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Meet Your 2020–21 Students’ Council Representatives

Although many Students’ Council members are approaching the end of their term, for the benefit of posterity, The Clerk has asked all elected members for the candidacy statements they circulated when they ran for their positions last spring or last fall. Read on to get to know your representatives and the ideas they campaigned with:

Co-Presidents: Evan Moon ’21 and Dex Coen Gilbert ’21

Hi everyone! We are Evan ’21 (he/they) and Dex ’21 (he/him) and we have been serving as the Interim Student’s Council Co-Presidents since last spring. Over the summer, we worked extensively with the administration to help establish the guidelines around COVID, and hosted town halls and public forms to gather student questions and advocate for transparency from the college.

However, the most important aspect of this work is a continual effort to reimagine how Students’ Council can support BIPOC and other marginalized students through both initiatives and holding the administration accountable. We have changed the committee appointments process to require applicants to read BSRFI’s Open Letter and reflect on how they will advocate for Black students and those whose voices have traditionally been absent on Haverford’s committees. We’ve been working with President Raymond to hear and further advocate for the college’s response to the Open Letter, and with Provost Strong-Leek to establish a system for students to report marginalizing experiences in the classroom to hold professors accountable.

Despite our work over the summer, there have been many limits in what we could do due to our interim position, as well as not having the full Students’ Council with us. As Co-Presidents, we will be committed to supporting the council and student governance with priority on advocacy for marginalized students. As previous council members, we are aware of the privileged “neutrality” that council has often taken upon matters that directly impact our community. This year, there is no room to be neutral or passive. We are committed to proactively work with you all to keep us safe from the pandemic, and actively build an anti-racist, inclusive student community. We hope you consider giving us the chance to continue and better that work.

Co-Vice Presidents: Margaret Chen ’21 and Katie Chung ’21

Margaret Chen ’21. No photo provided for Katie Chung ’21.

Hello! We are Margaret Chen ’21 and Katie Chung ’21 and we are excited to run as your Co-VPs!

We know first hand how frustrating the process is in trying to enact change on this campus. There are so many overlapping committees on campus that it’s difficult to get involved or even identify the right one. Their mission statements are both similar and vague to the point that they are inaccessible. Even the more well-known committees have their progress hidden in long emails or are not shared with the community.

As your Co-VPs, we hope to make participation in these committees more accessible by simplifying and clearly differentiating them. We recognize the great work done by many of our fellow peers and we also know that they have fought against unnecessary, institutional barriers that have slowed down or not supported their work. We hope to remove these barriers for students who seek to change issues on Haverford’s campus by actively reaching out to all student communities in ways that won’t be buried or lost in emails. As we are remote this year, we also feel that the need to provide a platform where committees can be more transparent about their past work and future projects is even more critical.

With our collective work on Student Council, CER, PARC, the Student Life Office, Athletics and Community Task Force, ResLife, Customs, Council on Sustainability and Social Responsibility, etc, we believe we are ready to push these initiatives into action. As Student Council members, we hope to ensure that all voices are heard and included by intentionally creating more accessible avenues to uplift student work and provide actionable support.

Co-Treasurers: Rasaaq Shittu ’23 and Lisette Pham ’23

Hello everyone! We are Rasaaq (he/him/his) and Lisette (she/her/hers), and we are two eager rising sophomores running to be your Co-Treasurers. The process of managing funds for a club or organization is undoubtedly difficult. We understand that one of the biggest barriers to a club’s success is tackling the financial challenges and dilemmas that might come your way. As your Co-Treasurers, we want to assist you in overcoming these budgetary hurdles.

Students, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds, have historically faced disparities that have obstructed the monetary access they deserve. Regardless of your experience with budgetary affairs or level of financial literacy, the empowerment that comes from putting money to work should never be barred from you. As POC, we understand the vast gap of knowledge on budgeting affairs between those who are and who are not marginalized. We plan to bridge this gap and empower people to improve and develop their respective communities, and the campus as a whole.

Transparency is central to our philosophy of how money should be managed. The pathways in which funds are distributed are a mystery to many students; uncovering the cloud over key financial knowledge stands as one of our ultimate goals. We plan to hold informative office hours remotely in order to provide budgetary assistance and demystify Haverford’s various streams of funding. We believe the student body has been left out of the loop, and we plan to bring you back in where you rightfully belong.

Co-Secretaries: Ella Namour ’23 and Amolina Bhat ’23

Hi! We are Ella Namour ’23 and Amolina Bhat ’23 and we’re your Student Council Co-Secretaries this year! We send out the weekly consensus every Monday morning and take the minutes during every meeting. Both of us strongly believe in the importance of transparency especially when it comes to being a liaison between the Student Council and the greater student body which is why we initially ran for the co-secretary position.

We both have professional experience with writing heavy organization-based jobs and managerial positions. This year, Amolina has been a co-manager of the Cantor Fitzgerald Art Gallery on campus which, like the co-sec position, involves weekly update emails as well as communication between our associate director and our general staff members. Ella has been working in stage management and theater administration for several years, in positions that require skills like noting and organizing large bodies of documentation and facilitating communication between different departments. Additionally, the two of us work together in a professional capacity on the Spotlight Board, are well acquainted with our respective working styles, and we have been very successful working together on projects in the past. We are very approachable people and are further committed to making ourselves reachable about any concerns a member of our community may have.

