Student Council Elections

Student Council Elections


Watch the recording of the 2023-2024 Student Council Executive Debate that was held via Zoom on Tuesday, March 28th.

Voting will open on Monday, April 17 at 9am and will close at 5pm on Thursday, April 20. The voting link will be live only during the voting time period. Click below.

The 2023-2024 Student Election Review Committee (SERC) members are as follows:

Jessica Carson, Staff & SERC Chair
Elizabeth Broccoli, Staff
Jessica Kovler, Faculty
Ashley Lara, Student
Ernest Lee, Faculty
Lynique Pettaway, Student
Brittany Reynoso, Student
Maria E. Vidal, Staff

Feel free to reach out directly to for any questions and/or concerns.



Jeff Mathew

My name is Jeff Mathew and I am running to become the Student Council President. When I first walked in as a freshman in John Jay in the 2021-2022 school year, I had a desire to be part of the Student Council because I want to be part of a system where I helped other students enjoy their college years at John Jay since John Jay is recognized as a commuting school. Although I was unable to be part of John Jay’s Student’s Council during my first year of not having a GPA as a freshman, I was able to keep pushing myself to be your Sophomore Representative during my second year at John Jay. For the same reason, as a person who advocates for positive change, I look to develop a system where John Jay students come together as one rather than coming to John Jay only on academics. For example, if I was elected President I would use my power to promote events such as a "Welcome Back Event", "Thanksgiving Day", "Christmas Day", "Black History Month", "Super Bowl LVIII", and many other social gatherings that would bring John Jay students together. Moreover, as a John Jay student who sees issues surrounding clubs such as budgeting for Black Student Union (BSU), Muslim Students Association (MSA), Computer Science Society, Desi Society, Mock Trial, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and other important clubs that make up John Jay, I look to advocate on the needs that are needed to make clubs successful at John Jay. In addition, everyone knows that networking is important in today's current society. Since the second semester of my freshman year, I chose to meet with Vice President Brian Kerr on a twice-a-month basis to understand how I can be a big part of making John Jay a better school from where it stands currently. For the same reason, I continuously work each day to maintain a strong connection with Vice President Brian Kerr through various tools of communication. As a result, I look to expand my networking by becoming President of the Student Council as it l will allow me to simultaneously work with President Karol Mason, Vice President Brian Kerr, Vice President Danielle Officer, and other important individuals that make up John Jay's staff who will make John Jay better than where it currently stands compared to other CUNY schools. Although I understand the levels of stress that I will face as President, I look to maintain balance and keep a positive mind as I know it will lead me to be successful as your President of the Student Council. Now I ask you John Jay students to use your voice and vote to make the final decision on me becoming your 2023-2024 Student Council President!

Aiisha Qudusi

My name is Aiisha Qudusi, I am a rising senior and I wish to serve as the President of the Student Council for the upcoming academic year. The core mechanic of the presidential role is to properly ensure that students' needsand voices are being amplified and that they are receiving the quality education they deserve. As students who commute, work, have families, and are working towards their career goals, it is essential that they are aware and have access to resources and services to best accommodate them. After spending much time actively communicating with the John Jay student community, I have become a strong believer in social justice and advocating on behalf of students that are often not heard or brushed to the side. It is clear there are many improvements that students want to be made by the administration; however, these changes are never made.

If I am lucky enough to win the Presidency, there are many ways I hope to work together with the student
body.. To start, time and time again I have seen textbooks with ideologies that do not show the true history of
America being utilized by professors. This must change. As a criminal justice institution, this is unacceptable. I want to ensure that we can create a university in which we are properly equipped with the services to help our students receive a truthful and quality education. In addition, many classes require curriculum review as they address topics in either an incentive way or they address topics that do more harm to the communities involved by creating a space for hate and promoting hateful speech. This is quite important as in recent events such as but not limited to the continuous hate crimes against our Asian communities and police brutality towards our Black and Brown communities, it's vital we instill the culture of diversity and inclusion at John Jay and uphold these values in our clubs, organizations, and faculty and administration so that may create a safe and welcoming environment here at John Jay.

