Krizia Yao, a junior majoring in human development, is one of two candidates on the ballot for the Student Association’s (SA) vice president for multicultural affairs (VPMA) — an office that advocates for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, collaborating closely with several University offices and the multicultural community to achieve that goal. 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? 

Experiencing the profound impact of being involved in [Binghamton University’s] multicultural community, I am passionate about providing it with further nurture and support. I have so much love for this community and the way it cares for one another, the way it becomes a source of comfort and a home away from home. Because of this, I want to help it thrive and help guide and ease in new students — whether they be freshmen, transfers or just aren’t involved yet — to the abundance of student organizations there are here!

Additionally, as a [first-generation and] low-income student, my involvement with [Student Support Services (SSS)] has been instrumental in helping me navigate college through support from not only counselors but the community that exists amongst my peers. Any way I can help SSS or other [first-generation, low-income and disabled students] would greatly warm my heart.

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

I am currently a part of SHADES as activities director. I love planning creative events, and interacting with our general body members and fellow E-Board members, who have quickly become close friends and a place of support. I love that, since the unifying factor is being a queer student of color, the club enjoys a diversity that creates a celebratory culture.

Besides that, I love being crafty. I enjoy nail art, doing eye makeup, fashion and crocheting. Though, my most recent hyperfixation is Stardew Valley — I’m sure that combination creates a clear picture of my personality.

As for career plans, I am planning on going into the nonprofit sector and getting my master’s in public administration. As someone who credits much of my success and growth as a person to a nonprofit, I wish to do the same for others — having a positive impact on others’ lives through direct aid.

3. Describe your platform in a succinct way. 

My first platform, accessibility, works to create a support network making this community as accessible as possible to new people. Through a discord server that serves as a place for promotion and connection. Through automating the process of inputting all cultural events into a Google Calendar to make it easy for students to find. Through recording a series of videos that introduce student organizations, who they are, what they do and what their big events are, and through keeping all of this information in one easy place on the VPMA section of the SA website and digestible graphics.

My second platform, elevation, focuses on putting a spotlight on new emerging cultural organizations, spreading awareness about issues that affect people of color through events and graphics and immortalizing what this community has to offer through POC murals and art all around campus.

My third platform, equity, works to create a network via LinkedIn of cultural organizations’ alumni, have priority room booking on the third floor for multicultural organizations and provide ghost credits — similar to what [Residential Life] Student Staff, Athletes and Scholars have — to [first-generation or low-income students] of color who display a need for it, for example needing to schedule classes around having multiple jobs.

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

My identity as a [first generation and low-income] queer Filipina woman gifts me with a wider perspective in understanding others through our differences. A perspective, that has proved valuable as a student leader within the multicultural organizations here and provided me with invaluable growth. Through planning large scale events, I have become incredibly detail oriented, flexible where things go wrong at the last minute (because something always does) and an amount of patience that allows me to work well under pressure. I love that these organizations can help you develop as a person, socially and professionally.

5. Additionally, what is your favorite restaurant in Binghamton? 

My favorite restaurant has to be either Old Union Hotel or PK Thai! Old Union has the best wings but I think I have to go with PK Thai, because the cutest family runs it. They have amazing Thai food that feels like it was cooked by a loving mother. They’re always a go-to for me even though they’re a little out of the way. I love to support family-owned businesses here in Binghamton when I can.