Wallace, Fu seek Batten Grad Council presidency

Treasurer's race includes Narayan, Foley

The Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy is located in Garrett Hall, above.

Eight candidates have kicked off their campaigns for Batten Graduate Council positions this week. Responsibilities of the Council include planning and organizing events to promote student life at the Batten School as well as determining which students will receive funding for professional development.

The candidates for Batten Council President are fourth-year College student Alex Wallace and third-year College student Yuhuan Fu.

“We decide which events are best for community development and professional development,” said Wallace, the current representative for the Accelerated Master of Public Policy 2015 class. “We also approve funding for professional development applications, which is a program where any Batten student can apply to go to any professional event around the world, such as a conference.”

Wallace said he hopes to focus on improving Council’s alumni relations, large-scale events and volunteer programs.

“A lot of Batten students volunteer, but there’s not really a central program,” he said. “I would like to work on that.”

Fu said he wants to promote new goals such as increasing Council transparency and promoting events to increase Batten’s presence in the community.

“A more transparent council will feature public monthly expenditures, so students know exactly where our money is going, and a calendar of open meetings will offer students the chance to sit in on Council meetings and voice their opinions,” Fu said in an email. “Finally, new events, including Batten Paintballing with proceeds going to the Wounded Warriors Project and a Pink Ribbon Casino Night with proceeds going to Relay for Life will both increase our presence in the community, and unity towards a common purpose.”

In addition, Fu would like to increase student participation in curriculum decisions within Batten, emphasizing students can have a huge effect in shaping the school’s history.

“Batten is still a very young school, and there are vast opportunities for students to shape its development,” Fu said. “Moving forward, it is my hope to get our students to be vocal in the development of our curriculum.”

First-year Batten Graduate student Shilpa Narayan, one of two candidates for Batten School treasurer, also said she hoped to create more programs for Batten students both within the school itself and within the community. First-year Batten graduate student Chris Foley did not return requests for comment.

“Batten Council is responsible for the whole Batten community,” Narayan said. “I really want to raise more funds, which would give me the opportunity to have more programs, and then more students could participate in these programs and benefit from them.”

Narayan would also like to improve the Batten School by providing more programs for international students.

“We don’t have many programs [for international students]. … Batten Council can do more,” Narayan said. “I think we need to have some programs or information sessions or maybe a club that can educate them about U.Va. and Charlottesville in general.”

Batten Council is one of the few graduate programs which decided not to hold elections through the University Board of Elections this year. Current President Alex Dumitriu said the election change was mainly related to timing, and will not have a huge effect on the Council election process.

“This year our timeline doesn’t really seem to match U.Va.’s timeline for elections, so we just decided to have our own elections,” Dumitriu said. “The only effect it has is it’s just slightly more extended, but nothing more than that.”

Published March 20, 2014 in FP test, News

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