While speaking to students over the past three weeks I have been made aware of the need for reform within
the wellness center as well. Many students have laid out their experiences in the wellness center as negative. The
wellness center is meant to be a haven for students and they should feel comfortable and welcomed by the staff.
Through mediation, conversations sharing student experiences, and additional training I hope to make the wellness center the safe space it should have always been. I also hope to advocate for additional mental health counselors to serve our students, continuing grants for low-income students who possibly lose their jobs, face evictions, tackle food insecurity, and have proper access to resources and services for our students with disabilities.

Another major issue I would like to address is the lack of proper religious accommodations for students. As a Muslim student who has the religious obligation of completing 5 prayers within specific time frames when the Administration refuses to provide accommodations for us, I feel unwelcome and that inclusivity for students with religious obligations is not a concern for John Jay. In my previous positions, and as I have heard from my peers who are also advocating for this, John Jay Administration has continuously, for over 3 years, refused to follow through on projects that would provide proper religious accommodations for students. In the role as President of the Student Council, I will be meeting with Administration frequently and I will work to stress the importance of accommodating students and work towards establishing official wudu/ ablution rooms for our students and advocate or improvements to our Interfaith Prayer/Meditation spaces on campus.

As student leaders, it is our job to change the things we cannot accept. With that, I hope you allow me the opportunity to work with the Student Council to change the things we can no longer accept for the students at John Jay. Our students have shown us what it means to be resilient and now it's time for us to show them we are here to make sure their voices are amplified in every corner of the university. I look forward to the privilege of working alongside the members of this council, advocating for every student’s needs. Thank you.


Yarik Munoz

If I were elected to become the new Vice President I would like to continue what my predecessor has started Making john jay a better not saying that what we have is not great but every well-oiled machine could use fine tuning and I feel with the experience that I have gotten working with The previous administration I want to bring more life to john jay because I feel like sadly our campus life is not that high ever since the pandemic  so that would be one of the things that I would focus on is bringing more events to try to bring life back onto campus and working hard with the wonderful clubs that john jay has to offer to be able to try to have more events because I have attended events a host but also as a guest and that hour and a half is always full of fun and laughs My second big concern is to make sure everyone has a voice because I am not sure if many people know that the student council meetings are actually open to the public and there is a section where people can come and speak about concerns that people have and council can help them to the best of our abilities I would also like to welcome some students to council as a whole because just talking to people around council they have great ideas that just need a little help to turn them into a reality. 


Savannah Smith

Dear John Jay Student Body, My name is Savannah Smith, and I am running to be re-elected as Treasurer for John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Student Council. I am currently a sophomore majoring in Forensic Psychology. I started my journey at John Jay back in Spring of 2022. I had a rough start, as much of us did as we came into college during the pandemic. It was difficult both academically, socially, and mentally and impacted the student body and student life on campus greatly. As Fall semester of 2023 came around, I began to get well acquainted with John Jay and began attending school events, finally finding a sense of community amongst the chaos of the pandemic. I wanted to find a way to give back to the community that gave me a sense of belonging during a difficult time so during Winter break I applied for and was accepted for the open position of Treasurer for Student Council. I knew that I could fulfill my duties as I am well organized, detail oriented and a person who loves working with others. Coming into my position I also knew that it wouldn’t be easy, but I wanted to challenge myself. I also wanted and still want to be there and listen to what the student body wants and make it happen. As my time as current treasurer so far, I have become well acquainted with handling large amounts of money, making quick yet smart monetary decisions and producing creative ways to utilize funds to keep the student body engaged and content. Along with managing money, I've had the wonderful experience of sitting with prominent faculty members and learning about the ins and out of all the finances that flow not just throughout Student Council but John Jay and the CUNY system. If re-elected, one major initiative as Treasurer for this upcoming academic year (and an initiative that is close to my heart) is prioritizing the mental health of students and providing students with disabilities the resources they need to succeed. I want to be able to have events on campus that bring awareness to mental health and let students know that it’s okay to feel stuck and that there is a whole community there to support them. I want to push to create scholarships for disabled students, hold de-stressing and resource events for those who feel stressed or hopeless. As students we get so consumed by schoolwork and other external factors that we often forget to put ourselves first. As Treasurer I hope to be that reminder that mindfulness is key and that a diagnosis should not discourage one from achieving their dreams!



