Candidate Nishant Uppal


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

“As Vice President of Academic Affairs, I hope to expand the accessibility of major and career resources on campus. Although the Career Center offers many resources online for securing jobs and internships, finding experiential learning opportunities, and exploring majors and careers, many of these resources are not well-known and some even cost money to use. As Vice President of Academic Affairs, I would like to increase the accessibility of these online tools and improve how they are currently advertised on campus. As students, one of our biggest priorities after graduation is securing a job, and I believe that we deserve every opportunity to improve our chances of landing a career.

As Vice President  of Academic Affairs, I also hope to improve interdisciplinary dual-degree options. Currently, there are several combined undergraduate and graduate dual-degree programs that are offered here at CWRU. These programs allow undergraduate students to keep their scholarships and live in undergraduate housing while they earn both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. However, these dual degree programs are restricted to each school, so students cannot earn a bachelor’s degree in one school and a master’s degree in another school, without applying and enrolling in each program separately. I hope to address this issue and improve dual-degree options as Vice President of Academic Affairs.

As Vice President of Academic Affairs, I would also like to improve the transparency and communication between the Academic Affairs Committee and the student body. There are many initiatives that this committee takes on each year, but many students feel as if they don’t have the opportunity to contribute to the discussions in the Academic Affairs Committee. To address this, I would like to host forums where representatives from the Academic Affairs Committee can interact with the student body to gather feedback on new campus issues facing the student body. Improving communication between the Academic Affairs Committee and the student body will allow for a greater sense of accountability.”

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

“I see two major issues concerning SAGES: 1) SAGES writing instruction is not standardized, and 2) students are not always satisfied with SAGES advising. To address these issues, I would like to work with administrators from the SAGES program to discuss opportunities for SAGES instructors to attend teaching seminars before teaching their courses, so that the same writing principles are covered in every class, regardless of who the instructor is. To address advising, I would like to continue the discussions and evaluations that are ongoing in the Academic Affairs Committee, so that the students can have a voice in the advising process.”

How do you plan on communicating student needs to faculty?

“Currently, students provide feedback to faculty through a number of means, which consist of online surveys and assessments and Faculty Senate representation. The Faculty Senate is the governing body for faculty at CWRU, and it is subdivided into several committees. Undergraduate students typically sit in on these committees to provide student feedback, but these undergraduate students are currently not a part of the Undergraduate Student Government. As the Faculty Senate liaison, I am working on improving the relationship between these undergraduate representatives and the Academic Affairs Committee of the USG. By doing so, I hope to improve the communication channel between the USG and Faculty Senate, and initiative that I hope to continue as the Vice President of Academic Affairs.”