May 8, 2012

A catalyst for change

More articles by »
Written by: admin

Sumit Sharma founded Students for Change


ith two years of experience with the former student governing political party United People, Sumit Sharma successfully founded Students For Change and led the new party to victory.

Sumit Sharma led Students for Change to victory in the 2012 student government elections, ending United People’s 40 year run. Photo courtesy Billy Gotit.

Credited as founder and campaign manager of SFC, Sharma gathered with a group of friends including former members of United People, including Karamvir Singh, student government president-elect and Brian Edelman, student government vice president-elect, to form a new political party on March 7 in Rosenthal Library’s first floor.

Sharma, 22, was directly affiliated with United People as a student senator for the 2010-11 academic year, and the party’s campaign staff as a campaign manager for the spring 2011 election that elected Sixto Arias to student government presidency.

Ignoring his affiliation with UP and the existence of Democratic Student Alliance, a now defunct party with a history of five consecutive losses against UP, Sharma recalled the idea of starting an entirely new party, in the spring 2012 student government elections in a conversation with Singh.

“We felt that we had a group of students that could represent the college better overall than the candidates that UP had selected to represent the college with,” Sharma said.

“Sumit was disgruntled with UP the same way as all other people who showed their frustration toward them. The way UP was structured,” Singh said.

Also contributing to the discussion of forming a new party was one of Sharma’s close friends, Billy Gotit, 24, who said that in his multiple visits to Queens College’s Student Association in Student Union 319, he too felt as an outsider, and that the energy had not been completely positive.

“It seemed as if people were being guided on what to do in terms of what they were and were not allowed to do,” Gotit said.“I heard from [members of UP] that Steve [Klienberg, a UP adviser] would sit in on meetings and times they [UP members] didn’t want to speak their mind because he was there.”

Daniel Muchnick, former United People president, claims that SFC’s victory was not a result of “blind spite,” attributing the victory partially to the campaigning experience of Sharma and other SFC leadership.

“In fact with SFC’s leadership originating in UP, I know many SFC leaders closely, Sumit in particular, and [I] connect with the ardor behind what drove them to put together their new party and incidently succeed at a task which so many others before them have merely attempted, ” Muchnick said, having been two years removed from his tenure.

Muchnick also described Sharma as friendly, ambitious and “a warm personality, cunning yet very down to earth.”

“He was one of the most outgoing and professional club presidents I encountered,” Muchnick said, citing Sharma’s presidency of South Asian Student Association.

While Sharma described reactions to SFC’s victory including of UP members, including Klienberg’s as of “surprise” but “very professional” reaction to the victory came as a shock, according to his friends and party members. While the election results were announced at 2 p.m. on May 1, Sharma’s reaction had came approximately four hours later as a Facebook announcement.

“What to say! Karmavir Singh, Brian Edelman, Jon Khalily, Marium Sulaiman, Asmaa Anwar, Kalsoom Aarshad, Matthew Louie, Billy Gotit, and everyone else! We did it! SFC. SFC. SFC,” Sharma wrote. “This was no joke or game. We said we’d win and we did. Time to shake things up a bit. I’m so happy for my crew countless days and hours campaigning, staying out late, not going home, hustling for every vote, was well worth it. SFC 2012-2013.”

A double major in accounting and economics, Sharma will graduate in spring 2012, will have no involvement with the student government and no part in determining the positions the newly elected members will occupy in Student Association

“I was campaign manager and my job was to get my slate elected,” Sharma said.



It’s another fumble by the NFL

The NFL is a financially successful business that continues to grow at a rapid pace. The league brought in $7.3 billion dollars in revenue during the 2014-2015 season and shared it among the 32 teams. Each team received $226.4 ...
by Albert Roman

Photo by Brandon Jordan
The food trucks, like Shah's Halal Food, will soon be leaving the campus because of the winter season.

Winter is coming, but food trucks are going

The distinct smell of Shah’s Halal Food on The Quad at Queens College will soon disappear as winter approaches. During the winter, a few trucks will not appear on campus. However, they will return in the spring. “I’m de...
by Sara Scheidlinger

Photo by Phil Vallone
From left to right: School Certifying Official for Veteran Student Services Lorraine Rosenfeld, retired Colonel Gregory Gadson, Veterans Outreach Specialist Dennis Torres and Executive Director of Student Life John Andrejack

Retired Army officer speaks to students about overcoming obstacles

The New York Giants faced the Washington Redskins, their rivals, in the third week of the 2007-2008 season. Before the game, retired Army colonel Gregory Gadson, invited by a former West Point classmate, spoke to them about h...
by Phil Vallone


Photo by Brandon Jordan
Caption: The Center for Ethnic, Racial and Religious Understanding hosted an event on responses by different religions to climate change. From left to right: Librarian and Greening Coordinator at Central Queens Y Peggy Kurtz, Executive Director of American Society for Muslim Advancement Daisy Khan, Director of Peace, Justice and Integrity of Creation for Sisters of Charity of New York Sister Carol DeAngelo and Co-Founder of the GreenFaith Fellowship Program Rabbi Lawrence Troster.

