trying to advocate for. You just have to remember to keep it professional.

AH ‘20: We’re lucky in that we are running for traditions together in that we would have a support system in our other Heads Traditions partner. I agree that it is important to hear what people are saying even if it is criticism and even if it feels unfair, but that everyone knows that their voices are heard. Being able to know what you can change about Traditions because the whole student body is unlikely to be happy with the Traditions and to pay attention to what things can be fixed and what things are out of our ability to change or improve.

SS ‘19: What do you think Traditions could do better next year?

KW ‘20: We’ve discussed our main goals, and one of that is to improve communication around Traditions between the student body and Traditions Representatives and Mistresses. We saw that there were some difficulties in communication between representatives and chain of command. We could possibly tighten that change and make communication more clear.

BM ‘20: Our main goal is accessibility and so we think that office hours will help us facilitate that. We also have the experience of not being able to participate in every Tradition. We want to coordinate with other people on campus so that every freshman is participating in all of the Traditions.

BP ‘19: Ever since the name change to WTF Week, participation in traditions has decreased. How do you see yourself in implementing more community engagement?

BM ‘20: I think that is one thing that time will help. I think implementing more excitement about the aspects of WTF week that have stayed the same and true to Bryn Mawr. Office hours will allow us to hear about people’s wants.

AH ‘20: I agree in that time is going to be a great aspect. It is only the change of name and nothing else as changed about WTF week. Something that we can incorporate more is rose-themed decor or events surrounding it to make it more exciting, but it is something that people will get used to and be more excited about.

AC ‘18: From being SGA President, students have questions. A lot of people come to me to talk about if traditions has any core values. Can you list two others other than accessibility that you strive for?

KW ‘20: As a sociology major, there are a lot of aspects that we all see how traditions make Bryn Mawr so special. I think that one other important core value is community, and another is communication. We can all gather together so that we can address any problems we have with each other.

BM ‘20: I believe that community is key in the Traditions position. I also want to see that having fun is important and to keep in mind that Traditions is not a powerhouse but something that everyone participates in and we have fun and memorability.

SM ‘18: What do you think is the overview of what happens and what Traditions Mistresses do and what things you guys plan on doing with this role?

BM ‘20: Traditions interact with everyone on campus. Mary Beth Horvath would be my boss if I got this position. We would come back early during customs week, and our weekly schedule would be meetings amongst ourselves so that we all know that we are on the same page. Some people we would have to keep in touch are the professors, dining services, facilities, and etc.

AH ‘20: Some people we would also contact are the people who plan Haverfest for May Day. We would try to make it a more joint event this year as well as Dean Walters and even Public Safety.

LB ‘19: Throughout the school year, you spend about 2-35 hours a week on Traditions things. How do you see that working with your schedule for next year?

KW ‘20: Like I have previously mentioned, Annika and I are willing to devote a majority of our extracurricular time to Traditions. Our other main responsibility besides academia, is that we do work in New Dorm Dining Hall, but we would like focus a majority of our time on Traditions.

BM ‘20: I think preparation would be key in any traditions. In terms of classwork, I already plan out weeks in advance and complete my tasks. So this will allow me to be able to deal with issues if they arrive as much as I need to. Being able to prepare ahead of time and schedule when things will be able to get done would make sure things got done when they needed to, but also having a partner in which you get things done is also a key to that.


Class of 2021 Sophomore Class Presidents

Yabundu Conteh & Chloe Liu ‘21: We had a good year this year and it took us some time to get us warmed up into the position, but I think that now we kind of know what to expect, therefore, we’re looking forward to do social outreach and activism things into next year. SGA gives us the opportunity to welcome ourselves to the community and also we are coordinating the walkout on April 20th as well.

Delia Landers ‘19: What ideas do you have specifically as sophomore class presidents?

YC ‘21: One idea that we want to implement is working with the AMO groups and talk about questions surrounding race, gender sexuality, and how those affect students on campus, so that it just not academic based, but also bringing in personal topics and how they impact people’s lives here at Bryn Mawr.