Officer of Academics: Fiona Kegler ’21

Hello! I’m Fiona (she/her/hers – ’21) and I’m running to be your next Officer of Academics. I’m keen to serve on Student’s Council in this role because I believe that there is much to be changed about Haverford’s approach to academics. I think that we must begin to separate ourselves from what we think we must be to meet the arbitrary and elitist standards of academia which are inherently rooted in white supremacy. I recognize that obviously I will not be able to make this change in a term in this role, but I do promise to always do my best to act in service of this goal.

In this role some of my ambitions are to:

  1. Encourage an expansion of the role of syllabi to include, but not limited to, clear tracks for addressing micro-aggressions performed by the professor and students in the classroom, avenues for direct feedback to the professor, and a commitment to not hail standardized English above other languages and English dialects.
  2. Require Professors to make materials required for class more accessible (as most have shown this is very possible this semester).

Most importantly I promise to listen to the student body and advocate for you to the College with passion and without reservation.

As a worker in the OAR and Writing Center I have a solid and realistic grasp on how to work effectively within these offices and hopefully therefore more broadly with other academic administrators. It would be a real honor to serve on our council in this role, thank you so much for reading this far!

Officer of the Arts: Lyvia Yan ’23

Hi Everyone! My name is Lyvia Yan (she/her) and I am in the Class of 2023.

I am running for the Officer of the Arts position because I feel that art in all manners of expression—visual, performative, and musical—is integral to a creative and cheerful community. This past summer, I was privileged to be a fellow for the Doculab led by Professor Guzman. I spent months learning about animation, the intersection of identity and film, and how to create a visual narrative. Being a student animator gave me insight into how interactive the arts can be on and off Haverford’s campus. We were able to have materials shipped to our homes and host workshops and critique sessions over Slack and Zoom. Aside from Doculab, I am a Visual Studies Minor and have had my artwork displayed in Lutnick and the 20/20 Vision exhibition. Outside of campus, I am a student group guide at the Barnes Foundation, which is an art museum in Philadelphia and have my own art platform. I know that VCAM is already hosting both in-person and online workshops, and I am really excited to brainstorm ideas and listen to the community to hear how you all want art to be a part of your lives.

A couple points of art on campus I hope to further develop:

  • Increase funding and awareness about the resources available whether it is art materials, funding for personal projects, and/or needs for clubs
  • Network with the arts community in Philadelphia and get more artists to come to campus to share their practices
  • Make James House and VCAM into more widely used spaces and comfortable for all students, with and without art experience, to create

Officer of Athletics: Jessica Lopez ’21

Hi everyone! My name is Jessica Lopez, I use she/her/hers pronouns, I am a senior, Anthropology Major, Health Studies and Economics Minor, and I am running to be your next Officer of Athletics.

My priorities as Officer of Athletics will be to continue pushing anti-racist agendas within the Athletic Department and beyond. As a Co-Founder and Co-Head of the Athletes of Color Coalition, I am equipped with the ability, and experience to work with all coaches, administrators, and students to create and implement projects that will produce long lasting, meaningful, anti-racist change. As a Captain and senior member of the Women’s Track and Field Team, I understand the athletic experience at Haverford, and am prepared to continue to engage in meaningful conversations, beyond my own team, about how we can be better students, teammates, and community members, here at Haverford. Lastly, I will make myself available to listen to you when you have concerns or questions and support you in whatever may come next. Thank you!

Officer of Campus Life: Erin Martin ’23

Hi everyone. I am Erin (she/her) and I am a member of the class of 2023. I’m a Growth and City Structures major and Math minor.

This year has been difficult for everyone and it is important to maintain social connectedness on campus despite the COVID-19 pandemic. My goal as Officer of Campus Life, if elected, is to have fun, safe events on campus that everyone will feel comfortable participating in. In times like these it is important to have our community around to support us when needed. I hope to make this coming year as enjoyable as this circumstance allows. It is vital that we continue to make the best out of this situation and I think I am the best person to see that happen. As a customs person, I have experience fostering a fun and safe environment on my hall. I think my experience from customs will better prepare me for this position and the task of bringing our community together. In addition, as a member of customs, I have experience working with the Director of Student Activities and the Dean of Student Life.

International Student Representative: Kimberly Aguero ’22

Hi, I’m Kimberly Aguero (she/hers/’22) and I’m excited to run for the International Student Representative position! During my time at Haverford, I have worked extensively with the International Student Support Office (as a student intern?). This has allowed me to become familiar with various procedures international students often find confusing and hard to understand (SEVIS, taxes, OPT, SSN application, etc.) and, therefore, I am excited to help fellow international students by clarifying any doubts about these procedures, or work as a liaison between the ISSO office and the students.