Faith groups provide local solutions to climate change

Religious and secular groups joined together on Nov. 11 at the Blackbox Theater in Rathaus Hall to talk about climate change and solutions to it. The Center for Ethnic, Racial & Religious Understanding, along with other ci...
by Brandon Jordan

Photo by Yongmin Cho
The Feminist Press was founded in 1970 and became a part of CUNY in 1985. They publish works related to feminism.

Feminist Press still relevant after 45 years

At the CUNY Graduate Center is a small, educational non-profit organization that fought and still fighting for big social changes. The Feminist Press, located at 365 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5406, publishes feminist classics, offer...
by Yongmin Cho


Photo by Mahnoor Mirza

Humans of Queens College created to highlight student stories

Humans of Queens College is a thing. An adaption from Humans of New York, the popular blog which highlights the lives of New Yorkers, HOQC seeks to exemplify the concept for QC students. Shiran Cohen, junior, Solomon Shapiro, ...
by Mahnoor Mirza

Photo by Christina Cardona
Joyce Carol Oates holds up a copy of her latest memoir, which she spoke about at LeFrak Concert Hall on Nov. 10

Author Joyce Carol Oates discusses memoir at Evening Readings

Joyce Carol Oates read from her latest memoir, “The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age,” on Nov. 10 at LeFrak Concert Hall for the Evening Readings Series. “The Lost Landscape” is a memoir about her childhood a...
by Christina Cardona



College students struggle to balance jobs and education

Franklin Rodriguez, a senior, applied to four to five jobs since his freshman year. For him, it was difficult selling himself to employers. “The hardest thing when applying for jobs and internships, for me, would be the proc...
by Brandon Jordan

Photo courtesy of Netflix
"Beasts of No Nation" is the first feature film of Netflix and deals with the horrors of war in West Africa.

“Beasts of No Nation” provides insight for fighting in West Africa

There are more than 120,000 child soldiers under the age of 17 enlisted in rebel and government fighting forces in West Africa. Americans may ignore that fact. They may even feel surprised and cite it as a reason why the wor...
by David Rafailovich

Photo by Edis Radoncic
Students in attendance were asked to rank photos of women from least feminine to most feminine.

Dealing with gender and sexuality in education

Queens College Professor Leslee Grey spoke with students on Nov. 4, at the “Multiplicities in the Classroom: Understanding Gender & Sexuality Among Multiple Identities” event held at Powdermaker Hall 119. Grey discuss...
by Edis Radoncic


Photo by Brandon Jordan
Kirsten Weld spoke about looking into the archive of the Guatemalan dictatorship. In the above photograph, Weld shows one document she discovered.

Harvard professor explains value of Guatemalan archives

Historian Kirsten Weld visited Queens College to discuss archives found in Guatemala, specifically ones during its civil war. Weld, a history professor at Harvard University, released a book last year titled “Paper Cadavers:...
by Brandon Jordan


Students share their lives with diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, which highlights a disease at least 29 million Americans have, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are two main types. Type 1 diabetes is when the body canno...
by Shira Rosner



“The Cherry Orchid” teaches lessons on regrets and letting go

The Department of Drama, Theatre and Dance and the Kupferberg Center for the Arts held a production of Anton Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard,” directed by Lisa Rothe earlier this month. At Rathaus Hall M-11, the play firs...
by Lea Passione


Queens College is center of America’s Got Talent auditions

Jugglers, singers, musicians and break dancers were some of the 1,600 applicants at the Q Cafe and Rathaus Hall on Nov. 14. They all were applying for America’s Got Talent, the popular reality show on NBC that first began i...
by Erica Finocchio



CUNY affiliates with The Rubin Museum

Students and faculty could, on a Friday night, learn about Himalayan Asian culture thanks to a recent partnership between The Rubin Museum and CUNY. “What this partnership provides, which is really exciting, is that in addit...
by Philipp Regala