CL ‘21: We’re also looking to see the Bi-Co activism clubs and connect them to local politicians, encouraging students to get involved in local Philadelphia activism. I know that students, including myself, have had trouble in taking that first step, and we’re hoping that this club would be that jumping point for people.

NB ‘19: Is that something you guys see translating to other class presidents of different years and if so, how do you see that happening?

YC ‘21: I haven’t thought of working with other class presidents but that would be a great idea, especially since we’re like under Rep Co. but for next year, working with the other class presidents will really help the Bryn Mawr community.


Class of 2020 Junior Class Presidents

Candidates: Alexis Giron & Jada Caesar ‘20 and Sophie Goldstein & Milan Fredrick ‘20

DL ‘19: Why do you want to run for this position and what will you bring to the year?

AG ‘20: We have about 5 ideals that we want to implement in the class of 2020. There’s transparency, clarity, integrity, solidarity, and diversity. With clarity, we want to make sure that we are communicating with the class of 2020, making sure that we are consistent with everyone whether that is through emails, making ourselves direct in person. With diversity, I think that it is really important especially now that in society, we are making things accessible, which includes language, learning from the community. With transparency, when we do talk with the class of 2020, we want to make sure that we are being truthful as possible, making sure that we remember who we are and who we’re representing. With transparency and clarity, it is also very important for study abroad students since junior year is when students go abroad. I’ve heard a lot of junior year students where they come back and have no idea what is going on campus, so making sure that they are getting emails about events happening and just making sure that people know what is going on, so that when people come back on campus, they don’t feel uncomfortable walking around in the hallways that they’ve already lived here for already 2 years and come back feel like a brand new person and having to recreate themselves as a brand new person. That also goes along with our last one, solidarity, where we want to bring together the class of 2020, whether that is through pop-ups or through those emails. We just want to let everyone know that we are here as a class instead of individual people. You can be an individual person on this campus, but as a class, we want to bring a dynamic, where we send out consistent emails or pop-ups, where people are allowed to mingle with each other. We also want to implement office hours. Like we said, we want to make ourselves available through emails or in person. Having office hours will help us envision what the class of 2020 wants to do throughout the year. As the largest class out of all, there are a lot of different voices that we’re not really able to hear unless we hold office hours.

SG ‘20: Milan and I have actually ran before. We were the Elections Heads recently, so we know what it’s like to work together and work with a group of people and with everyone. We know a lot about SGA and how to communicate freely with others, so with our past experiences, we want to make SGA more accessible and making it more approachable for everyone in the community. This is something that we think that we really need to work on. Coming off as Elections Heads, we want to become class presidents to have a closer knit to our class year and make it so that people and our friends in our class can have an outlet, and someone that they can talk to, and feel that they are being represented and their voices are being heard. I know that a lot of my friends don’t know a lot about SGA and are nervous, and that is something that we want to break down and make SGA a lot better and more represented in our community.

NN ‘20: Since Jada will be going abroad next fall, how do you plan on working together with Alexis on making sure that duties will be fulfilled?

JC ’20: Alexis will not be working by herself when I am abroad because I will still be active at Bryn Mawr while being abroad. I am part of the History Working Group, therefore Bryn Mawr is basically demanding me to be in both places. I am very open to being in both places. I want Alexis to have a piece of my heart here and allow me to still be here. We’re also in POSSE, so we know how to work and communicate with each other. We will set up a schedule that works for both of us to talk about what we will be doing. I am a very good communicator, very good at managing my time, but Alexis will not be doing anything alone. I’m also really ready to come back in the spring semester and make sure that I am making up for not being here.


Class of 2019 Senior Class Presidents

Leah Baker & Britt van der Poel ‘19, Oona Ryle & Viveka Kymal ‘19, Mariana Garcia & Genesis Perez ‘19 (Oona Ryle will be speaking on behalf of Viveka Kymal)

NB ‘19: A huge portion of being senior class presidents is really coordinating senior cocktails, senior week, and also senior gift committee. How do you see yourself of making those the best events as possible and also getting the most amount of donations you possible can? Any ideas you have for those?

