April 20, 2010

Undergraduate Liaison: David Akinin

Second-year David Akinin plans to strengthen the role of undergraduate liaison to the Board of Trustees by increasing the presence of Student Government (SG) on campus and establishing a trusting relationship between student representatives and the Board if he is elected.

Akinin said he plans to find a middle ground with the Board on issues like the U-Pass, which would allow students to take the CTA for free. First, however, he said the position of the undergraduate liaison must be made more legitimate and influential. “We haven’t gained the trust of the Board of Trustees to even have a strong voice in the one committee we’re represented in,” Akinin said in a maroon interview. “My impact would be on developing that relationship and strengthening that voice so that, in the future, when our voices are really recognized by the Board of Trustees, they can actually be taken into consideration.”

While Akinin says that he’s worked with past Liaisons, he criticized them for not bringing important student issues to the Board. Referring to the sexual harassment policy referendum and Palestinian/Israeli conflicts on campus, Akinin said, with “issues of this sort, if there’s a possibility to bring it to the Board of Trustees, I would have already tapped into it.”

In addition to strengthening the Liaison’s relationship with the Board, Akinin plans to encourage student and SG interaction. Remarking that SG helps fund most events on campus, he said, “It wouldn’t hurt to have SG representatives talk about certain issues that are going on around campus at the beginning of the event, at the end of the event, [and] throughout the event, or at least have a presence [at the event].”