Mackenzie Cooper, a sophomore majoring in politics, philosophy and law, is running unopposed for the Binghamton University Council’s student representative. The council, composed of 10 members, supervises certain University operations and provides a direct link between students and high-level administrators. Her responses to Pipe Dream’s questionnaire have been edited for clarity.

1. Why did you decide to run for this SA E-Board position? 

When I first came to [BU], I wanted to get involved in student government to make a change on campus. As someone interested in both the political and legal fields, I felt the [SA] would be a great way to gain experience on a smaller, collegiate scale. I immediately fell in love with the SA, and it has been an absolute pleasure to advance as much as I have in the past two years. When it came to making my next step in the SA, I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to proceed. I figured that it would be a natural progression for me to run for the role of VPF with my finance experience. But the more I thought about it, I realized that BU Council was definitely the right fit for me. I am someone who has always wanted to help others and use my voice for good, and I feel that BU Council is the most effective way for me to achieve this goal. In this role, I aim to be an advocate for the student body and a megaphone for all unheard concerns. The closer we are to election day, the more excited I am about the role and to hit the ground running next semester.

2. Tell us a bit about yourself — any clubs, hobbies or career plans for the future? 

Currently, in addition to being heavily involved in the SA, I am also a member of a sorority, Phi Mu, where I currently hold the position of ritual chair. In my free time, I love to read, spend time with friends and I am obsessed with the New York Times games and the crossword. After college, I plan on going to law school, and I currently have an interest in pursuing AI ethics and technology law in the future.

3. Describe your platform in a succinct way. 

I aim to address campus parking issues by advocating for increased resident parking, including opening all spots to residents on weekends and converting certain lots. Additionally, I will push for improved parking garage accessibility and construction. I propose easier contact with the administration through monthly meetings and town halls, along with implementing online feedback platforms. To enhance transportation services, I suggest updates to the OCCT system, including automated bus delay notifications and new bus lines. I also emphasize closer ties to SUNY resources and committees focused on student life, academics and mental health support.

4. How does your background influence what you are able to offer the campus community? 

My experience as a student congress representative, chair of the finance committee and involvement in state student government equips me with the skills and knowledge necessary for the role of council representative. Serving in these capacities has honed my ability to navigate bureaucratic processes, collaborate with diverse stakeholders and advocate effectively for student interests. From crafting legislation to managing budgets, I’ve demonstrated a strong commitment to driving positive change and amplifying student voices. As a council representative, I will leverage this expertise to foster greater transparency, accountability and student engagement in the governance of our institution.

5. What is your favorite restaurant in Binghamton? 

Lost Dog [Cafe & Lounge].