OR ‘19: Viveka is not here right now as I mentioned. She is currently in D.C. because she organized something for an internship for a position that she is working for. So one of the positions that she is working for next year is that she’s interning for the alumni relations office. With that, she is going to have direct information on receiving donations and other methods. If anyone knows her, we work together very well in terms of coming up with great ideas, and we have a lot already for events like that.

GP ‘19: Mariana and I have been talking a lot about this. We have a lot of exciting ideas. We know how to work really hard and also play really hard. We’ve come up with a few ideas for Senior Week. We’re planning to have Senior Cocktails at least one time at the Grog and to see if we can find a partnership with them. Also we know that planning everything is really hard and it takes a lot of work, so we’re wondering if it is possible to set up a committee with other senior students. We already have two good friends that are willing to help us with that. Also for Senior Week, we’re thinking of posting a small themed-party like a time capsule. We wanna see if we can make a time capsule and have our class members put things in it and have it opened when its about our 20th reunion. We can all come back and open it. I think it’s great idea and it’s really cute to see all the photos we’ve taken throughout our years at Bryn Mawr. I think it’ll be a great idea for all of us to gather and cherish the moments we’ve had together. Also, we’re thinking of having a barbeque darty, so I think that it’ll be very lit. We also have several ideas for senior pop-ups. We have a lot of ideas and we’re really excited to share with everyone.

LB ‘19: Britt and I have had the wonderful experience of doing Traditions this year, and that’s given us the opportunity to coordinate with a lot of departments on campus, which is something that we will be able to bring to this position. Thinking specifically about Senior Week, there’s a lot of coordinating with people off-campus, different locations, and coordinating with other classes to coordinate for costumes for the May Day parade. So we’re following up to make sure everything is in place and to successfully run. We will make sure that we are going to be physically going to check out the places and having them walk us through everything to make sure that it’s top tier for seniors. Looking back our past experiences this past year, we definitely recognize that there are still things that we want to do better on. Some of those things are working on transparency of decision making. We want to make sure that students’ voices are heard. Therefore, we want to come up with ideas that seniors propose and have an available area on the form so that people from the community also submit things. We also want to focus on unifying the class. We felt that that is something we didn’t really feel this year. We have a lot of ideas for pop-ups such as with the sister class and have that connection when we leave campus. For our first pop-up, we want to have food and have a space for the community to all come. Also, for senior gift, Britt and I are really both excited to have the opportunity to be a part of it. We also have a lot of ideas for that as well.

AC ‘18: So senior year is a really big time for everyone to get together. How can you build community that is impactful for everyone and can you reference a time at Bryn Mawr where you made an impact on the community that you can share with us today?

MG ‘19: If we were granted this position, this would not be the first time when Genesis and I work together. We’ve actually worked together for two years straight as Co-Head of Elections and in SGA. So we do know what it’s like to work with the Representative Council and having a lot of outreach with the community in terms of getting people to be here in places like Candidates Forum, to do their posters, and that everything is in check. So in that sense, we’ve been able to work on a personal level with different students. So the elections process as it is right now, was not like this when we first arrived here. There was a lot of changes that we’ve seen today. For example, we implemented a different system to make sure that the voting system was more accessible, and I believe everyone has benefited from that because it’s not super fun to log into Moodle and vote for the candidates, and now it’s pretty easy to log into Google and email and complete the voting poll on Google. So in that sense, we’ve planted a little seed in terms of SGA and elections, and through a democratic process, we’ve made a difference at Bryn Mawr.

OR ‘19: Senior year especially is one of the years when a class can break apart more than ever, and that’s a lot of the time due to the job hunt. Every single senior that I’ve talked to seems totally stressed by it. Therefore, what I haven’t heard of lately is a pop-up focused on bringing seniors together and not in a way forgetting everything but in a setting where a representative from LILAC may come in or a representative from the CPD or even student representatives could come in and hold a resume-building session or even invite someone from career and internships to come in and give a talk, and have a stress buster in there. I think that kind of thing will be really helpful with unifying our class.

