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Meet Mital Patel '12: New leader of Student Forum

Mital Patel '12 speaks at Convocation.
Mital Patel '12 speaks at Convocation.

Name: Mital Patel ’12                                                                                       
Hometown: Old Westbury, NY
Major: Biology
Minor: Economics

What do you want to accomplish this year?
I would love to get the student body more engaged with issues surrounding our campus. I’m sure all of us have at least one complaint on this campus – if not more - and so many of us feel like it’s completely out of our hands. However, I quickly found out that that is far from the truth during my sophomore year. I want more students to have the hands-on experience I have had at Union and to take advantage of the ample opportunities we have inside and outside these gates.

Also, several people have come up to me this year about body image issues on this campus. There are already some great student leaders working on bettering that area of student life but I would love to have the Student Forum and the student body fully support this campaign. I would also love to see the successful implementation of the new honor code and the Vice President of Sustainability.

What issues on campus need to be addressed this coming year?
As I mentioned, I would love to see the emerging body image campaign to become a success. It is a problem which many women face on this campus but one which the college does not have a protocol for. Shivani Suhag ’12 and Kelsey Mulvihill ’12 are two student leaders spearheading projects to tackle this issue, and I plan to fully support both women.

Another issue I would like to address is the lack of student involvement. We have some amazing student leaders on this campus, but we can definitely increase the involvement. I would love to see our election process go electronic so more students can participate in an easier and more technological fashion.

How do you plan to get students more involved?
One of my goals for this year is to change the committee application process. Not many students realize what impact committees have and so many committees go unfilled. I think bettering the committee application process, more students will be able to get involved and have leadership positions on campus.

Was running Student Forum a personal goal of yours?
It was not until partly through sophomore year that I attended my first Student Forum meeting. After my first meeting, during which I was slightly intimidated by the presence of so many campus leaders, I knew I was hooked. It quickly became a goal of mine to be the voice for my fellow students and to do the best possible job I could representing them.

How do you plan on approaching these issues?
I plan to reach out to my fellow students, hear what they have to say, and do what is in the best interest for us all. I want to emphasize that Student Forum meetings are open and everyone is invited to come. I actually ask that any student reading this right now attend our next meeting! Wednesdays at 5 p.m. in Reamer 410! If you don’t want to come to a meeting but have something to say, send me an e-mail or any class representative. Student Forum has also begun doing “dorm talks” in the last couple of years which have been extremely successful.

What are your goals after Union?
After this June, I plan on finishing my M.B.A. in healthcare administration at Union Graduate College and then attending law school for a degree in health law.

What role does the Student Forum have in influencing campus administration/student life on campus?
An immense role, perhaps larger than any other student group on this campus. The administration actually does listen to what the students have to say, and they come to us when they want the student opinion on something.

What are your personal interests/other activities outside of Student Forum?
If you look at me, you may not guess it, but I’m a total thrill seeker and adventure junkie. I love adrenaline rushes so I’m up for doing anything that tests my limits. I also love dancing, music and just watching TV.

Do you have any long-term goals you would like to see Student Forum or Union implement?
I would love to see the honor code become something which is engrained in culture of Union - something which students can be proud of.