ISO elects Deqa Aden, Bardan Sigdel, Ridhika Agrawal for President, Vice President, and Treasurer


ISO executive elections concluded, ushering in a new cabinet for the 2017-2018 school year. Photo by Xiaoxuan Yang.

International Student Organization (ISO) just released the results of their executive cabinet elections for 2017-18. ISO is very active in both the Grinnell community and at the college. “One of our roles is to really promote inclusion and diversity across campus and the community,” current ISO president Takahiro Omura ’17 said.

Deqa Aden ’18 was elected ISO president. Aden has proposed a variety of ideas she will work to execute while president. Some of these propositions include “reaching out to other ISO organizations in neighboring colleges to have broader networking opportunities outside of Grinnell (this specific project would entail inviting non-Grinnell international students to our annual events), creating a coalition with multi-cultural organizations by co-hosting events and inviting to each other’s space, creating a space for ‘Rare Birds,’ students who do not have a big community on campus to celebrate with their traditional holidays/festivals,” Aden wrote in her candidate platform.

Aden exhibits passion and drive to make Grinnell a ‘home away from home’ for international students.

Bardan Sigdel ’19 was elected as the new ISO Vice President. Sigdel stated in his candidate platform that he “would like to work in cooperation with other groups on campus to address issues, voice concerns and achieve goals shared among the larger campus body. My emphasis, as vice president, will always be on embracing differences, and using them to further accessibility and innovation among the student body.”

Sigdel demonstrates the commitment that May Kurata ‘19, a member of ISO, emphasized that an ISO cabinet must have.

Ridhika Agrawal ’20 was elected as the new ISO Treasurer. Agrawal understands how important both the job of Treasurer is and ISO as a whole.

“I hope to be a part of the ISO to further the work that they are already doing, to improve its policies and to create a better experience for the international and domestic student body,” Agrawal wrote in her candidate platform.

Agrawal hopes to foster a commitment to her new role to better and unify the campus.

ISO works to close the cultural gaps that may be present between domestic and international students, in turn creating a more unified campus.

“We host events that students from all kinds of backgrounds, regardless of where they come from, can create together and have fun,” Kurata said.

Kurata stressed the importance of commitment one must have to be part of the ISO executive cabinet. “They [must] care about the cultural diversity at Grinnell. And they [need to] want to make sure that domestic students, international students and townspeople all feel part of this cultural diversity.”

There are six positions available on the executive cabinet: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Social Coordinator, and Publicity Coordinator. All of these positions have an equal voice in the goals and objectives of ISO; one’s say is not determined by the position they hold.

All three of the newest ISO executive cabinet members have shown their dedication to improving and continuing the important work that ISO does for international students. The new cabinet are dedicated and driven members of ISO who want to make the Grinnell experience the best it can be.