USG Election Guide 2018: Naveena Bontha


Name: Naveena Bontha
Year: First-year
Major: Economics

Pronouns: She/her/hers
Relevant Experience: This past year, I was elected as a First-Year Representative, sitting on the committees of Student Life, Diversity and Inclusion and Public Relations. Through the Student Life committee, I have been working to improve education and programming regarding sexual misconduct and intimate partner violence. I am one of two undergraduate students who sit on the Sexual Misconduct Policy Review committee.
Running for: Vice President of Student Life


What is your top priority in this role?

My top priority as Vice President would be to increase collaboration with the campus student organizations and current Undergraduate Student Government (USG) standing committees to widen the scope of issues dealt with by the Student Life committee. This would introduce us to more complaints and concerns, both big and small. The smaller issues would be easily resolvable with a couple of emails and meetings, and I would work to do this in a timely fashion during committee meetings.


What is one initiative that you want to complete in your first semester?

During my first semester as Vice President, I would like to focus on the mental health and stress of my constituents. I would like to start off by auditing the resources available, to get a clear idea of what types of support are present and lacking. I would also like benchmark the strategies used by peer institutions to ensure that students do not succumb to the stress of university. From there, I would like work to increase the resources and programming present, to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health. I will also work to publicize the types of support that Case Western Reserve University offers, as many helpful services are offered on campus but students lack awareness.


A large part of what the VP of Diversity & Inclusion does was once part of this position. What specific new areas do you plan to expand this position to?
Now that Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is its own committee, I would like to focus on fostering a more cohesive campus atmosphere. I believe that this can be done by pursuing initiatives that work to promote school spirit across all schools and disciplines. It is important that this type of action is set into place before the nursing students are separated from the rest of the CWRU on the new Health Education Campus. I would also like to focus on the area of wellness, specifically working to increase programs that allow students to learn how to pursue their educational goals without sacrificing their physical, mental and emotional health.


How will you work with the President of USG and the VP of Diversity & Inclusion to respond to student needs?

I would like to meet with the Vice President of D&I weekly to exchange committee reports and prevent overlap of the initiatives worked on. I will also encourage members of my committee to attend D&I meetings, so that they have an understanding of the type of initiatives and advocacy work that is done. have been to meetings of the Executive Committee and have an understanding of the relationship shared between the Vice President of Student Life and the President of the USG. I will work to update the President on the initiatives worked on in committee and the current atmosphere of the campus, so that the President can then update upper-level administrators. A healthy relationship with both of these offices will allow the Student Life committee greater access to the issues being faced by students.


What are your plans to make CWRU a safer campus?

Safety and transportation are two issues that go hand-in-hand. Student should not have to make choice between being somewhere on time and getting there safely. I will work to improve the reliability of the shuttle stops, especially late at night. I would also like to look into the possibility of partnering with a company such as Uber or Lyft, in a way that allows students to use their own CaseCash to order the ride. This would allow students in unsafe situations to immediately obtain a ride, rather than waiting the prolonged wait time for a SafeRide. I would also like to see the apps we use to request these services have a reporting software, so that students can convey to the police immediately if they feel unsafe during any point of their travel.


What initiatives do you have in mind for the dining halls?

While tremendous work has been done to improve the quality of our dining halls, there are still areas for improvement. I would work to increase the amount of healthy food options available to students after 10:30 p.m. This is the time that many restaurants on Euclid Avenue close, and the only food options available to students with late labs, extracurriculars, or studying are rather unhealthy. A solution would be to have a “grab-it” style counter open later at night for students studying in the library or returning from the quad. I will also push for more options being quickly available and better labeling of meals for those students with dietary restrictions.