Vote Rohan Mazumdar for President of the AAS
By Chris Friend '14
In this upcoming election for the President of the AAS, I believe it is imperative that we have a strong leader with clear, defined goals willing to lead us through the next year. From this commentator’s perspective, there is no candidate better prepared for the challenge than Rohan Mazumdar. There are a multitude of reasons why Mr. Mazumdar is truly the man who belongs as our president, but I’d like to separate this into two main sections: his goal and vision, and his experience.

First, on his goals and visions, I believe that Mr. Mazumdar has a fantastic plan for improving both the relevancy of the AAS and student life among students. First, he believes that the AAS should have more to do with student life than merely just financing clubs. If financing clubs was the only part of the job of the AAS, then we would merely need a Budgetary Committee and the rest of the Senate could right well go and dissolve itself. The AAS should act as a logistical support system for clubs and organizations. There is an entire Senate body of 32 members whose job should be to help make connections between clubs and to guide leaders of clubs on how they may go about leading not just a club, but a successful, worthwhile club. He proposes an AAS/club buddy system, in which each senator is attached to a set of clubs that he or she will guide throughout the following year.

A second set of goals that Mr. Mazumdar hopes to put into place over the coming year would be to work with the administration on a set of projects to greatly improve student life. One of his goals deals with the current academic advising process. Advising at Amherst can be hit or miss — students report advising experiences from wonderful to terrible and every shade of grey in between. While faculty evaluations have become a top priority of the Senate, there has been very little attention paid to the issue of the quality of advising students receive. This is a problem especially when advising is most needed — in the freshman or sophomore years before the student has decided upon a major. Current pre-major advising is weak, at best, and should be standardized so that students can have more early information on studying abroad. Especially important is planning a course of study for a particular major, as pre-major students receive poor information on how to best prepare for a major in various disciplines.

A second plan Mr. Mazumdar has involves altering the orientation experience that new Amherst students undergo in their first days at the College. While some people may dismiss this, as they will never have to undergo orientation again, most are forced to admit that orientation is one of the formative events of one’s college experiences — it is not an uncommon story for people to make some of their best friends during this first week. He believes that we need to fundamentally alter the structure of orientation and change what is mandatory and what is not. Orientation must place a greater focus on putting people together in social situations, not merely academic ones, resulting in at least one mandatory mass social event.

Finally, I believe that Mr. Mazumdar has a number of strong credentials that lead him to be a strong and effective leader of the student government. His responsibility is evidenced by his position as a freshman RC for the past two years. Also, his experience in leading has been shown by his transformative effect on the Glee Club during his presidency — effectively turning what was “a drinking club that occasionally sang” into “a singing club that occasionally drinks.” Finally, Mr. Mazumdar has incredibly close and productive relationships with a great number of administrators. This is what I believe to be his most important qualification, as there is little you can get done as the President of the AAS if no one in the administration trusts you. Rohan Mazumdar will use these skills and relationships to implement a plan that increases the true relevance of the AAS while improving student life across the board. When you go to vote tomorrow, cast your ballot for Rohan.

Issue 21, Submitted 2011-04-06 02:41:48