Olivier Delrieu-Schulze, President

I am running for GSA President because I am concerned with trends in higher education. I believe that the GSA, our shared resource, is a tangible way in which we can support each others’ professional, intellectual, and career development. This is a critical moment. SUNY’s funding from the state is drying up, our futures are in limbo. We all, as graduate students at UB, have a vested interest in each others’ successes, and in the long-term success of our university. I have visited state legislators in Albany to discuss the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act, funding cuts, and pay cuts to graduate students. I’m not just stating these concerns. I have already demonstrated them.

Coming from a small liberal arts college I appreciate the unique opportunities of a large research university. UB offers a broad spectrum of colleagues in a variety of disciplines. The chance to meet and work with graduate students, undergraduate students, staff, and faculty from such a diverse range of experiences and disciplines is truly amazing. As a first generation American I also appreciate not only the international qualities of UB but Buffalo as well. When I moved to Buffalo, I was fortunate to live on the West Side, and see the city as a home to families from all over the world. I cannot separate my experiences as a resident of Buffalo and as a graduate student and employee of UB.

While working for Antioch University as the community manger of Antioch College I gained experience communicating between the unionized and non-unionized staff, faculty, students, and board of trustees. I am familiar with committees, policy, budgets, and advocacy in times of financial stress. Responsible for a quarter-million dollar annual budget, 40 work study students, community facilities, student club support, and event organization, I have experience in facilitating and supporting other students’ ideas, concerns, and needs.

As the GSA was created by graduate students and run by graduate students, it has great potential to build connections between graduate students. I appreciated this immediately and became involved in multiple GSA clubs and worked at creating events that not only engaged graduate students but involved building relationships to the larger community of Buffalo.

As an instructor-of-record and currently an adjunct I have learned much about the structural relationship between undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, faculty, and administration. As an MFA candidate in Media Study I truly appreciate what undergraduate students in my courses, graduate students in and outside of my department have taught me. I look forward to learning more while working for you as President of the GSA.

Olivier Delrieu-Schulze

Experience:

2009-2010 SUNY at Buffalo, Department of Media Study: Adjunct

2009-2010 SUNY at Buffalo, Interdisciplinary Group for Advanced Praxis GSA: Founder, Vice-President

2008-2010 SUNY at Buffalo, Department of Media Study GSA: President (two terms)

2008-2010 SUNY at Buffalo, Finance Committee, GSA: Voting Member

2009- The Open Graduate Studio, SUNY at Buffalo, Department of Media Study: Proposed, Organized

2007-2009 SUNY at Buffalo, Instructor-of-Record, Department of Media Study

2007-8, 2008-9 SUNY at Buffalo, College of Arts and Sciences, Dean’s Fellowship

2007-2008 SUNY at Buffalo, Department of Media Study GSA: Secretary

2001-2002 Antioch University, Community Manager, Antioch College: Community Government (elected)

 

Cayden Mak, Vice-President

I have grown enormously since beginning my studies last fall here in Buffalo. I’ve made great strides since arriving here in the August of 2009 on an academic level, but also in standing up for labor and social justice, as well as getting involved in the wider community. I really felt welcome as soon as I arrived here, and that welcome has empowered me to do more for and with others. I’d like to extend that hand to others, to show them that they, too, can engage and be heard.

I’m already connected to, and working with, diverse coalitions: I have already proven that I can make connections across issues here at UB and in the SUNY system. The Defend Our Education Coalition, for which I have served as a webkeeper and representative of graduate student interests. Other groups we work with include student groups from UB and Buffalo State College, as well as the UUP and CSEA.

I come from a background valuing the contributions of all people: my work as an undergraduate as a dialogue facilitator has made an impact on the way I think about the relationships between society, injustice, and higher education. These are complex issues with no quick fix, but I believe we can solve them together. I have earned honors for my hard work advocating for minority student rights at my undergraduate institution, the University of Michigan.

I get things done: in my first semester, I discovered there was no major Transgender Day of Remembrance event on campus, and immediately pulled the few resources I had together to hold one. The resulting event was attended by a undergrads, graduate students, staff, and faculty.

I’m willing to do the legwork: I have visited state legislators in Albany to discuss the Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act, funding cuts, and pay cuts to graduate students. I believe we can work with lawmakers to create a better future for UB.

I live my values: I ride my bike to school from the Elmwood Village more than half the year, and I have helped the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper with environmental stewardship and awareness-raising around town.

I’m fun: I am a game designer, after all!

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