Women’s Senator:

Zayneb Jaff, a third year Metals and Jewelry Design major, was elected by the senate for the position of women’s senator. Jaff’s platform was based on women empowerment. She proposed ideas such as a "Princess Academy" that would connect RIT to young women in the surrounding city, enhancing educational opportunities. She also wants to promote community service among women and have workshops that educate women on building healthy relationships.

When asked how she plans to include the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community, she stated that she would encourage hearing students to learn ASL. She is determined to learn ASL herself so that she can help bridge the communication gap between deaf and hearing students.

Student Government (SG) President Bobby Moakley, a fourth year Environmental Science major, stated that Jaff seemed very qualified for the position during her interview with him.

Graduate Senator:

Geeta Madhav, a third year Computer Science graduate student, was elected by the senate for the position of graduate senator. Madhav’s ideas include building a platform for graduate students, working with the co-op office to increase employment opportunities and planning meetups that will allow graduate students to discuss their ideas or get help on research projects. He also wants to create a better RIT experience for graduate students so that they feel more connected to the rest of the RIT community.

When asked how he will get graduate students more involved, Madhav stated that he would create an incentive for graduate students that would make them feel more inclined to participate in the various meetups he will plan.

Moakley, who spoke with the previous graduate senator about Madhav’s qualifications earlier that day, stated, “Geeta worked very closely with [the previous senator] on a lot of projects ... Geeta is an ideal candidate because not only does he know a lot about the projects that were going on already, but he was always supportive, very committed — he was always hardworking.”

NSC President and Vice President:

Taylor Repetski, a fifth year Applied Arts and Science major through SOIS, with concentrations in Art Studies and Communications was elected by the senate for the position of the NTID Student Council (NSC) president. Alana Smith, a fourth year Applied Arts and Science major through SOIS, with concentrations in Mathematics and Deaf Studies, was respectively elected by the senate for the position of NSC vice president.

Their platform was based on leadership, alliance, diversity and resources. Some of their ideas included collaborating with the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement to create more leadership opportunities for NTID students, creating an alliance between RIT’s and NTID’s clubs, having workshops on multiculturalism and intersectionality and creating an NSC website that directs students to a variety of necessary resources.

When asked how they would address issues within NTID such as communication barriers, they responded that they tried to discuss with the Visual Support committee to have the needs of Deaf-Blind students met, as well the needs of the general Deaf community. Asma Sheikh, a third year Biomedical Sciences major and Interim NSC president, presented the results of the previous week’s NTID president vice-president debate. 66.7 percent of students voted for Repetski and Smtih, while 6.5 percent abstained. When the senate asked for the thoughts of the deaf and hard-of-hearing students present at the meeting, the general response was that both Repetski and Smith were fit for the job, though other candidates were also well-received.

First Year Senator:

Jessika Quijada, a first year Management major, was elected by the senate for the position of First Year senator. She has held many leadership positions in high school including within her robotics club and the prom planning committee. She also participated in the 2018 Division of Diversity and Inclusion (DDI) summer experience. Her platform is not yet fully formed, but she hopes to lead other first year students to the resources they need to help with transitioning into RIT. When asked how she plans to bridge the gap between the RIT and NTID first year students, she stated that she has been connecting with deaf and hard-of-hearing students as well as learning about Deaf culture, and she hopes to continue to do so.

Ian Stroszeck, a second year Computing Security major and Student Affairs Committee chair, stated that “Speaking to Jessika’s approachability ... If I was a first year student and I was wanting to see my representative — being kind of shy and not knowing who to go to — I would want to approach Jessika because she seems like she wants to really help everyone.”

COLA Senator:

Due to conflict of eligibility, the College of Liberal Arts (COLA) senator was not able to be voted on. However, the two candidates still presented their platform and qualifications. The candidates are Ashley Rezendes, a second year Advertising and Public Relations major, and Isabella Taylor, a third year Communications and Journalism double major.

Rezendes’ goals as senator included making the Eastman lounge into an official social space for COLA students and increasing connections between students and faculty. Taylor’s goals included creating events that will bring together all majors within COLA so that non-STEM students feel more accepted. She also mentioned having many ideas to change the COLA career fair to benefit COLA students more. Elections for COLA senator will occur in the following senate meeting on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.