Today marks the second day of voting for the Binghamton University Council Representative. Polls close at midnight to determine which of the four candidates will represent the student body on the ten-person council.
The BU Council is composed of nine members appointed by the governor and one student representative who is voted into office by the student body. The nine appointed members are chosen from people in the community; the current members include local lawyers, CEOs and retired faculty. The council met six times this year with an additional meeting planned for May 9.
The largest task of the council is the creation and approval of the Student Code of Conduct. They also approve the naming of buildings as well as review budget and capital improvement plans.
The one student representative reports to the council about the issues facing both the undergraduate and graduate students. According to Andrew Topal, the current BU Council student representative, one of the most important aspects of his job is having regular meetings with President Harvey Stenger to voice the concerns of him and his peers.
This year, four students are running for a seat on the council.
Andrew Henry, a transfer junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law, is running on a platform of experience. He served on the Board of Trustees at Finger Lakes Community College. He said that this experience will inform his position on the BU Council, an almost equivalent body. Though the BU Council has no authority over tenure or hiring decisions like the board at his last school, Henry said that he believes that serving on that body will enable him to better deal with the issues he cares about most, like tuition increases. Henry is the vice speaker of Student Congress.
Sarah Glose is graduating this may with an English degree after three years at the University, but she is staying at BU for graduate school. She was a runner-up for the position in last year’s election. Glose is a Resident Assistant, the president of Taste Buds, a BU scholar and a student assistant for the BU scholars program. She is running on the idea that as a graduate student whose peers are still undergraduates, she will be able to better represent the needs of the whole student body.
Ravi Prakriya is a junior majoring in finance and the current vice president for finance for the Student Association. He said that his close ties with the SA will help him have a better connection with both administration and the student body. A few things in the school he said needed work were the bathrooms, Residential Life policy, access to administrators and upper-level greivancing. He also mentioned that he wanted students to have more control over how “money gets moved around.”
Louis Meringolo, junior majoring in management, is the current president of College-in-the-Woods. His platform focuses on increasing communication with off-campus students and looking into options for cheaper or more efficient parking. He also wrote in an email that he wanted to make sure that the expansion of the University under the Road Map does not compromise quality.
Voting is through B-Engaged and closes at midnight.