Along with my role in ISSO, I have also worked with students through co-founding and steering the International Students Center, a physical resource space to support international students. While ISC is not active due to COVID this year, I have planned discussions, events, and office hours. This has also allowed me to work with other international students organizations such as ISA and I-Domo on projects like the Fall Break Pantry. Moreover, I worked with first year students as a CP and gained experience facilitating discussions and inclusive dynamics, as well as supporting students’ well-being—skills and assets I hope to bring to the work of Students’ Council and this position.

As an international student representative, I hope to advocate for international students in the college’s COVID planning, especially remote students in different timezones who are in disadvantage due to the EST-centric time schedule of classes and activities, and haven’t been provided with enough resources that can support academics and mental health in a virtual setting. I’ll do so by working with the Students’ Council and offices such as the OAR and OMA to coordinate programming and resources for international students. I also hope to build a channel between students and ISSO by holding regular office hours where students can bring questions, concerns and any feedback they have, and by publicizing events and deadlines from ISSO to students via emails and SNS.

Thank you, and have a great weekend!

First-Year Representative: Luka Austin ’24

Hey Y’all, 

It’s been a rough six months. Our generation is going through something unlike anything anyone alive has seen before, and it’s touching every part of our lives. Some of us have lost loved ones, a lot of us have lost opportunities and experiences, and we’ve all lost the ability to come together as a community in a way that feels right and normal. Things are shitty and they’re not going to stop being shitty any time soon. But we have each other, and that’s what I want to focus on.

As your First Year Rep, I will have three main community-centric priorities.

  1. Building Interpersonal Bonds: I don’t need to tell you that COVID makes social life at college complicated. Forming new friendships in a new environment while also having to keep everyone you meet at arm’s length is unnatural, which is exactly why I believe it’s so important to put time and energy into intentionally bringing people together. Whether that means putting more money into clubs that want to host events, or just getting together (safely) on an informal basis, I promise that it will be my priority.
  2. Mutual Aid: Coming together means helping each other. Both inside the Haverford community and out, there are people with needs and people who want to help. I want to work with mutual aid networks that currently exist and help foster new ones so that we can be sure that we’re taking care of students and faculty in our community. 
  3. Racial and Economic Justice: I think a commitment to anti-racism is the bare minimum. We need to look at the supply chains that Haverford consumes from and make sure its money—our tuition dollars—aren’t being spent supporting unethical or racist businesses. A lot of work has been done, but there’s a lot more to do, and I promise I will be a part of it. 

If I’ve earned your vote, vote for me. If not, that’s fine. I’m doing this because I care about our community and I want us to be focused as a group on the things that really matter. If you want to reach out, give my phone a buzz—my number is [removed for privacy reasons].

Love and Light,

Lukas “Luc” Austin

Sophomore Representative: Vic Brown ’23

Hello fellow Class of ’23! My name is Vic Brown and I am running for Sophomore Representative in Student Council. As Vic Brown, I’m an anime lover, a dabbler in the comedic arts, and a pretty old-fashioned nerd. As your Sophomore Rep, I hope to be someone who is welcoming and provides help in any way possible. I would love to use my position to help spread joy and celebration in this time of heaviness and despair (and midterms!) I have already seen our class develop an amazing sense of community that I want to use my position to enhance, especially for our virtual classmates. And I want to be the voice of our class, letting Student Council and Haverford College know what it is you all want and need. My work with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and with the Black Students Refusing Further Inaction has led me to highly value transparency and accountability, and so I bring to you my honest and most reliable self, and promise to use this position not as a benefit to myself, but as a benefit to you all. Thank you!

Junior Representative: Stephen Flanders ’22

What’s up Class of 2022,

My name is Stephen (He/Him), and I am running to be your Class Representative. Honestly, this is something that I never envisioned myself doing at Haverford, but the extraordinary nature of this year has inspired me to serve. In a year as crazy as this one is, we need a Student Council Representative that will push for clear, constant, and transparent communication to keep you as informed as possible. We need a Representative who is approachable and accessible. We need a Representative who will listen to and advocate for your ideas, opinions, and needs. Above all else, we need a Representative who cares aboutyou. Now is not the time to elect a Representative with unachievable goals. Now is the time to elect a Representative whose only mission is to help you and our class succeed. I hope you will trust me to be that person.

Senior Representative: Isabel Clements ’21

Hi all!

I’m Isabel Clements, a Poli Sci major, student worker, and an enthusiastic leader/member of several clubs and organizations on campus. You may also know me from the numerous voting initiatives I’ve helped run across campus this semester! In these distressing times, when the stakes of the election couldn’t be higher but voting is more laborious than ever, I’ve tried my best to make sure that all students’ voices are heard, and none fall through the cracks in our disorganized electoral system.

While I didn’t plan to run for this position, I was nominated by a friend and decided on a whim to give it a shot! I’ve always sympathized with the frustrations of my peers, particularly those arising from a sense of inadequate communication by the school administration to students. Between my various positions as a club leader and my time working at several human rights organizations in New York and Philly, I’ve learned the importance of determination, stamina, and active negotiation in getting a message across to a higher authority—and ultimately seeing to it that such a message leads to proper reform. Should you choose to elect me, I hope to use these skills in your (and our collective) interest!

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