BP ‘19: Leah and I really want to highlight the aspect of transparency that we would adopt in our role as senior presidents if we were elected. In planning Senior Week, we would have various ideas implement but they wouldn’t be completed without input from the student body, so we would have various polls and office hours to hear their ideas. Also, last year, in the beginning of the year, someone from the swim team reached out to us and asked us if we could have WTF changed to a different date so that the swim team could finally have their first WTF week, and we were actually able to have that and they were really grateful for that.

SS ‘19: What is something you would do or do better as class presidents?

LB ‘19: Something Britt and I were thinking about when thinking about ideas was how can we not only connect to each other before we leave or how can we connect to the larger community outside of Bryn Mawr. We’ve lived in this area for four years and something that we think would be very salient is if we had some kind of community engagement with a local organization which then we would take input in for some people. I know students are passionate to different areas, so we want to dedicate one of the days during Senior Week when we give the opportunity for students to go out and give our support to this community that we’ll be leaving behind.

OR ‘19: Something Viveka and I talked about was that we would want to reach out to the Heads of different groups on campus. The first time we really saw that was when the class of 2018 presidents reached out to BMCCS and really worked together to bring Amine onto campus which I think everybody loved. I know that is really a social aspect of campus, but we would want to explore and extend our range as presidents. We want to leave a legacy for future class presidents and I think that it would great for everyone.

MG ‘19: When we spoke to Connie and Ann about their experience as Senior Class Presidents, they told us a lot about how Senior Cocktails seems to be a really important part of the senior experience in times of when you liberate stress and thesis writing, or just in general with school work and how the participation for those tends to decline as the semester goes on because of academics. Therefore, we believe that we could host the events such as Senior Cocktail or pop-ups on campus can maybe seem monotonous, so we could cater to other people by hosting things off campus, where it is accessible for everyone such as restaurants in the Main Line. I understand that everyone loves to be here at Bryn Mawr but it is nice to get away and get a breather. I know that we get that opportunity during our breaks but it is very important to have events where it is just about the seniors and not necessarily on-campus, where we can talk about our experiences as seniors, what is hard, and what we would like to see, which gives us an opportunity to speak with the class to get a take on what we are doing wrong and what they would like to see more.


LILAC/CPD Representative

Victoria Borodina ‘21: Hi everyone, my name is Victoria Borodina, and I am part of the Class of 2021 and use she/her pronouns. Today I am going to run for the LILAC/CPD Representative.

NB ‘19: What previous experience do you have with LILAC/CPD and how do you see yourself making both more accessible for students.

VB ‘21: I have visited multiple events for LILAC/CPD by going to Handshake and really being able to see other opportunities. However, I have talked to many of my freshmen friends and other class years and realized that not everybody knows that Handshake exists. There is a huge problem with Bryn Mawr organizing so many wonderful events and bringing so many alumni on campus, and yet so many people do not know that these events exists. So I really do hope to promote the events with LILAC and organize them to show them to the people. I also hope to have more diverse opportunities with LILAC/CPD. I know how hard it is to utilize resources and go to every person in Bryn Mawr, so I want to make it accessible for everyone here.

NB ‘19: As a follow up question, I feel like a lot of students feel that LILAC and CPD don’t make seeking job opportunities as easy as possible even though there are pop-ups, they aren’t as effective as students would like. Do you have any ideas that you could propose to LILAC and CPD that would be more effective?

VB ‘21: In general, I feel that it is pretty hard for liberal arts to find a professional environments, so what I am hoping to do is to bring more alumns to campus from different jobs that exist and to have more workshops by having a lot of alumns come in and how to teach us how to search for jobs and such because it is really hard to know where to begin.

PR ‘19: How do you envision making LILAC/CPD more accessible, especially in terms of Handshake and different resources?

VB ‘19: I know that it might be too early to get on the process, but I hope to get started on having events where everyone can see what types of events are going on.

AD ‘19: I currently intern for the CPD, so there are a bunch of students working in office, so how do you see yourself working with the admin and implementing their ideas into the student body?

VB ‘19: I want to hold office hours so that students are able to come in and ask questions, and so that I can hear what they want and reach out to CPD and bring in the students’ perspectives.