My name is Saket Rajprohat and I am running to represent our student body as your next Student Government Board President. From the moment I arrived at Pitt as a transfer student until now, my time at Pitt has been filled with adventure and inspiration. My desire to serve our student body has come from my involvement with several student organizations, learning about the issues that students face, both on and off our campus. Through my experiences, I have grown to become an advocate for change on our campus, and as President, I will continue to speak for all our Neighbors collective vision for change at Pitt.
I am currently a third-year student in the business school studying Marketing and minoring in Political Science. My work around campus has been diverse. The first student organization I became part of was to serve as the executive board of Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment (FORGE), where I worked with the organization to help insure family and student tutoring opportunities to refugees in the Pittsburgh area. My experience at FORGE inspired me to join the South Asian Student Association (SASA) as well, serving on the executive board as chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Vote initiative. Along with my committee, we intend to ignite a movement of voting across the nation by signing up Asian American and Pacific Islanders to vote in the upcoming midterm elections.
I also work at The Pitt News as a Senior Columnist, writing about national politics and social issues here and off campus. My time writing also inspired me to pursue volunteering for the Coordinated Campaign of Pennsylvania, where I worked with a team of volunteers to register over 125,000 people to vote in the Pittsburgh area. During this time, I also had the honor of representing the University of Pittsburgh in introducing the former First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Obama.
As SGB President, there are several issues that my team and I have gathered over many years to discuss and advocate for on behalf of our student body. This past year, along with several other projects, President Max Kneis has worked to make the Board more open to students about their concerns on campus. I feel this initiative can always be improved, but now has come a time in our generation where we must promote beyond making our Board more open, but also make sure our Board is able to promote the issues Pitt students stand for. The most important issue I would have as President would be to push for progress here at Pitt. I would like to implement policies expanding the availability of both gender-neutral bathrooms and male and female hygiene products. I believe Pitt should be a welcoming community for students, and recognizing and working on these issues is a step in the right direction.
Furthermore, Pitt’s move toward progress cannot be pursued without first creating a more sustainable campus. We currently waste thousands of pounds of food each year through market, employ non-energy efficient dryer systems in our restrooms, and have buildings that use a lot more electricity than is required. I believe it is important to address this issues in a way that is organized and in which students are able to participate. That’s why I am proposing to launch a campaign of sustainability of Pitt’s campus, where Pitt will hold events to show students the benefits of living more sustainable lives to help reduce our University’s long-term impact on the planet. Along with this, I believe it is important that the University begin to divest their investments in fossil fuels. It is time that our University begin investing greatly in our future, with environmental justice. Not only should Pitt divest from its use of fossil fuels, but it should also increase its investments in the renewable energies industry, an industry where jobs currently are growing and where students can look to in the future.
Finally, to improve campus life, as President I would like to pursue a campaign for increased safety on campus. One issue I have often run into myself is with the SafeRider system on campus, where if a student is on a bus route or too far away from campus, SafeRider is unable to accommodate. There needs to be reform in the overall SafeRider system so it can once again serve its purpose of making Pitt students feel safe.
I am running for President to serve the common interests of Pitt students everywhere. I believe our University should stand for something greater than simply an institution. I am pledge to work in the interests of our student body, and I will continue to listen to the concerns and advice of all of my peers. My goals for our University lie within progress and improving campus life for Pitt Panthers everywhere. I am always available to talk about any of my intitiatives or any other concerns you may have. Please feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be honored to serve as your next Student Government Board President. Hail to Pitt!