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ISO ushers in 2018-19 cabinet

ISO elected a new cabinet for the 2018-2019 year. Pictured from left: Nana Okamoto ’20, Prerana Adhikari ’20, Kirtimay Pendse ’19, Ahon Gooptu ’20 and Arunima Fatehpuria ’21. Not pictured are Vincent Noh ’19 and Sophie Doddimeade ’21. Photo by Reina Shahi.

By Gabe Loewenson

Editors’ note: Not pictured are Vincent Noh ’19 and Sophie Doddimeade ’21.

The International Student Organization (ISO) held an election for its executive cabinet on Thursday, Feb. 22, with runoff elections on Feb. 25. The new ISO cabinet includes Kirtimay Pendse ’19 as ISO president, Vincent Noh ’19 as vice president, Ahon Gooptu ’21 as secretary, Mithila Iyer ’19 as treasurer, Nana Okamoto ’20 and Sophie Doddimeade ’21 as publicity coordinators and Prerana Adhikari ’20 and Arunima Fatehpuria ’21as social coordinator.

“I’m not gonna lie, campaigning was probably the most intense part of the process,” Pendse said. “I knew I wanted to make a poster, and I underestimated how hard that was. But I spent a couple days coming up with good designs for posters, and then I went around campus putting them up. But that’s when I realized that campaigning is a more about actually just going up to people and talking to people and then messaging people that I knew. And people that I didn’t know, but I could get to know them through the people that I did know. And I just reached out a lot, even in the D-Hall as they just went up with a friend or someone, and I just said, ‘oh hey, by the way I’m running for ISO president.’”

As president, Pendse intends to foster closer cooperation between ISO and other organizations, to help other students from underrepresented countries to promote their culture and to encourage discussion of topics that are not often discussed in the international student community.

ISO elected a new cabinet for the 2018-2019 year. Pictured from left: Nana Okamoto ’20, Prerana Adhikari ’20,
Kirtimay Pendse ’19, Ahon Gooptu ’20 and Arunima Fatehpuria ’21. Not pictured are Vincent Noh ’19 and Sophie Doddimeade ’21. Photo by Reina Shahi.

“I would like to turn my attention more towards topics which I feel are not discussed as much in the international student community. Mental health, sexual health, these kinds of things. In addition, like I said, there are a couple of students who approached me who said listen, I’m the only student [from a certain country] and I want to do something with this,” he said.

Vice President-elect Noh said that he was especially interested in smaller scale event organization.

“I’d like to be able to reach for organizing more small discussion-based events. I think that a lot of the international students would like a place to come together and just discuss various issues, whether they be a social issue, or getting connected with resources on campus, and just giving students a place to relax. That means working together with other organizations on campus, predominantly the multicultural suite, as well as possibly other international organizations from other schools, to hopefully be able to give students a place to chat, hang out and learn a bit about issues they might not be able to discuss otherwise,” Noh wrote in an email to The S&B. Noh is abroad in Budapest this semester, but said that he was still able to campaign effectively.

“Really what I can do is just write my statement, and there’s a little period for ISO candidates to talk to students, so I did that through Videochat online,” Noh said.

ISO Secretary-elect Gooptu described one of his main goals post-election as unifying the student body as a whole.

“There still is a gap between the international students and the domestic students, so I think that, on behalf of the ISO cabinet I can safely say that all of us want to work towards bridging that gap between international students and domestic students, through events, through meetings, study breaks and things like that,” Gooptu said.

Publicity coordinator-elect Okamoto also emphasized the role of ISO in the student body at large.

“As publicity coordinator, I aim to bring a bigger and more diverse audience to events hosted by ISO,” Okamoto wrote in an email to The S&B. “Many people seem to have the misconception that ISO solely serves international students when it actually targets all students to make an environment that’s inclusive to all cultural identities. I think that by getting people to come to events or meetings, ISO can better serve its purpose, so I want to aid that process by creating effective and inviting publicity.”

Social coordinator Adhikari had similar intentions.

“In the past, some of my favorite events were held by ISO. I hope to pass down that same joy to all the ISO members as well as other students. I think there is a huge misconception about ISO being for international students only. As a social coordinator, I plan to work closely with publicity coordinators and bridge this gap,” Adhikari wrote in an email to The S&B.

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