“Devoted Leaders” Desire to Inspire

New Student Government Promises for CSI

By: Lucia Elmi

The “Devoted Leaders” team members. Photo credit: Veronica Pistek

This Spring semester, Fatu Amara, ran for president of “Devoted Leaders” and senior seat of student government at CSI. She spoke on the nature of their campaign promises for the students of CSI.

“For our team, we’re trying to push agendas that we’ve actually experienced and things we’ve been through. For example, I studied abroad and I want to work on creating funds for study abroad.

I studied abroad with Brooklyn College and it also creates opportunities with students that want to do CUNY ePermit.

“I feel like for us we’re all focusing on stuff we’re actually experiencing and people that are on the team are people that are international students who want to work on things that affect international students at CSI. So, I feel like we don’t always say stuff but I feel like because we have experienced it and because we’ve been at CSI for such a long time we know what we’re trying to put forward.”

When asked about her own personal struggles in her journey to run for student government, Amara was receptive to being open an honest about her experiences thus far.

“As an individual, one of the most prominent one would be that a candidate actually harassed me at my place of work. I was speechless.

I actually didn’t expect it to get that physical, I thought it was going to be a peaceful student election, so that has been the most difficult thing emotionally.”

The candidate in question has been asked to remain anonymous. Despite the turmoil of having to deal with such a situation, Amara remains hopeful in the integrity of her competitors.

“I think healthy competition is good but when you take it out of line then I think that’s unhealthy, but I actually like a healthy competition.”

In reference to the recent harassment incident, Melissa Sipione, who ran for vice president, had much to say on the issue. “We put ethics before anything else.

There have been morality issues amongst other teams and we definitely dedicated and devoted. We have a lot of amazing team members that want to be in student government to make change and I’m excited about that.”

“I want to work on things that promote post-graduate graduation because I know that a lot of students come to CSI and at the end of the day they want to graduate and they don’t know how to figure that out and I think internships, fellowships, study abroad, and research opportunities are the ways they can figure out what they want.”

“One of the great programs CSI had is CUNY Service Corps and they don’t have funding for it. I was frustrated by that because that was one of the greatest opportunities for students to gain work experience.

I hope to work with people to get this going again. Its a great way to get students to network. I know Staten Island is very isolated from the rest of CUNY and Its through those programs that kids network and meet people.”

If elected, Amara also intends to work on creating more funding so that CSI can provide more information sessions as well as test prep courses for exams like GRE and EMCAP.

“To apply to graduate school you need that information and CSI doesn’t partner with any test center so that kids can study for these exams. A big limitation is budgeting but I hope to have a strong team that can work together and find a solution to these problems.”

The student government elections took place in April, and the new leaders will be looking forward to the Fall semester.

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