2019-2020 Student Council Swears In Their New Members

2019-2020 Student Council Swears In Their New Members

2019-2020 Student Council Swears In Their New Members

Cameras were flashing as John Jay swore in the new members of the 2019–2020 Student Council. Held in Moot Court on June 3, the Student Council Swearing In Ceremony, gave the new members a chance to mingle with faculty and staff, and become acquainted with their fellow council members. Providing opening remarks, President of John Jay College, Karol V. Mason, proudly spoke about the importance of using their voices to effect change. “I want to make sure that you all know how important your voices are. And, how important your perspective is to helping me be a better President and better ambassador for you guys,” said Mason. “In many ways, that’s what my job is, representing the wonderful work that you all do. And, you all have the opportunity to represent the 15,000 or more students here at John Jay, and they’re depending on you.”

Musarrat Lamia, President Mason, and Fidel Osorio
Lynette Cook-Francis, President Karol V. Mason and Michael Martinez-Sachs with the new Student Council members

“You all have the opportunity to represent the 15,000 or more students here at John Jay, and they’re depending on you.”—Karol V. Mason

She continued telling the students that she looks forward to hearing their opinions and collaborating with them to make John Jay better than ever. “You guys have all done amazing work as student leaders over the two years that I have been here. Especially when I look at the wonderful projects that you take on and the things that you all do in raising your voices to talk about what is going on at John Jay, and what we need to support our students,” she said. “I need you all to tell me how to make sure that I’m doing the things that you would like me to do.” Then she read the students their oath of office, and as they followed along with their right hands raised, she thanked them once again for their eagerness to represent the College’s student body and their determination to make it across the graduation stage.

President Mason
President Mason embracing the new members

Musarrat Lamia ’21, the new Student Council President, began her speech by thanking all those who elected her into office and congratulating her peers who will be serving alongside her. She then turned to the faculty and staff and thanked them for their support. “We go to a very unique College where we have so many unique populations represented in our student body. To know that you are all here to support us and hear us out means the world to me and my team. Thank you for this privilege and I’m looking forward to working with everyone this upcoming year.”

Lamia giving a speech
Lamia giving a speech

“Look at the diversity in this room and think about the resources that we have at this college. We are John Jay and we are exactly what so many others want to be, but can’t be.”—Lynette Cook-Francis

Adding on to what Lamia said, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Lynette Cook-Francis highlighted why she believes John Jay is special. “Take a moment and look at each other. Look at the diversity in this room and think about the resources that we have at this College. We are John Jay and we are exactly what so many others want to be, but can’t be” said Cook-Francis. “The Student Council and Student Activities Association are so committed to our students that they make sure to use the money they have, to make the environment better for all students.” Turning to the council members, she asked, “What do executives do?” After hearing a response from the audience she said, “They execute and get things done. And it’s not always easy to get things done. It takes a lot of teamwork, communication, and planning. But I know that you guys are up to the challenge.”

Lamia and Osorio
Lamia and Osorio

Michael Martinez-Sachs, Dean of Students, asked everyone to raise their glass to toast the students. “To the 2019–2020 Student Council, may you lead your constituents with pride, service, and integrity. May you do your best to serve John Jay and the City University of New York,” he said. “But also, may you do your best to serve yourself and ensure that you succeed and become the best that you can be.”

Cook-Francis and Martinez-Sachs wishing the students luck
Cook-Francis and Martinez-Sachs wishing the students luck

After the ceremony, we spoke with several members of the 2019–2020 Student Council to see why they decided to join and what changes they hope to make.

Musarrat LamiaMusarrat Lamia '21, Student Council President
Philosophy, CUNY BA

“John Jay as an institution is very student centered and the student representation that goes into all the College decisions often comes from student council.”—Musarrat Lamia

John Jay as an institution is very student centered and the student representation that goes into all the College decisions often comes from Student Council. So, I decided to run for President to ensure that students are properly represented for all decisions that are made for the College. Something that I am eager to do is make the student council more visible to the student body. In terms of specific projects, I would like to increase the amount of water bottle refilling stations across the campus and make John Jay a greener campus in terms of recycling and sustainable behaviors. I would also like to make sure that different projects from last year, like installing more computer stations and the over-night laptop policy, are followed through during this next academic year.

Daiquan LlewellynDaiquan Llewellyn '20, Senior Representative
Criminal Justice

I joined Student Council to get more awareness for the senior student body. I want them to have the resources they need so that when they do transition into graduate school, law school, or their career, they have everything possible to make the transition easier. I’m the Black Student Union President as well, and my goal is to create a safe zone for black students where they feel like their perspectives are being heard. This is the perfect experience to merge the two and build up.

Fidel OsorioFidel Osorio '21, Student Council Vice President 
Computer Science and Information Security

“I joined Student Council because I believe in being a change maker.”—Fidel Osorio

I joined Student Council because I believe in being a change maker. Last year, I was the Chief of Staff to the Vice President, so I got a behind the scenes look at what the Vice President did. In a lot of ways, I’ve experienced a lot of what I’m going to experience now, so I’m hoping that the process goes even smoother. But, I’ll be working with a new team and new ideas, so I’ll use the experience that I had, and shape it around what we are trying to do. One thing that I would like to see is better communication in our campus. One of our main responsibilities is the governance of clubs and club roles. And so, I would like to start by seeing how we communicate club programs and club events that a lot of people don’t know is paid for by the Student Activities Association. Only a select few take advantage of it, and we want to spread the wealth around the College. Communication is the way we can do that.  

Aaliyah Francis and Sari Mendoza
Aaliyah Francis and Sari Mendoza

Aaliyah Francis '22, Sophomore Representative
English

I decided to join Student Council because I think that I could be a good representative for my sophomore peers. There are a lot of things going on in the school and changes that people want to make. Being in Student Council would be a great opportunity to change things that need to be changed and to create a comfortable environment with each other. One way I think we can do this is by creating more awareness about mental health. This is something that a lot of people don’t know about or sweep under the rug, but people here at John Jay suffer from it. Bringing more awareness to these issues will help us feel better about these situations.

Sari Mendoza '20, Junior Representative
Law and Society

I think being part of Student Council is the best way to express not only my voice but also the people who I will be representing, the junior population. When I was coming to College, I didn’t know about the many resources that were available to me, and many of our students here don’t know about them. This is a great opportunity to bring more awareness to all the programs that the College has to offer to students. Something else that I would like to do is to use the space here at John Jay to get students involved in the laws that are happening in New York State, especially in ones that may impact them.