College junior and current College Council (CC) Vice President Amitav Chakraborty has served on CC for the last three years. During those years, he has been involved in many aspects of the organization. Due to his experience, especially as vice president this past year, the Wheel endorses Chakraborty as the best candidate for CC president.
We feel Chakraborty’s record is indicative of great potential as president. During his time in CC, Chakraborty collaborated with his peers to bring highly-anticipated speakers such as Spike Lee, Soledad O’Brien and Cornel West to speak at the CC-sponsored event State of Race.
Most impressive was how he appropriated funding to benefit student groups. When faced with an internal surplus, Chakraborty, along with others, directed the funding towards the SURE and SIRE programs, allowing for more students to take advantage of those programs this upcoming summer.
During his tenure on CC, Chakraborty has worked to increase EmoryCard access around campus, address student concerns regarding internet service and created the stress relief event “Fondue for Finals.” This semester, Chakraborty’s initial “Fondue for Finals” will be expanded to offer back massages and punching bags.
As a legislator in CC, Chakraborty has served on the budget, administration, programming and student concerns committees, providing him with an opportunity to observe and participate in almost every department of CC. We feel this opportunity affords Chakraborty not only a unique position to identify areas within CC that need improvement, but also a rapport with other legislators that will allow him to better understand their abilities and concerns.
Chakraborty plans to install regular CC office hours where students will be able to come in and ask questions. In addition, Chakraborty aims to create a new CC LearnLink conference available to the Emory public for questions and concerns regarding the institution.
These messages will then be addressed by a member of CC, who will refer these questions to the appropriate office. We commend Chakraborty for an initiative that promotes clarity on a University-wide scale. We like the prospect of CC becoming a first instead of a last resort for student help and being available on such a wide distribution as LearnLink.
In order to decrease confusion in the application process for student clubs, Chakraborty proposes the creation of step-by-step guides made available to all clubs. These guides would cover such topics as how to write a bill, how to get chartered or how to apply for funding and illuminate otherwise unexplained processes.
Chakraborty has put forth a few ideas in which to improve upon CC as a whole. The first is a change to the monetary policy of the club. There are changes that need to be made regarding volunteering.
Chakraborty also wants to make it easier for other organizations to receive funding to host volunteer events.
Another initiative is to increase the training that legislatures of CC receive. With the liaison system put into effect last year, student organizations rely on legislatures to help figure out CC policy.
That is a much greater responsibility than legislatures used to hold in CC, but they did not receive any update in training. Chakraborty insists that this change is a necessary one for the liaison system to work effectively.
We feel that Chakraborty has proven that he knows what changes CC needs and realizes the potential the organization has to help the student body through his proposed initiatives. His varied experiences within the organization and prior success of leading the Council as vice president allow the Wheel confidence in endorsing Chakraborty as the best candidate for CC president.