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Incoming president hopes to make QC better

Photo courtesy of Ming Photography
Photo courtesy of Ming Photography

Japneet Singh, a senior majoring in economics, finance, accounting and international business, will serve as the next president of the Queens College Student Association.

A member of Students for Change, Singh will replace current president Chris Labial at the end of the semester.

Singh attributed his unopposed run partially to a perceived loss of hope in student government.

“I think it is people losing hope in student government as a whole. They don’t know the real change it can actually provide. I feel that it’s attributed to [a long period] of not having that stable student government and having that unified message sent out to the student body,” Singh said.

During his final year at QC, Singh hoped to address issues of diversity and inclusiveness among the student body.

“The biggest thing coming into my presidential year is diversifying [student government]. SA hasn’t always been known for diversity. We now have so many different perspectives on the table, and I definitely look forward to working for everybody,” Singh said.

Inclusiveness, providing a comfortable environment for everybody and making a safe space where someone can share their ideas and make moves on those ideas is very important to Singh.

Singh presently serves as both the programming chair and vice-chair for Senior Colleges for the University Student Senate. He previously served as vice-chair for public relations.

During his time with USS, Singh achieved numerous things that students at QC enjoy. For example, Singh is proud of his instrumental role in the extension of library hours, more food vendors on campus and adding stops to the shuttle bus routes.

Singh said his biggest challenge in student government is unifying SFC and getting that message out to the student body.

“Even though we did all of these good things, I feel that SA still didn’t have its presence within the student body,” Singh said.

Singh will act as president of SA for a semester, since he is graduating next semester. Still, he wants to ensure that he makes QC better than when he first started at the college.

“It’s all the generations that come after me. That’s what student government is about. It’s to affect the people that are going to come after us,” Singh said. “I could have graduated this year, but I feel that I have an obligation, before I leave, that I leave something better for the student body”

Singh spoke of the important role that student government plays in defending low-cost tuition for students and their plans for the future.

“Queens College student government can do so much, but when you elevate that to USS, which is the student government for twenty-four CUNY campuses, that’s where you’re heard,” Singh said. “We’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to keep doing rallies. We’re going to keep protesting until our needs are met.”

Singh hopes to raise awareness on issues facing students at QC and wants to see more student participation on campus next year.

“In my opinion, the tuition hike battle was a battle many QC students, or even CUNY students, addressed as much as they should have. Not many students knew about it and that’s not good,” Singh said.

Singh said he would tirelessly work to dedicate his final semester at QC fulfilling his campaign promise.

“I want to leave QC better than I found it. I’ll be living every day and every week of next year taking that route,” Singh said.

He wants students to realize that they control their destiny at QC, and the experiences they have depend on their level of involvement on and off campus.

“College is what you make out of it, and how active you are. If you just take classes and go home, you’re not getting the best bang for your buck. Please be active,” Singh said.

Phil Vallone

Phil is a junior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Journalism. He is also a Marine Corps veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2013. He covers events and activism at CUNY. After graduating, he plans to cover politics and activism around the world. You can follow him on Twitter @philvallone or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/journophil. Contact him at philvallo[at]theknightnews.com

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