In this week’s College Council (CC) elections, students will have the opportunity to choose between two co-president tickets: Francesca Barrett ’12 and Nick Fogel ’12, and Liz Jimenez ’12 and Mustafa Saadi ’12. Polls opened last night at 9 p.m. and will close Friday at 9 p.m.
Barrett and Fogel
Barrett, the current CC treasurer, and Fogel, a Williamstown native and CC representative during his sophomore year, have gathered their platform ambitions under the umbrella of creating a greater sense of community and College pride.
Outside of CC, Barrett is the treasurer of Sankofa, a member of the Gargoyle Society and a teaching assistant in the biology department. Fogel is a JA, a broadcaster for Sports Information, a member of the Gargoyle Society and a cross country runner.
The two became interested in running for CC co-presidents due to their love for the College, according to Fogel. “We’ve grown a lot and owe a lot to this school,” he said. “We see a role for ourselves … our experiences on campus have given us skills, so we hopefully can make significant change.”
If elected, Barrett and Fogel hope to find creative answers to critical campus issues.
“A lot of our ideas are things that people haven’t thought about a lot but could go a long way,” Fogel said. He cited opening the Eco Café at nights as one of these ideas. The pair communicated with Dining Services, and it “seems like something that could happen very quickly,” he said. The ticket is also interested in exploring new ways to develop student business opportunities.
Barrett noted that their experiences on CC have prepared them for the challenges of the presidency. “We’re in touch with what [CC] has done in the past and what we are capable of doing in the future,” she said. “Together, we have a good perspective to make progressive changes.”
The ticket hopes to create a “more united student body,” Fogel said. He proposed reinstating the harvest dinner or putting an ice rink on Paresky lawn. Fogel and Barrett are running on the slogan “Towards a better Williams.”
“When Nick and I thought about the best moments at Williams, they were Mountain Day, Homecoming, Claiming Williams: times when the school was really brought together,” Barrett said. “We want to have a lot more of those types of events. We think that Williams pride on campus can be increased.”
In order to accomplish their goals, the ticket hopes to work with other student groups on campus. “We need to be proactive to really find out what people want of [CC] and of us. It can’t just be those 20 people [elected to serve on CC],” Fogel said.
Barrett said her goal is to “make sure that student groups know that [CC] is their advocate.”
Barrett and Fogel do not envision inciting massive alterations to the functioning and format of CC. “There definitely is a way that [CC] is run. Having been on [CC] and understanding that is really important,” Barrett said. Barrett also serves on CC Campus, which sets the agenda for CC meetings.
Jimenez and Saadi
Jimenez and Saadi are running on a platform based on “grassroots” work with the student body. The pair has garnered ideas for CC projects from speaking with various campus organizations and student-run groups, including the Outing Club, Lehman Council, the International Club, Minority Coalition, Williams Transport and the Record.
“You can’t expect to bridge the different social groups if [CC] cannot reach out to them,” Jimenez said. She said that she believes that student groups can help one another in achieving their goals. For example, the team explained that one component of its agenda is providing an advertising space in the Record for student organizations.
“We hammered out the details and cost before presenting it on our platform,” Jimenez said. Saadi noted that “our platform is all feasible.”
Saadi, who has not been a member of CC but has served as a Bridges leader, is currently a JA, helped to organize the “HerStory” Claiming Williams event and worked to found the InterFaith club, said that his leadership skills will transcend these experiences. “I’ve never been on CC, but I’ve organized a lot of events,” Saadi said. “Having worked outside of CC, I started seeing that CC could do so much for campus organizations.”
One keystone of the team’s platform is student social life. “On a student level, we want to make sure on Fridays and Saturdays there’s an event,” Jimenez said.
According to Jimenez, the pair will work to “open the channels of communication between [All Campus Entertainment] and the neighborhoods and CC.” Jimenez said that if the three organizations combine their collective “brainpower, manpower and creative ideas,” then a symbiotic relationship is possible.
As far as adapting the way CC currently operates, Saadi said that he and Jimenez want to “make CC representatives responsible for a group or organization. These reps would be in contact with the organizations they represent. They would hear what challenges students [and] organizations [are] facing and together we can devise a solution,” he said.
The pair explained that this type of outreach has been and is still the goal of CC and that they would continue to strengthen the success of such outreach.
Jimenez, a JA who has served as a WOOLF leader, neighborhood representative and CC representative under three different co-president pairs, said that “CC was the network through which I found extensions [to wider campus involvement], and it was the network through which I found myself.”
One particular logistical challenge presented to CC co-presidents is maximizing “the work accomplished in the [weekly meeting] time allotted. We only have an hour and a half and only meet once a week,” according to Jimenez. “The difficulty is reconciling different ideas amongst council members and yet letting the discussion entirely develop and mature.”
Jimenez said she believes an immediate goal for CC ought to be “delineating what the responsibilities of a [CC] representative are … making it really clear what we expect … from our council.”
Long term, the pair has a more far-reaching focus: “I think what needs the most work is just cultivating community and getting people to work together,” Saadi said.