Alexie DaCosta

Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Alexie DaCosta and I’m running for the freshman representative position in student council. I pride myself on being a dynamic woman. Supple and sweet, yet a fierce advocate when it comes to standing up for what is right. I’m running for election because not only do I want be involved in the John Jay community, I want to pave the pathway for the betterment for all of us. While I do believe actions speak louder than words, let me help you understand what I mean by this – more so, my hopes to accomplish upon being elected. 
My first order of business is clear, direct communication amongst departments to every student. It is often us JJAY students are left in the dark about important announcements, deadlines, events, so on and so forth. I plan to make it my number one priority to delve into the roots as to why this is. Why are emails not being receive on our behalf? Is it a technological issue? Are they simply not being sent or sent at the last minute? We deserve a timely response rate and clarity. After all, in several aspects of life, communication is KEY.
The next issue I’d like to address is renovating the game room. I’d like to install an air hockey table and upgrade the pool tables, because as much as we all work hard, we deserve to play hard, too. Onto the ping pong room, an issue of concern is the lack of air ventilation in a tiny space, which is why it is closed off. I’d like to propose placing an HVAC fan in the vicinity, which stands for heating, air conditioning, and cooling to resolve this issue and have the ping pong room opened up. This fan can be turned on and off at leisure. 
My overall goal is to take into consideration the complaints, the compliments, the good and bad from our student body on what we would like to see more of, less of, or something new to stir the pot to make this an enjoyable collegiate experience. As I’ve mentioned before, communication is key, but comprehension is padlock. Every voice in this community deserves to be HEARD. Thank you for taking the time to get to know me better. Stay safe and exercise your right to vote.

Ivan Bautista

The issue I would address as part of the student government is that if students don’t feel comfortable with their environment or  on edge due something happening that’s stopping them that cause them to avoid participating in their classwork or participation. I would research on the issue and find a way to address and figure out how to solve the issue, avoiding anything happening to the students as aftermath of the issue or solving and what I hope to achieve if I was elected is to make sure to help and be there for all freshman and students, and to make sure all their issues we’re solved, but also does lingering to later reappear again to harm or damage the student as it already did before the first time or worse. But to also help make to environment more welcoming to get rid off the fearful silence and to stop being afraid of others because not knowing them, but should see them as a fellow student and a fellow bloodhound no matter the age, race, gender, cultural background and aim for strive with our fellow classmates to follow our dreams of the future of what we want to be in the future and to make it truth through our hard work, friendships and experience that can help you now or later in the future in a career or dreaming of pursing their desired career path by what they want to do and their professions. I would be there for all freshman and students. And won’t leave a single one behind.

Aneesa Thomas

In the John Jay community, we strongly believe in the necessity for social justice in society, but it's important for you to know that in every institution, business, and organization, the goals and social ideals of those involved serve as the cornerstone for developing strong leaders. I intend to emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusion as a John Jay freshman representative through establishing the right relationships. Since many people have yet to discover an environment at John Jay that truly connects with them, many freshmen have a tendency to withdraw from the community. As a representative, I'll make sure to draw attention to the need for more groups and gatherings that help students connect with one another. Also, some upcoming  clubs and events being placed within the school for freshmen are being undermined or underrated. My suggestion is to create, enhance, and make sufficient social groups and events that support effective diversity. This may be done through surveys, individualized activities, and sufficient publicity. Also, diversity occurs in a variety of shapes and forms, but it is generally recognized that many pupils encounter educational obstacles. As many of us have varying levels of education, I believe it is essential to collaborate with peers and teachers who advance students' knowledge in order to provide freshmen with the tools they need to succeed. My goal is to improve the environment outside the classroom so that tutoring is more engaging and dynamic. I will speak with a professor and an advisor to emphasize the importance of achievement in order to broaden my agenda. Learning and tutoring will stop being tedious and start becoming enjoyable. Being a full-time student, I am aware of how challenging it may be to fit in a new environment, but I intend to make a big difference.



