By Amrutha Sivakumar, Daily Staff Reporter
Published November 26, 2012
Starting today, Engineering students will have the opportunity to elect 10 executive board members to the University of Michigan Engineering Council to serve them in the coming year.
Engineering senior Ryan Roberts, the current president of the Engineering Council, emphasized the importance of the election, and explained that the council responsible for allocating funds for student organizations and events, as well as “enacting positive changes” for engineering students and students of other colleges on campus.
Last year, UMEC passed a resolution to produce zero waste at the Big House. Along with the support of the Central Student Government and several MBA students on campus, UMEC examined different ways through which waste could be made sustainable.
Though the candidates for president, vice president, director of publicity, corporate director, social affairs director, honors and services director and student’s affairs director are running uncontested, Roberts believes that the candidates are of exceptional quality.
“Considering the candidates on the ballot that I’ve had past experiences with, I’ve seen nothing but positive leadership experiences,” Roberts said. “I have confidence in all of them to responsibly maintain their responsibilities to the council if elected.”
Though there are no candidates currently running for director of administration, Roberts said that the newly elected executive board would handle the selection process internally, with confirmation from the general body of the Engineering Council.
Engineering senior Crissie Zuchora, the presidential candidate and current social affairs director, explained the specific qualities that she was looking for in a prospective candidate for director of administration.
“It is a pretty big role in terms of the responsibilities,” Zuchora said. “I am looking for someone who is going to be dedicated and is willing to put in a lot of time commitment.”
Engineering senior Ahmad Ayash, the candidate for director of leadership, said he aspires to create more skill-building opportunities for international students on campus. Through seminars for international students on language improvement and interview skills, he said he hopes to help them secure jobs and internships.
“For many international students, a lack of English-speaking ability affects their chances at securing leadership opportunities,” Ayash said. “I hope to talk to professors, encouraging them to interact with students regardless of their level of English.”
Ayash also noted his desire to create a greater awareness of UMEC and other engineering associations on campus, mainly through advertising. One organization he has in mind is the University’s chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, a non-profit working to increase opportunities for woman engineers on campus.
Though Roberts did not want to dictate the council’s agenda for next year, he does hope the council will work on permanently establishing an Engineering vs. Business Olympiad — a competitive three-day event taking place between the two colleges.
Roberts also noted that the council required improvements in its workflow to change the “inefficient operation of some departments of student government,” and can continue to grow.
“We stand to gain a lot in terms of operational efficiency by improving our workflow, accountability and institutional memory,” Roberts noted. “I’ll definitely challenge the next administration to address this early on.”