Introducing your 2019 GBC Exec: Team Elevate

by Nikhita Giridhar, Class of 2019

by Nikhita Giridhar, Class of 2019

With the mission of taking Booth to greater heights, Team Elevate beat Team Happy Healthy Booth, to win the 2019 GBC election. Sarah Liu, the newly elected President, shares her vision for the coming year:

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Nikhita Giridhar [NG]: When did you know you wanted to represent your peers as GBC President?

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Sarah Liu, GBC President

Sarah Liu [SL]: I would say I knew very early on. I was motivated by getting really involved at Booth and giving back, as trite as that might sound. I’ve enjoyed my time at Booth so far and a huge part of that has been getting involved with the community. Everyone on our committee, for example, has been very involved from Pri being on the First Day team, to Mary being on the Seedcon team or me running Media Trek. One of the first things I noticed is that outside of Random Walk or seeking professional guidance, you don’t get to socially interact with 2Ys all that much. I’ve also observed that, at times, for international students, the whole Booth experience can be daunting. I would like to represent a cohesive community, between 1Ys and 2Ys and international and domestic students - I believe that that’s what makes for a diverse, whole community and I’d love to strive towards it.

NG: What are your key goals for the year?

SL:  Definitely a stronger community. We’d like to start with introducing more programming at the beginning of the year to bring people closer. We’d also like to bring many of the UChicago health and mental wellness resources directly to Harper to make them more accessible. Booth also prides itself on being diverse and we’d like to bolster programming of Diversity Week and make it one of our strong tenets.

NG: What is the one thing you would like your slate to be known for?

SL: Being approachable. We are the liaison between faculty, facilities, UChicago and the student body. Students should feel able to reach out to us and let us know what they want. Even as we thought of what our slate stood for - we reached out to people and asked them what they loved about Booth and what they would like to see changed. We didn’t lock ourselves in a room and come up with our own ideas. We’re here to serve the student body and be representative of it in all of our actions.  

NG: What’s been your biggest takeaway from the year so far?   

SL: Everyone at Booth pays it forward. It’s the first thing that anyone notices and it’s immediately imbibed by all of us. All the time that 2Ys took out of their very busy schedules to help us sort out our careers and priorities was incredible and a strong part of our culture. Apart from wanting to continue this, I would also want us to take it to the next level. It is evident that despite already being a great school, everyone is constantly trying to take Booth to greater heights. That’s the principle behind our motto to elevate Booth.

NG: The outgoing committee has worked very hard to keep up their commitments to our community. How would you like to see that continue?

SL: The current GBC Executive Board really pushed barriers to make communication more inclusive and interactive. The push to move an entire class and incoming class to Slack, being more transparent in their actions, always being available to answer questions,  working for the student body and not leaving anyone in the dark, has been so remarkable. We would like to continue all of their effort in bringing the student body together and being open about all that we hope to do.

Mission Elevate Booth:

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Clay Nickens

Executive VP

Despite the wide array of resources and opportunities available to us, most of it goes under utilized. Clay Nickens hopes to work closely with Dean Rajan to bring non-Booth professors to Harper Center, engage more with thought institutions on campus such as The Institute of Politics and make it easier for Booth students to get involved in serving the communities of Hyde Park.

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Pri Bhargava

VP, Student Life and Wellness Initiatives

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Mary Wang

VP, Professional Life

Mary Wang stands for more support as we shape our professional paths at Booth. As all students strive towards new careers and opportunities, we are bound to feel inundated with the innumerable options available to us. By expanding and expounding non-traditional and international recruiting and building pathways to stronger alumni-student relationships, professional life at Booth can be made more impactful.

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Vinit Atal

VP, Diversity and Inclusion

Vinit Atal’s vision for the GBC on the diversity and inclusion front is to have all pockets of the student body be part of the conversation about diversity issues and have programming that better caters to the diverse needs and preferences of the community. He also wants to introduce more structured training and speaker series about leading and creating organizations that are truly inclusive.

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Ashley Allison

VP, Global Affairs

Booth is a global institution but Boothies may not always feel they are able to take full advantage of international opportunities. Ashley Allison wants to work closely with administration to expand international opportunities whether through making Random Walk more affordable or providing shorter international business experiences. We also have a strong international community right here on campus with our international students. Team Elevate wants to ensure they feel supported as soon as they begin at Booth, which means strengthening the international student orientation.