Jamella Richmond

Hello, fellow bloodhounds! My name is Jamella Richmond and I am running to be your sophomore representative of the Student Council. Many of you have probably seen me running around the school asking for your signatures on my petition sheet (which I can’t thank you enough for supporting!) or have likely been in one of my classes. I have currently been on John Jay’s council for one year where I served as the freshmen representative. During that time, I connected with many of the students in my cohort and listened to the concerns that you wanted to be addressed. Further, I have prior leadership experience which I am repeatedly utilizing to ensure that my actions are wise and satisfactory when representing my class. Before attending John Jay, I held various leadership positions, including school president and founder of my high school’s first-ever Amnesty International Human Rights club; my prior experience has greatly shaped my ability as a leader and prepared me to appropriately represent a student body. I am running for this position because I pride myself on being a representative figure for my peers. I believe that the graduating class of 2026 deserves a college experience that is comfortable, safe, and enjoyable! As your representative, I promise to always advocate for events and initiatives that are catered to you and accelerate your interests. I will also guarantee that each of your voices is heard. I’m extremely ambitious about my goals and I will put that same energy into making sure that your goals are met as well. Thank you so much and I look forward to working with you!

Najmul Islam

I’ve always been more than happy to take initiative because I know that taking the lead can be something overwhelming to even think about let alone taking action. Having leadership experience is something I find very valuable and it is something I wish to continue to do during my following college years. Words of wisdom and a sense of strong leadership will take anyone further into life, that’s why I decided to run for the position of Sophomore Representative because this will give me the opportunity sharpen my skills.  Not only do I want to be a part of student council paving the way of how leadership should look like, I also want to provide a secure environment for my constitutes and to voice their ideas on how to improve our college. I think that the student councils purpose is to provide a voice to the student body as a whole; expressing their opinions on various problems and making college more enjoyable. I'll be in an excellent position to listen to students and implement the information I gather from conducting student outreach. In terms of leadership, my experience comes from working in the Urban Male Initiative. When I first joined UMI there weren’t many people utilzing the spaces, but in collaboration with my team we were able to attract a large number of people into UMI in hopes of making their college experience more enjoyable and now the UMI spaces is more alive than ever. Outside of college, I provide free soccer training for the youth every friday and making sure they exercise to keep them in good shape and also disciplined. Give me the opportunity to be a part of student council and I will provide student council with my experience as well as my dedication to make John Jay students happy they are attending this college.

In-Deria Barrows

As someone who has represented and been a voice for the unseen for the majority of my life, a role in student government would not be foreign to me. If elected on council for the 2023-2024 school year as the sophomore representative it would be my personal goal to be the bridge for my cohort. The bridge for voice our opinions and concerns, the bridge that helps us to all get what we deserve that would make our college experience better and most importantly the bridge that connects as all as one community, creating the perfect sense of community for John Jay. There are many issues and differences present in our diaspora here at John Jay, and I for one am willing to take the stand to speak out, speak up and take action. I am not only about business however as all work and no play makes us very dull people, therefore along with my fellow representatives and executive committee members, if elected to council, I have many activities in mind that I'm sure would jollify our time here as sophomores. As seen in politics more times than once, there are many who will make fake promises or not live up to their word, but I can assure you if elected in office you will not be disappointed!


