New CS40 exec hopes to increase participation, diversity

| Senior News Editor

In the only contested Congress of the South 40 election, freshman Reana Elder prevailed to become the new speaker of the South 40.

Elder edged out freshman Madison Siguenza, garnering 55.5 percent of the vote to Siguenza’s 43.5 percent. Siguenza will assume the role of director of development. Priyanshu Jain, Jack Frischer and Lucas Langham, all freshmen, ran uncontested for director of services, director of public relations and director of finance, respectively. They will join Elder and Siguenza on the 2017-2018 CS40 executive board.

cs40 graphicElla Chochrek | Student Life

While the newly elected exec board has yet to discuss their overall vision for the upcoming year, all five share a common vision to continue advocacy on behalf of students and increase participation in CS40 overall.

Because former CS40 Speaker Kyle Jeter already assumed the role of vice president of programming on Student Union’s Exec, Elder has already begun her transition into her position, and other exec members are soon to follow. The new exec board will not formally take the helm, however, until April 25.

“We will all be transitioning within the next couple of months by going to their meetings and sitting in on their office hours—whatever they do, we just kind of shadow them. So, we will transition, but we will also lead an assembly [during] the last week of April. We will also be having a banquet so that we can get more connected. Next year, we will be doing everything,” Elder said.

In addition to continuing to offer the Opportunity Fund, Langham hopes to increase the visibility of a fund set aside for student groups lacking funding from SU.

“The previous director of finance, [sophomore] Daniel Grossman, did a really good job of getting out the word that we have a certain fund to give to student groups because not many people know that,” Langham said. “We had all this money that we didn’t have anyone to give it to because no one requested it. I will definitely be trying to get that going and get the word out to SU groups that maybe can’t get their funding.”

Frischer noted that his main goal is to foster increased interaction between individual college councils.

“It is difficult for us to meet all college council members because only one of us goes to their weekly meetings and also not every person goes to assembly. So, maybe switching up exec spots for weekly meetings and trying to interact with as many people as we can within CS40 is probably a goal of mine for next year,” Frischer said.

Elder commented on the lack of discussions surrounding sexual violence, especially violence affecting the LGBTQIA* community. She hopes to tackle this issue during her tenure by creating an inclusive environment within the CS40 community.

“There is a lot of sexual violence that goes on on college campuses but…a lot of people don’t talk about that. Also, when I went to the diversity and inclusion roundtable, I noticed the queer community,” Elder said. “Oftentimes ,there’s not a lot of conversation about that as well and so I want to…open up the topic and promote those more, so that people can feel more included and welcome.”