April 24, 2012

Students For Change with Karamvir Singh

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With three majors, three minors, an internship and involvement with multiple clubs already on his plate, junior Karamvir Singh is prepared to take a bite out of the biggest role on campus: Student Association president.

Singh is the founder and presidential nominee for the only opposing party to United People on this year’s ballot. Students For Change, initially the independent party, is partially made up of members who defected from UP citing dissatisfaction with the party’s progress.

Students For Change presidential nominee Karamvir Singh. Photo by Melanie Bencosme

Singh previously served as the freshman-sophomore on the senate and vice chair for academic affairs with UP. In February, he decided that he wanted to break away from UP and form an opposing party.

“I had expectations of student government and once I got in, I thought I could actually do things and I felt as the year went on, I wasn’t able to do much. There was a lot of talk but not enough doing,” Singh said.

Singh is currently majoring in finance, accounting and media studies, along with a triple minor in political science, economics, and business and liberal arts. All while managing to stay on the dean’s list.

Though he has no prior political experience, Singh served as an elected board representative for the New York Public Research Group on campus for two years. He has also been involved with the Sikh Club, South Asian Student Association and Ascend.

His enthusiasm for being involved with various things on campus comes from his mission to be as well-rounded as possible, he said. Singh also worked on a committee to create a curriculum for the Asian American Pacific Islanders Curriculum Studies minor.

“His sense of responsibility, his regard for his peers and his perseverance against odds make him an outstanding person to represent the culturally diverse student body of Queens College,” said professor Madhulika Khandelwal, the director of AAPICS who has worked closely with Singh.

Singh, who has also served as a Freshmen Year Mentor and a Student Orientation leader, plans to become a certified public accountant, much like his UP presidential rival, Malinie Cyril. Singh’s campaign revolves around the concept of student involvement in student government.

“I want people to talk about student government,” Singh said. He is counting on the people in his party and on his slate to get the rest of the campus more involved and serve as liaisons between the students and SA.

“Students don’t even have to come to our office, people can approach them [party members] and talk to them and then that person can come and talk to us,” Singh said.

The presidential nominee is also open to the idea of taking criticism and ensuring that the party is always improving in favor of the student body.

“We want to make sure students are happy with what we are doing and if they are not, they can tell us what to do better,” Singh said.

SFC also plans to use social media tools like Facebook to make the inner workings of their party more transparent.

“I want to make a system where students don’t have a problem with walking into our office and telling us what we can do differently,” Singh said. “It all goes down to people giving us ideas. If 20 people give us ideas, it’s ok. But if 100 people give us ideas, that’s better.”

Singh has built a strong group of supporters for his ideas regarding a different kind of student government. He referred to the amount as “too many to count.”

“I think he’s got the right idea. He himself broke away from UP for similar reasons [as myself] and that shows integrity,” said Michael Bento, another defector from UP who recently joined SFC. “He’s not willing to just sit back and let what happens in UP happen for another 40 years. He wants to break the cycle that UP has constantly been perpetuating for 40 years. I think he’s the right man for the job.”

With more than eight platforms on their plate, SFC under Singh and leadership from his Vice President, Brian Edelman, plans to start implementing things in transparent and open ways as soon as they can.

“Our number one thing right now is to try and accomplish our platform ideas,” Singh said. “I think getting something done at all is a big step as nothings been getting done in the past few years.”





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