Doha Kharma

Hello, I'm Doha Kharma. Three years ago I made the decision to be a part of the justice society. Today I'm here to advise you that your voice will always matter no matter how little or major the circumstance is. After two years of being a remote student at John Jay, I finally built the courage to overcome the fear and come in person to connect and build my adventure. My first semester of being in person after two years of being remote has been the best experience so far. I was able to be connected with successful & accomplished people that are like-minded individuals. One of my favorite experiences this semester was being able to work very closely with student council members on the initiative to support Syrians and Turkey suffering after the earthquake emergency. The student council was very helpful and showed me that my say is recognized, that's what inspired me to recognize the type of team and ambition I can evolve with. Something I learned to implement that has taken me so far in life is to always treat people how you expect to be treated and that has helped me become who I am today. One of my favorite accomplishments this semester is being nominated to be a part of the National society of leadership and success which has only inspired me to represent and help you find success as we build trust. "When we help ourselves, we find moments of happiness. When we help others we find lasting fulfillment  " - Simon Sinek 



Hazel Ortega


My name is Hazel Ortega and I am running to become Senior Representative. When I transferred in the Fall of 2022 to John Jay, I had many dreams and hopes to get involved in college and bring help and support to other students like me. Support in a sense of guidance and opportunities such as internships, workshops, and connecting with others in different fields. I decided to be part of Student Council to become a Junior Representative and achieve my academic goals. In addition, create events widely open for students at John Jay to make their college journey a learning and fun experience. John Jay provides resources such as Career Services, Wellness Center, Academic Support, and more. I am a student who has been in the field of Computer Science for three years, as a woman in STEM there are difficulties when it comes to this field. I want to address these issues and let other women in STEM know about current events and not be afraid to ask for help. John Jay has a Computer Science club and provides information from CSCI courses, job opportunities, and weekly workshops to know more about GitHub, Cyber Security, etc.

I also want to achieve more opportunities for immigrant students, as an immigrant myself I know it can be difficult to find scholarships and can seem stressful to find ways to pay tuition. As I have spoken to other students like me, I can relate to these issues. The Immigrant Center has great resources and information that I have used as well, and will continue to work so others know where to find resources or come to me if they feel comfortable. My goal is to become an advocate for student’s needs and address these issues to make their college journey successful. With your help and my abilities, we can work together to create events and hear what students want for their college experience.

Tiffany Rodriguez


Hey there! I’m Tiffany Rodriguez and I am running to be one of your four senior representatives. A little bit about me is that I’m Colombian and I love playing soccer, I’m currently serving as junior representative and I love to advocate and fight for issues I feel passionately about. As a representative, I will promise to be dependable and provide a safe space for the senior class and any who come to me with issues. It would be my priority to look for solutions that would satisfy the student body. I am also aware that since we are graduating soon, this year is extremely important in making the most of our college experience. If elected, I will work hard with the other student council members and representatives to make memorable events for your senior year. I want to have informative panels and more events that promote and show off our students and their accomplishments. For instance, I would like to have a panel with a police officer and a lawyer to discuss what to do if you get pulled over or stopped by the police. Being predominately a student body of color, it is crucial that we know our rights if and when we face any legal troubles. I’m actually advocating to host this event this semester. I would also like to have events that allow students to showcase their talents and abilities. Whether it be dancing, singing, painting, poetry, or anything in between, by showing our diverse talents we get a feel for what it means to be a student here at John Jay . Without a doubt, if I haven’t been there, I definitely understand the struggles that come about from being a student, being a worker, being a caretaker, being a minority in this world, or from any other walks of life. If you vote for me, you can ensure having a fighter on your side in student council. 

Samuel Ajao


Hello, my name is Samuel Ajao, I am a proud Nigerian born Forensic Science major. I am an aviation enthusiast, and a fanatic for my favorite sport’s team: Arsenal F.C. I am currently applying as your student council senior representative because I believe I would make the best fit for this role as I have applied myself to numerous volunteer positions that have helped develop my work ethic, communication and leadership. My most notable experience was my volunteer position at the Urban Outreach Center (UOC) in the summer of 2022. My time at the UOC grew my dedication for public service as I helped prepare and serve hot meals and fresh produce to the lower east-side community. I was also given the opportunity to polish my leadership and communication skills by connecting with the community as I assisted in addressing their needs. Additionally, my ability to act independently with critical thinking and self-judgment flourished when I took on the role of tour guide at the UOC, assisting incoming volunteers through the inner workings of the Urban Outreach Center.

