Jacob Ma

Jacob Ma

Year: Second
Major: Biology, Chemistry
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.

What is your biggest goal for USG in the 2014-2015 Academic Year?
I want to increase USG’s presence on campus, making sure that the student body is aware of what we do and what we are capable of doing. This will help to increase student feedback as well as improve the quality of our initiatives.

Other campus positions outside of USG: 
President – Culinary Club, Treasurer – Beta Theta Pi

Prior USG experience / initiatives undertaken
Spring 2013: Member at-large and member of ad hoc COMPASS committee; Fall 2013: Student Life committee member; CAS representative; Speaker of Arts and Sciences caucus; FSCUE Academic Standing Subcommittee student representative; Student Life initiatives: Author of the Greenie prediction and feedback systems; Grab-it/bag-it feedback; limited card access; Spring 2014: Secretary; Student Life committee member; FSCUE Academic Standing Subcommittee student representative. Initiatives include limited card access.

What is the biggest issue you see your position having to face? How do you specifically plan on tackling it?
I think that the biggest challenge that my position faces is making sure that representatives stay active and remain passionate about the work that they do. Oftentimes, representatives can become discouraged when they encounter delays or difficulties in their initiatives. I plan on being extremely proactive, scheduling frequent meetings with administrators to stay informed and having one-on-one meetings with the representatives to know exactly where the issues lie and how we can work together to fix them. Furthermore, I want to make committee times fun, so that representatives look forward to going to the meetings, connecting with their fellow committee members and sharing about their initiatives. The committee has great potential to make significant impacts on campus and I will do my best to make the most of my time in USG this next year.

Many students gripe about how some services aren’t particularly reliable (Greenies are late, Grab-It ruins food, etc). What is your plan for making such services more reliable?
As a member of the Student Life committee who has worked on some of these initiatives, I recognize the immediate need to address these issues. With regards to Grab-it feedback, I want to work with Bon Appetit not only to improve the number of options available to students, particularly vegetarians, but also the quality of the food served. I would highly encourage students to submit feedback on the food through simple comment cards next to Grab-it/Bag-it. With regards to the greenie prediction system, I want to work with VP Jamieson to establish a reliable feedback system so that students can anonymously submit their comments about their trips, including timeliness of the shuttles and driver behaviors. My plans for the prediction system are more complicated and more difficult to implement. I have already gotten into contact with RTA about what type of system that it uses, just to get some more information about other possible options other than NextBus. This initiative has been a longstanding issue that has far-reaching consequences across campus and must be addressed immediately. My immediate goal is to set up a meeting with VP Jamieson and work out a proposal and timeline for the expected completion of this initiative.

Public universities in Ohio were asked to go totally smoke-free. Even though CWRU is private institution, would you support such a ban? How do you believe the issue should be addressed?
Even though I personally would favor a smoke-free environment, I feel that we must first poll the student body about its opinion on t