Candidate Questions

Undergraduate President candidate profile

By The Poly March 18, 2021

The Polytechnic asked the candidates for Undergraduate President to discuss their goals and to reflect on their experiences in Student Government. Here are the responses we received.

[Editor’s note: The following was edited for clarity and for The Poly's grammatical and mechanical style. The Poly did not receive responses from Harshil Patel ’23. ]

Why do you want to be Undergraduate President?

Rhea Banerjee:

At the start of this semester I was voted into office as Undergraduate President to take over from Evan Lazaro ’21 after his graduation. In the short amount of time I have had in this office, I have started a few projects, including Arch Task Force, and would like to continue to lay the foundation for this important new committee as well as further other projects.

Describe your experience in student government.

Rhea Banerjee:

During my freshman year, I was a Senator for the Class of 2022. During my sophomore year, I was the Hospitality Services Advisory Committee chairperson, and for one semester, Undergraduate Council Vice President. This past semester, I have been the Undergraduate Council President. Throughout my first two years, I was also my class Treasurer.

List your campus activities, including levels of involvement, positions held, and awards received.

Rhea Banerjee:

I am a member of the women’s varsity soccer team.

Name three short-term goals (within your term of office) and three long-term goals (beyond your term of office) that you have for the Undergraduate Council.

Rhea Banerjee:

Within my term, I would like to lay a solid foundation for the Arch Task Force. I have already started this process, but it will take much more time and effort to make sure there is continuity and structure for this committee. I would also like to make the Undergraduate Council focus our efforts on class-specific issues, many of which we have already started to address. Finally, I would like to better inform and train members of each class council in order to encourage collaboration between the UC and other bodies of student government, specifically the Senate.

The groundwork for the Arch Task Force is currently being developed, however I would like to see future UCs continue to shape ATF to fit the needs of each class that will be going through the Arch experience. In addition, I would like to see future UCs being more involved in Senate and E-Board-led projects.

In your own words, what do you feel are the roles of the Undergraduate President, the Undergraduate Council, and the Class Councils?

Rhea Banerjee:

The Undergraduate Council is the body of student government responsible for the oversight of each Class Council and passing their budgets. The Undergraduate President’s role is to make sure each of the Class Councils are running smoothly and appropriately addressing the concerns of their respectful class. The role of each Class Council is to provide programming to encourage class spirit and unity through organized engagement with fellow classmates.

What do you think are the incumbent Undergraduate President’s strengths and weaknesses? What would you do to improve upon them if you were elected?

Rhea Banerjee:

As the incumbent Undergraduate President in the past semester, I have had to work quickly to start the projects I feel will benefit the Class Councils as well as the student body. Given that I have only been in this role for six weeks, I would like to continue to work on the items that I feel passionate about while also hearing from the Undergraduate Council and finding new ways to improve.