Being detail-oriented with a love for problem solving makes me a great fit for not only my field of study but also as a Senior Representative of the Student Council. A few of my initiatives as a current Senior representative are replacing the student dining hall's outdated microwaves and designing new student merchandise to help promote school spirit and pride. I also plan to undertake a long term project by addressing the lack of sitting space around the school, and the potential of providing better accommodations for the student body. I am a highly effective communicator and problem-solver, and I am passionate about using my skills to make a positive impact on my community as a Forensic Scientist and as your Student Council Senior Representative.



Romare Barconey-Watson

My name is Romare Barconey-Watson, and I wish to be elected as a transfer representative. As a transfer representative, my main goal is to create space for the sharing of information, run programming to elucidate the student body on campus resources, and improve communication for students new to our campus. I have been to two previous colleges, and I have had a mixed bag of interactions as a new student. At times, it seemed as if it was up to other students to push me towards the right path. Other times, the faculty took initiative. But, there would be moments when I was not sure where to go, how to get there, and what to do when I arrived there. I feel the role of a representative of transfer students is integral to a functioning student government. I held a similar position at SUNY College at Old Westbury where I was the Campus Communications Coordinator. During my fulfillment of duties, I would report to the main student government and inform them of the goings-on at Hall 4, my dormitory. This maintained a fluid connection of information between my subset of students, and the primary governing body for students. I wish to continue that approach here at John Jay. I wish to be a liaison for the people who are in a similar boat that I have been in. I wish to represent not only transfer students, but any student confused on the process to get up to speed at John Jay. I plan on creating programming, interactive social media posts, and creative flyers and posters specifically designed to grab the attention of less informed students and help them along the path to their own success. It is imperative that students know how to receive help during this stressful period of our lives, and I intend to play a major role in that process.

Austyn Stettner

My name is Austyn Stettner and I transferred to John Jay my sophomore year and it was one of the best decisions I ever made! Originally I was at a school that did not fit my educational needs, but now John Jay has become a place where I feel myself growing and evolving personally and in my education. However, I personally struggled with acclimating to a new environment and making new friends my first year here. It can be intimidating coming into an environment other people are already familiar with, especially with John Jay being a commuter school. Not only that, but the transfer of my credits from one school to another was also a nerve-racking experience. I believe there is a way to make the process for transfer students easier, more supportive, and a lot more fun! I have a lot of ideas on how to make the transfer process and the events held more fulfilling and encouraging for students in order to set them up for success here at John Jay. I also wish I had more information about certain aspects of the process. After going through the process of being a transfer student myself, I know how intimidating it is to try and put yourself out there, get involved, and get acclimated to a new environment with a different way of functioning. If I am elected to be a transfer representative, I hope to set future transfer students’ minds at ease so they can also say it was one of the best decisions they could have made!



Kelvin Pineda

My name is Kelvin Pineda, and I am running for the position of USS delegate. As a former interim president and soon to be former vice president of the John Jay student government, I have gained valuable experience in representing and advocating for the needs and interests of my fellow students.

If elected as a USS delegate, I will use my experience and skills to ensure that the voices of all CUNY students are heard and their concerns addressed. I am committed to advocating for racial, gender, and religious equity on a larger platform, and I believe that the USS is the perfect platform to do so.

As a delegate, I will work towards the following goals:

  1. Increase funding for mental health services: Mental health is a pressing issue for many students, and CUNY should provide more resources to support their mental well-being.

  2. Promote diversity and inclusion: CUNY is a diverse community, and I will work towards promoting a more inclusive environment that celebrates our differences and ensures that everyone feels valued and respected.

  3. Expand student resources: Many students face financial and academic challenges, and CUNY should provide more resources to help them succeed, such as scholarships, tutoring, and career services.

I am confident that I can represent the interests of all John Jay/CUNY students, and I am committed to making a positive impact on our community. I would be honored to have your vote for the position of USS delegate. Thank you for your consideration.