Jules Verrino, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, is one of two candidates on the ballot for the Student Association’s (SA) vice president for student success (VPSS) — an office that advocates for students’ academic needs and general well-being. 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?

I decided to run for this SA E-Board position because I am passionate about making changes on campus for students’ success and well-being. My experience working within this office has revealed how much it can achieve. I want to bring events to campus that promote peer connections, foster inclusivity, support student mental and physical health, teach life skills and more. I believe with my proficiency in management [and] delegation skills coupled with my analytical problem solving, I can bring effective change to campus with utmost efficiency.

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

I’m a junior mechanical engineering student. I’m from Massapequa, Long Island. I am very dedicated to making change on campus which leads me to be a member of the Mechanical Engineering Student Advisory Committee, Student Association Congress — Student Life and Academics Committee and Elections and Judiciary Committee — and the current vice president of Student Success office. I was team lead of the Baja Driver Controls team that contributed to building an off-road buggy for Binghamton Motorsports. That passion for motorsports came from my dad, who introduced me and my brother to kart-driving, dirt bikes and Formula One at a young age.

I really like high-adrenaline activities like motorsports, theme parks, haunted houses and even learning to scuba dive. My calmer hobbies consist of painting, baking and relaxing with my cat, Charles. My career plans are not solidified, as I have a large range of interests, but as of now I aspire to work in project management and combine my engineering background with business skills.

3. Describe your platform in a succinct way.

My platform consists of an inclusive journey, upperclassmen connections, life skills, efficiency and being straightforward. My campaign is focused on collective empowerment and inclusivity aimed to improve student life. One key aspect is creating connections with upperclassmen to provide valuable insights to navigating campus life. Additionally, my platform proposes initiatives like cooking classes and life skill workshops to help the student body adjust to living on their own.

Efficiency is prioritized as I want to commit to promptly addressing issues and implementing solutions without delay. Open and straightforward communication through social media polling and events will gather student feedback to ensure transparency and responsiveness of the office. Ultimately, my platform aims to create an environment where students are healthy, heard, supported and empowered to be successful.

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

My background in engineering combined with my experiences working in the VPSS office and [Student Life Academics] Committee have equipped me with valuable skills and perspectives that I believe will benefit the campus community. Through engineering I’ve learned to be a problem-solver, use many different technologies and manage projects. Through my SA government experience, I have learned to program events and make changes that affect students’ lives.

I always try to think of the things that I have struggled with and learned from, and how I could help someone overcome similar challenges. For example, I struggled a lot in freshman year from anxiety that came from adjusting to the new environment. Through the VPSS office, I was able to host an event called “Tips and Tricks with Upperclassmen” to try and answer any questions held by the new freshmen.

I also think it’s important to have healthy food on campus and take pride in the cooking classes that I organized and taught through the office. I believe that with a straightforward and open communication system, I can use the experience I have to effectively address students’ needs and advocate for positive change.

5. What is your favorite restaurant in Binghamton? 

My favorite restaurant in Binghamton is either Lost Dog [Cafe and Lounge] or Red Chili. From Lost Dog, I order the rigatoni ala vodka with tuna steak added. This is the best pasta in Binghamton, and I would highly recommend trying it if you haven’t already. From Red Chili, I order sesame tofu and crab Rangoon. I believe I’ve tried all of the Chinese food places in Binghamton, and this place is my top pick. I was desperate for good Chinese food when I first came here, and Red Chili reminds me the most of places near home.