The Thunderbird Student Government (TSG) election season is upon us, and that means it is time to meet the new faces of Thunderbird’s upcoming student leaders!
Last week, students had the opportunity to hear more about the candidates during a town hall held on November 17th at Thunderbird’s Global Headquarters. The Candidate Open Forum is an opportunity for each of the candidates to speak and engage students for their upcoming plans as the Thunderbird Student Government. Voting is now open until November 30th, 2022 (11:59 pm). Good luck to all the participating candidates!
Note: The winning candidates will be announced during the Winter Gala in December.
Below are the details of the candidates and the position that they are contesting for:
- Neeraj Singhal
- Jean Kensle Figaro
Vice President of Finance
- Raul Ramos
- Gue Yong Lee
Vice President of Operations
- Fabiola Solis Renteria
- Aashay Desai
- Arunima Gupta
- Dakshita Jajoo
As we enter the campaign season, Das Tor is spotlighting all of the candidates running. In the interest of transparency and fairness, the profiles provided here are directly taken from the materials provided to TSG by the candidates. Aside from combining the responses into one uniform article format, no edits, not even for grammar or clarity, have been made by Das Tor. With that said, let’s meet the candidates to be our new student leaders! Some candidates are running as a party, so learn more about them below.
Platform 1: Neeraj Singhal – President, Fabiola Solis Renteria – VP of Operations, Gue Yong Lee – VP of Finance
Neeraj Singhal – as a nominee for President, will be running for the elections with a team consisting of Fabiola Solis Renteria as VP of Operations and Gue Yong Lee as VP of Finance. We took this collective decision in order to be the most efficient board through our tenure and be in sync with our agendas and motives. Also, this will be ensuring diversity at its best on the executive board of TSG.
We would like to join TSG because we will be focusing on a few agendas listed down below:
By being an internationally composed school, we aim to have a wider scope of opportunities for our international community. In order to do this, we will work shoulder-by-shoulder with the CMC team. Some of our goals for this area are:
- Bringing more international employers for holding Thunderbird special recruiting sessions.
- Opening up professional certification opportunities through partnerships with ASU and other stakeholders, in order to give a competitive advantage to our college students among others.
- Creating a new structure to promote and take advantage of the alumni mentorship program.
- Building a communication bridge between professional alumni and current students.
As a part of the most diverse global institution, where about 80% of the MGM students are international and 50,000 alumni hail from 146 countries, we would like to give voice not only to the predominant ethnicities but also minorities. We truly believe that by sharing our core values and traditions we can create a stronger and enriched community. Based on this information and motive, we are planning a series of events such as:
- One regional night a year.
- One regional festival celebration, depending on the calendar date that specific region’s festival needs to be celebrated.
- Food competition among different regions at Thunderbird.
- One winter gala a year.
We will be focusing more on region-specific celebrations throughout the year instead of holding two regional nights and galas each year. We would like to specifically organize one regional night and gala in a year. It will allow TSG to save on lots of funds and resources, which we want to divert to more professional-related activities and increase club funding. This will result in the micro-engagement of students in a public setup and exposure to more diversity existing in the college.
Formal Structure of Management
As former members of TSG, we noticed the following problems:
- There is a lot of discrepancy between school management and school students regarding managing and conducting fixed yearly events. So, we as a team want to build a strong fixed action plan, guidelines, and rules for managing and conducting those events more efficiently and saving lots of resources, and focusing on more creative ideas.
- Sometimes students’ needs and requirements are unheard, also students don’t feel comfortable sharing their thoughts in public or on any complex platform. So, we will be working and developing easier-to-access modes like – social media platforms, and group chats for collecting public reviews.
- TSG as a formal government body of Thunderbird needs more branding and power in the community so that students can believe in them while stating or discussing any problem. It needs to be more transparent and quick to action. For that, we will be working rigorously with the marketing and branding team and holding more public appearances and active members in TSG.
- Overall, we would like to promote and execute a town hall every month without fail. Where all students can feel free to speak up and contribute to what would help in this amazing journey. Although we may be the board members, we will always have an open space for new ideas and will aim to give voice to our student community.
- Last but not least, TSG members need some recognition, some benefits, and some motivation to do all of this work at their most efficient. So, we will be looking after a continuous supply of refreshments in the office and we will tie up with Thunderbird Cafe and Pub for some special allowances for TSG members. A special budget will be allocated to this activity.
Platform 2: Jean Kensle Figaro – President, Arunima Gupta – VP of Operations, Raul Ramos – VP of Finance:
Jean Kensle is contesting in the student government election as a party: Thunderbird Party (T- Party) with Raul Ramos as VP of Finance and Arunima Gupta as VP of Operations. Please find below our overarching goals, aka, our manifesto.
Their three overarching term goals are:
We aim to…
- Bring Thunderbird Student Government closer to the student community by creating awareness about TSG endeavors and promoting transparency.
- Proactively identify and address systemic and individual student challenges, and seek appropriate solutions, as well as bridge the gap between the students and the faculty.
- Create an environment that fosters personal and professional holistic growth by organizing and carrying out activities and service projects.
Aashay Desai – VP of Operations
I would like to join the TSG because of the passion and interest I have in working with people and for people. I would like to work hand in hand with the committee to make Thunderbird a better and homely place for all the students since most of the time they will be spending in school. I have worked for more than 10 years with people from different countries, cultures, mindsets and expectations of people. Planning, organizing, leadership, customer service, and decision making are a few of my skills. Some of the goals that I would like to achieve while been in the committee of TSG are as follows:
1. Students Support: One of the most important tasks and priority would be providing guidance and support to the students for any of their requirements. Solving their grievances and making them feel at home even being away from home. Getting in touch with all of the students, knowing them and having a connection with them would be one of the important goals while working in TSG. Enhancing communication between students and administration or faculty for any concerns and generating a positive environment within the school.
2. Organizing Events: I am aware there are a lot of events, meetings and seminars that need to be planned during the tenure and I believe this is where my experience will play a significant role. I have worked in 5 Star properties like Hyatt & Accor group as Sales head and manager. Handling events, managing a team, solving problems, budgeting, presenting projects are some of the major tasks that I used to do. I have managed gatherings and events from 15 people to 2500 people in a day at stretch and have executed more than 500 events during my work tenure of 10 years. This not only includes planning but also execution until the invoicing and billings are closed. I am interested in working with other clubs and to support their activities planned for all students.
3. Learning & Development: While working in TSG and studying in such a renowned University, I would like to take the opportunity to grab as much knowledge as possible which I can use to help current and upcoming students. Enhancing skills like networking with people within the school and outside and extending the same to students that will help them mould their careers, such as, doing small development activities like student engagement and mixing with them during festivals, being open in communication and extending support wherever possible.
I would like to join TSG because being part of the student body is a good position and makes people feel that someone would represent them in time and would be supportive of initiatives they take. The importance of student government is to stand for the students and guide them to a righteous path.
To submit your vote please access the TSG Voting Form.
*Das Tor does not endorse any individual or platform candidate for the purposes of elections. This article is for informative purposes and the expectation is that students can learn more about the current candidates to make an informed decision