Candidate Arjun Gopinath


What projects are you hoping to pursue should you get the position that would directly affect the student body in the next year?

“The projects that I intend to pursue are covered in my letter of intent. In brief, I aim to improve and ensure equal access to all academic resources to all students, regardless of year, major or school. There have been discrepancies in terms of services offered to students, like the Career Center not catering to the needs of non-engineers, the Peter B. Lewis Building not having Mediavision Services, Weatherhead students lacking access to enough tutors and many more. I would like to examine the services established so far and look for ways to improve the accessibility of these resources. I also want to establish a system of setting a minimum number of hours that a faculty member has to provide support outside the classroom. which includes professor and TA office hours, review sessions, tutors, etc. Such a policy would be extended to all undergraduate courses offered, and would help students get better face-time with the faculty and teaching assistants and help them improve their grades. I plan on encouraging my committee to come up with really innovative initiatives that help their constituents and help them to the best of my abilities in aiding the student body.”

SAGES is often a topic of debate among the student body. What, if anything, would you like to see happen with the program?

“SAGES was a well-intended system to provide better general education and equip students with the tools to be leaders and well-rounded individuals in the workforce. However, there are certain flaws in terms of its implementation and the requirements, which would need a little tweaking. First off, the general writing, reading and presentation requirements would need to be examined once again to adapt to the current incoming class in terms of their writing and reading proficiency. The requirements need to be more flexible and easier to achieve in terms of graduation requirements. Cross-listing certain courses offered by different departments that have outcomes similar to that of the SAGES program and offering them as SAGES University or Departmental Seminars would provide greater flexibility in picking SAGES courses to fulfill requirements. I would also like to see a system set in place for better accountability and usage of feedback provided by the students to their SAGES instructors. This feedback (or parts of it) should be accessible to any student who is considering taking a SAGES course.”

How do you plan on communicating student needs to faculty?

“Faculty Senate and the multiple subcommittees under it have a student seat filled at the discretion of the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Well-prepared and interested students will be picked from the student body, the USG General Assembly and the Academic Affairs Committee. I will accompany these representatives for a few of these meetings throughout the year and help them relay student concerns more effectively. I also plan on holding open forums in every school throughout the semester for my committee to effectively garner feedback from their constituents and relay them to the appropriate administrators. Through my regular meetings with the deans from each school and other administrators, I want to ensure that the voice of every student matters in making any decision related to their academics.”