SBVPO Candidate: Lucia Fang
A first-year in Dietrich College, Lucia Fang is in the running to become the next Student Body Vice President of Organizations (SBVPO). To her, being the SBVPO means advocating and supporting student organizations by acting as the external spokesperson of the over 350 student organizations at Carnegie Mellon. Though the position doesn’t necessarily have to interact with clubs on a personal level according the position description on the Carnegie Mellon website, Fang believes the SBVPO position should involve supervising all student event planning, fundraising, and other activities, in addition to helping clubs without recruitment and retention directors to recruit new members.
Though Fang doesn’t directly have any experience with Committee on Student Organizations (CoSO), Undergraduate Student Senate, or Graduate Student Assembly, she has had previous experience with leadership in high school. She is also currently involved in the Asian Students Association and Awareness of Roots in Chinese Culture.
Fang believes her background as a student who grew up in China and went to high school in the U.S. sets her apart from other candidates. According to her, this background allows her to connect both with those who grew up in the U.S. and with international students. She feels that she can help overcome the distinct partitions between the international and U.S. student populations. She believes this would help give all students a sense of familiarity when approaching her as SBVPO, encouraging students to open up more.
One of the main problems Fang notes regarding organizations is the gap between undergraduate and graduate students. According to Fang, due to the difference in schedule between graduate and undergraduate students, it’s almost impossible for regular interactions to happen between the two groups. She believes creating a mentor-like environment between graduate students and undergraduates can help build a bond between the two groups. She also wants to encourage undergraduate-based organizations to reach out to graduate students.
Fang wants the SBVPO to be more utilized than it has in the past. For instance, she wants to place more emphasis on the community aspect of the position. If elected SBVPO, Fang wants to encourage clubs to give back to the community as a way to engage club members. Additionally, she believes in creating events that focus on the exchange of culture between on-campus culture associations. This will provide more opportunities for students to meet others while exchanging cultures.
Due to the amount of “dead clubs” on campus (those with very little participation), Fang wants to hold organizations accountable for using their assigned office and storage. Every year, new clubs are recognized by SoCO, and many require some form of storage space. Part of Fang’s solution is that organizations should be required to submit details of when they are meeting and what they are currently doing as part of their recognition. Additionally, she wants to give funds to new clubs to make their recruiting process easier; with her proposal, these clubs will receive $100 for recruitment.
Related to the problem of new organizations and the limited room space available, Fang wants to share spaces between organizations, especially when they are similar. She believes that sharing spaces allows more collaboration between organizations, facilitating student bonding. Additionally, she wants the lists for organizational meeting and storage spaces to be finalized earlier in the academic year.
Fang believes that the guidelines currently set for clubs are unclear. Deadlines can oftentimes be confusing, and she believes more transparency will lead to less confusion. This also connects to Fang’s plan to create a more user-friendly way for clubs to share information. She believes The Bridge doesn’t fulfill its purpose as a central platform for Carnegie Mellon organizations. She thinks the platform should either be replaced or undergo great change.
According to Fang, previous SBVPOs have not improved the efficiency of recognizing student organizations, nor made the process more transparent. Fang wants to ensure that, as SBVPO, the threshold for a student organization to be recognized is clearly set to avoid unnecessary confusion. Additionally, she wants to provide training sessions for CoSO members to help them better prepare and understand their responsibilities. She believes this training will expedite recognition for new student organizations, allowing CoSO to respond faster to rapidly changing conditions. To facilitate this, she believes the student organization recognition process must be kept transparent with clear instructions delineating each step in the process. This will ensure that all organizations are judged fairly when applying for recognition.
As the election opens this week, Fang wants voters to know that she is a culture-lover that has a heavy focus on communication, and is always willing to sit down with constituents.