On March 12, Binghamton University students will vote in six different races to determine who earns a seat in the University’s Student Association next year. Voters will also elect a student representative to reflect their concerns and interests in the BU Council. Pipe Dream is committed to empowering and informing student voters and ensuring their voices are heard. This story is part of a series of articles and graphics aimed at educating student voters and providing balanced coverage of the upcoming elections.
What do they do?
President — The president of the SA is tasked with overseeing the activities of the SA’s executive board and acting as a liaison between undergraduate students and the University’s administration. They are expected to work to improve all aspects of student life. The president also serves as the chief executive officer of Off Campus College Transport (OCCT) and sits on the Harpur’s Ferry Board of Directors.
Executive Vice President (EVP) — The EVP oversees all SA-chartered student groups on campus and is tasked with handling student group affairs. The EVP also commands the process of getting student groups chartered by the SA, and assists new student groups with getting started on campus.
Vice President for Finance (VPF) — The VPF manages fiscal and legal aspects of the SA and oversees the finances of student groups. The VPF also acts as chief financial officer of OCCT.
Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) — The VPAA acts as an intermediary between undergraduate students and University administrators for academic life. They are responsible for bringing academic issues to the attention of the University and planning programming to facilitate an intellectual, academic environment at BU.
Vice President for Multicultural Affairs (VPMA) — The VPMA is responsible for developing an inclusive campus environment and working to initiate cross-cultural programming. They are expected to communicate with the SA executive board and the University administration about cultural issues and diversity on campus.
Vice President for Programming (VPP) — The VPP is tasked with overseeing a variety of programming on campus and acts as the chair of the Student Association Programming Board (SAPB). The VPP and the SAPB are responsible for bringing educational and recreational programming to BU, including concerts, comedy shows and lectures.
BU Council Student Representative — The student representative is the sole student member of the BU Council, which makes regulations governing student conduct and campus facilities and reviews University President Harvey Stenger’s plans and budget requests. The Council also serves as an advisory board for University administrators. The student representative is tasked with ensuring student concerns and interests are reflected in University operations, plans and policies.
Emma Ross, a junior double-majoring in political science and psychology
Ross, who currently serves as speaker of SA Congress, has been involved with student government since she was a freshman, starting as an SA Congress representative for Newing College. Ross helped establish a Best Buddies chapter at BU, which advocates for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also served as a campus organizer for It’s On Us, a national campaign against sexual assault on college campuses. In her free time, Ross enjoys playing basketball, running, weightlifting, cooking and doing crossword puzzles.
Christopher Li, a junior majoring in accounting
Li has served as the chief financial officer of BU’s Enactus chapter, vice president of public affairs of the Susquehanna Community Council and vice president of human resources of Pi Sigma Epsilon, a sales and marketing honors fraternity. He came to BU as a transfer student after attending the University at Albany his freshman year, where he was a student senator. Outside of class and his other responsibilities, Li collects four-leaf clovers.
Arsenije “Arsh” Markicevic, a junior quadruple-majoring in physics, philosophy, economics and philosophy, politics and law
Markicevic got his start in student government while in high school, and became an SA Congress representative for Mountainview College during his sophomore year. He has served on the SA Congress’ Financial Committee, the SUNY SA’s Finance and Development Committee and has worked as an SA business advisor in the VPF’s office. Markicevic is a member of the Video Game Association and is a fan of Detroit sports. He enjoys attending cultural events on campus and playing tennis, basketball and soccer.
Executive Vice President (EVP):
Erin Bishop, a junior majoring in economics
Bishop currently serves as a training and development intern with the EVP’s office. She has previously worked as the chair of the Association for Operations Management’s Internal Education Committee and as a summer intern with the New York Public Interest Research Group.
Vice President for Finance (VPF):
Alec Somerstein, a junior double-majoring in mathematical sciences and business administration
Somerstein serves as the head assistant of the VPF’s office and is the vice president of finance for the Off Campus College Council (OC3). He was elected to SA Congress during his freshman year as a representative for Newing College and has served as the chair of the Financial Committee. Somerstein also previously held a position on the Town Gown Advisory Board and is an active participant in the Binghamton City Schools Mentoring Program, where he meets with a fifth grader for an hour every week. In his spare time, he enjoys playing intramural sports.
Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA):
John Santare, a junior majoring in biology
Santare is currently the vice speaker of SA Congress, where he has served on the Internal Affairs and Elections committees, and is a policy analyst for the VPAA’s office. He is also a member of the Roosevelt Institute, where he was previously secretary and currently is the education policy lead, and is involved in the Biological Sciences Club. In his free time, he enjoys playing board games, writing and cooking.
Vice President for Multicultural Affairs (VPMA):
Khaleel James, a sophomore double-majoring in economics and human development
James began his experience in student government when he was elected president of Old Digman Hall in Dickinson Community as a freshman. Since then, he has worked closely with the VPMA’s office, interning under former VPMA Joshua Gonzalez and assisting with the establishment of individual VPMAs on community executive boards. Outside of student government, James goes to the gym, plays chess and is always up for a game of Monopoly.
Vice President for Programming (VPP):
Jillian Pizzuto, a junior majoring in Spanish
Pizzuto serves as the SAPB’s comedy chair, where she’s booked shows featuring DeAnne Smith, Carly Aquilino and Nicole Byer and Tig Notaro. She is currently the secretary of Bing Stand-Up and is a member of WHRW. While not working at the SAPB, she writes, listens to music and makes a lot of banana muffins.
Christopher Wright, a junior double-majoring in economics and political science
Wright is the chair of the Concerts Committee and works to plan large-scale concerts on campus, as well as the annual Battle of the Bands. He is also the secretary of the American Sign Language Club, a resident assistant in Dickinson Community and the high visits supervisor for the Student Ambassadors Program in BU’s Undergraduate Admissions Office. Outside of work, he listens to music, practices photography and learns new languages.
Lillian Carr, a sophomore majoring in economics
Carr joined the SAPB’s Festival and BUMP committees her freshman year and is currently vice chair for the Insights Committee of the SAPB. She also serves as a treasurer for Diverse Cultural Xcellence and is a member of the women’s Rugby Club. She enjoys music, dancing and fashion.
Maya Kallman, a sophomore double-majoring in business administration and graphic design
Kallman currently serves as the fundraising director for the SAPB, where she coordinates sponsorships from local businesses and large corporations to help fund events. She joined the SAPB her freshman year, and is also a member of PwC Scholars, Outdoors Club and Cheese Club. She enjoys hiking and drawing.
Binghamton University Council Student Representative:
Richard Caldicott, a junior double-majoring in political science and philosophy
Caldicott is currently involved in the SUNY Student Assembly, where he is an undergraduate representative, and serves as an SA Congress representative for Hillside Community. Before transferring to BU, Caldicott served as secretary and treasurer in SUNY Adirondack Community College’s Student Senate.
Franklin Richards, a first-year graduate student studying public administration
Currently, Richards serves as the vice president of public relations for the Master’s of Public Affairs Graduate School Organization. Previously, he served on Dickinson Town Council and was a resident assistant in Dickinson Community. He is also a member of the Binghamton University Gospel Choir.