Leadership Perspectives

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

Hey Tartans,

Loop There It Is! The Loop Bus was highly successful in its first weekend, with nearly 100 riders on Friday night. Pooja and I will make sure to keep you up to date on the progress of the initiative.

This week, I want to encourage all of you to vote. Elections for next year’s student body president and vice president are happening today through Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Make sure to visit the elections website and read through the candidates’ platforms before making your decision.

Although I’ve been fairly reserved throughout this campaign process, I am excited about the SBP/SBVP candidates.

Rotimi Abimbola is the most experienced candidate and it shows. Her campaign deals largely with student government initiatives that are relevant and thoughtful. Although I wish that she had better highlighted the “CMU Experience” section of her platform, her candidacy is promising. Abimbola’s message that now is the time for experience seems to be a good one. Although I wish I knew more about her running mate, Adam Klein, he does seem to bring a complementary role to Abimbola’s “burden” of too much experience.

While neither Sarah Sheikh nor Jonathan Hall has had direct student government experience, I’m confident that they would get things done. Addressing the economy in their platform counted for major bonus points for me, as I think that will be the largest concern facing student government next year. I was also duly impressed with their extensive office hours in the library — no better way to be transparent and visible than actually doing it. While I wish student government issues were better outlined in their platform, I like having a fresh perspective in this race and think that their initiatives might be the most uniquely defined.

Although they may not have the most student government experience, the most experience in understanding the student voice has to be Damian Valdes and Risa Masuda. Both are highly involved on campus and seem to be the most connected. While some fear that they may be spread too thin, I’ve seen both Valdes and Masuda balance a million things. I like their energy — and while screaming in front of Doherty Hall may seem over the top, it shows me how much they want this. I see them as the type of successors that can build on the initiatives that Pooja and I started.

No matter who you choose, I’m confident that the next SBP/SBVP candidate will bring a positive impact to student government and your experience on campus. So now GO VOTE!