Meet Student Forum President Michael Stalteri '19

Publication Date
Michael Stalteri

Hometown: Herkimer, NY
Major: Neuroscience
Minor: Pre-Health
Activities: Student Forum, Admissions senior intern, supplemental instructor for Behavioral Neuroscience, tenor in the Dutch Pipers, peer leader for the Union chapter of the Body Project, Union College Historical Tour guide, club soccer and Mountebanks Theatre Troupe.

Why did you originally choose Union?

Growing up, I was always seen as a “big fish in a small pond,” where I was more than just a name that was allowed the ability to grow as an individual learning from relationships I built with my peers, teachers, and administrators. During my college search, my dad brought me to the realization that I needed to attend a college where I could continue that, where opportunities were vibrant and I could continue all of those diverse academic and extracurricular passions that I’ve always been involved with. 

Why did you decide to get involved in student government?

This year actually marks my 10th year in a row being involved with student government serving multiple presidential and executive board positions. Back in high school, I had great experiences serving as president of my class and eventually Student Council president. I decided I wanted to be involved with Union’s student government back when I was a high school junior who attended a student panel on an Admissions Open House day after hearing a student talk about her role on the Student Forum at Union. At that time, I even remember navigating through the depths of Union’s website and reading the Student Forum Constitution. Ultimately, I stay involved with student government because there is nothing more rewarding to me than making a positive impact on others, especially my team. Seeing other students grow and evolve into impressive leaders alongside of me is by far the best feeling to have when looking back on a successful year at the end of your term in the role you were serving. 

What do you think makes Union special?

The student body - I’ve been consistently impressed that just over 2,000 students are able to lead and be widely involved with over 130-plus clubs and organizations, while leading a vibrant Minerva House system that programs over 500 of their own events in a year, on top of the 30 percent of students that are varsity athletes, and the 80 percent of students that work on undergraduate research throughout year...the list goes on. The majority of Union students are dynamic, well-rounded leaders both inside and outside of their academic disciplines; I find it impressive to take a look at it from the outside, the numbers really do speak for themselves. 

What do you hope to accomplish this year as president?

To many, this year at Union signifies a great deal of change. I’m humbled to be stepping into the role this year because I see it as a way to lay the foundation for the next chapter of Union College’s history which, the students will be able to help create. By building positive relationships with administration, I hope to strengthen the connection between student government and administration so that we are a direct conduit and voice for our constituents to the senior staff. I plan to continue developing previous initiatives such as strengthening communication between the NY6 Consortium Schools, and improving our ties within the city of Schenectady by promoting the local restaurant student discount initiative as well as implementing some of our ideas to both support and give back to our shared community. 

What advice would you give to first-year students just starting out?

Take advantage of the numerous opportunities that Union College has to offer. This starts by beginning to familiarize yourself with the innumerable resources that Union has to offer. Then, try your hand at some (or all) of those opportunities that seem both interesting and even outside of your comfort zone! Although, be consciously aware throughout your journey of what is most important to you as you define and shape your passions. It will undoubtedly lead you finding your place here at Union.