College junior Stephen Ratner has been a member of the Student Government Association (SGA) since his freshman year at Emory and currently serves as speaker of the legislature. During his years in SGA, Ratner has spearheaded a number of diverse and far-reaching initiatives to improve the Emory student experience, and his efforts have yielded real results. Time and again he has demonstrated his dedication to the University and the student body as a whole, and as a result, we believe that he is the best candidate for SGA president.
Ratner can point to several initiatives that he has personally led and developed. One of his most noteworthy achievements is the establishment of the Emergency Hardship Fund, a donation-based service that would provide grants to students who are faced with unexpected financial challenges. Through this program, for which he fund-raised $5,000 to date, Ratner demonstrated his ability to see his ideas to fruition. In the future, Ratner hopes to develop a student entrepreneurship fund that will provide grants to student-run businesses.
Ratner has also been extensively involved in improving the state of campus safety — more efforts for which he has tangible results to show. In previous years, Ratner joined with other student leaders to perform a series of safety walks in order to reassess the location of the emergency blue lights, which resulted in a blue light being moved to the front of Woodruff Residential Center. He also played an active role in the formation of the Campus Safety Advisory board. Ratner has further ideas for bolstering campus safety, including ways to make escort shuttles more easily identifiable and to continue blue light evaluation.
His platform also includes several interesting ideas for developing academic opportunities. For example, Ratner hopes to investigate the possibility of creating minors within the Business School, making it possible for College students to shadow graduate courses and compiling an online database of syllabi so that students can better explore course options. In addition, he hopes to further develop the 225-person graduate and undergraduate mentoring program that he created in previous years.
Because of the immense breadth of initiatives that he will pursue, and because his platform embodies an over-arching vision that will benefit the entire University, the Wheel endorses Stephen Ratner for SGA President. Ratner has demonstrated his commitment to a number of programs at Emory, which he has already begun working on and for which he has further ideas for future development. In addition to Ratner’s wealth of ideas, which propose valuable possible improvements for almost every aspect of student life, Ratner has also outlined realistic approaches and feasible means for achieving those goals.
Finally, despite losing by a very narrow margin in a run-off election last year, Ratner continued to be an active member of SGA, developing several of the programs he had listed in his platform and supporting them throughout the year. By persevering in his efforts to serve the student body in the face of personal adversity — and by coming back with an impressive tenacity — Ratner has demonstrated an unwavering dedication as a member of the SGA and is an exceptional candidate for SGA president.