Presidential and Student Trustee candidate: Brendan Caluneo

NO IDEA 2.0Photo by: Zoe Deno

Name: Brendan Caluneo
Party: Independent
Hometown: Valatic, N.Y.
High School: Ichabod Crane High School
Major: Criminal Justice
Age: 19
Clubs/Organizations: Student Senate

Why did you decide to run for this position? 

“I decided to run back in the beginning of the school year for freshman class senator. I have enjoyed being on the senate and having a say in the operations of the Senate. I feel that I can carry the skills I’ve taken from Senate to run for president of the Student Senate and student representative on the Board of Trustees.”

What are your qualifications to run?

“As far as qualifications go, I was able to attend HOBY Youth Leadership conference at RPI in 2014. I was also able to go to Boys’ State at SUNY Morrisville which is another student leadership conference. I feel like I’ve received some good qualities and learned what good leadership is through those roles. On top of that, I’ve been a very active member of my community. As far as running for appointment to my local Board of Education. I feel like those experiences have given me skills that would be useful in the positions I’m running for.”

Overall, what is your greatest asset?

“My ability to work with others, and to have good support and communications from a number of students on campus. I’m able to hear their concerns and voice them in an effective manner. I can see their issues through so action can be taken either to remedy any issues on campus or to improve student life.”

Please provide three adjectives which describe your ability to lead.

“Courageous, outgoing and unorthodox.”

“I chose those adjectives because I feel that I know what fights to pick and how to go about them in an effective manner. While I’m open to suggestions, sometimes you have to take alternative routes that other people might not think of to facilitate change. I’m open to different possibilities.”

Name five initiatives you’d like to focus on in your position.

“I would like to increase knowledge of clubs on campus. I feel like we have some great clubs on campus. However, there isn’t really any defining document as to what they are, where they meet, or how to join. I feel that by increasing club membership it will produce more well-rounded graduates from the school.”

“Form a public outreach committee that could focus on a broad spectrum of volunteer efforts from students. Whether that could be through fundraising for a certain organization. I’ve heard requests from students on campus that are looking for an outlet to volunteer and complete community service. There isn’t really anybody who oversees that, so adding that would be beneficial to the entire college.”

“Create a policy committee. I would like to form a committee which would be responsible for reviewing policies of the Student Senate. If requested, they could also review policies of clubs to make sure that club policies are up to date and aligned with the Student Senate policies. We would also make sure that with changing times, our rules would follow accordingly.”

“The fourth policy I would do my best to enact would be more on the side of the Student Trustee level. From speaking to the non-traditional students, primarily among veterans on campus, there is a growing concern about them receiving benefits through things like the G.I. bill and having a resource on campus to support them in their college career. I feel that’s a critical part of campus life and it should be looked into thoroughly.”

“The fifth initiative goes along with advocacy for clubs on campus, but on a more broad level. I know we have some great events that aren’t necessarily sponsored by clubs. I was able to attend the Threads magazine reading, and I only heard about it from someone in it. I didn’t hear about it in an effective way coming from students or the college. To better publicize, and provide the where, when and how to attend interesting events would be better. We should be taking advantage of opportunities the college is providing.”

What have been some of your greatest experiences during the race so far?

“Talking to the people. I was able to get I believe a little over 100 signatures on the petition. Talking to people and hearing their concerns for what student government is doing, how we can better serve the clubs we represents and how we can improve student life overall. Definitely talking to the people and getting their input.”

What is the biggest problem with student life at Hudson Valley?

“Organization and advocacy. I feel that we have a great campus, great student body and it’s just an issue of giving the student body the knowledge to take part in student life.”

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