Student Body Vice President for Finance Candidate: Clarissa Liang

Credit: Courtesy of Clarissa Liang Credit: Courtesy of Clarissa Liang

Despite running unopposed for her second term, Clarissa Liang has taken it upon herself to re-evaluate her platform and set new goals as the current and future Student Body Vice President of Finance (SBVPF). Liang, a junior in business administration, formulated a platform founded on her experience and excitement.

Liang’s campaign is based on seeing her role as a resource for the Carnegie Mellon community, and focuses on a series of trial and error. She explains, “At the end of the day, I really am serving organizations. That’s my role: I’m a resource. And I’m really here to facilitate and make sure the organizations get the funding that they need, but also keep in mind some other constraints that we have.” She recognizes what she thinks should be done differently, what she believes she is doing right, and what she is looking forward to accomplishing in her next term. Liang sees the most recent year as a test run and hopes to see the impact of the changes she’s made moving forward.

Going into her upcoming term, Liang’s top priority is improving the experience and efficiency of the Joint Funding Committee (JFC) by improving training, better informing all student leaders and organizations on the funding process itself, and educating student leaders on changes in sales tax (a 7% tax which as of this upcoming year organizations are no longer exempt from).

In her previous term, Liang also worked toward this goal, though she acknowledges there is still a way to go. She specifically increased training for new JFC members, implemented payment for members, and as such held them to higher standards. She also spent time making information more accessible to organizations while improving feedback between student leaders and the JFC, providing rationales for funding decisions, and seeking out input on JFC advisors to improve quality. “I want [organizations] to feel heard and really feel like they are getting the most out of this process,” Liang explains.

She emphasizes the importance of quality of life and motivation in the JFC. For her, that means providing food after long meetings, maintaining attendance policies, and enforcing expectations for honorariums. She makes a point of asking herself, “Am I making their life as easy as I can?” Liang explicitly acknowledges the effort and hard work put in by JFC members and aims to seek out ways to make their jobs simpler. She also aims to make the lives of the Carnegie Mellon community easier on the whole by creating information guides for how the funding process works and make people aware of what to expect.

Liang has been a long-standing member of Carnegie Mellon community, and she claims her SBVPF platform is one which seeks to create the best and most efficient experience for those on both sides of finance: those implementing policy and those affected by it.