2015-2016 Student Assembly Elections

Dear Cornellians,

The Class Councils is an organization working to foster a sense of unity and pride within each of the classes and among the entire Cornell community. In hopes of seeing greater active engagement and participation among the student body as a whole, we would like to strongly encourage our fellow peers to vote in the Student Assembly elections.

Below we have provided statements from each of the candidates running as the next the 2015-2016 Student Assembly President in order to provide the Cornell student body with a fuller and more meaningful understanding of each candidate's platform and vision for change.

We ask that you take the extra time and care to give equal thought and consideration for each candidate.

Voting is open from now until 4:00pm, March 17 tomorrow.

Link to ballot:

- Your Class Councils

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Student Assembly Presidential Candidates

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Candidate Statements

Jeffrey M. Breuer

When executive members of the Student Assembly supported a protest that was disrespectful and immature, I realized that the undergraduate student body deserved a leader who would not only be willing to advocate for student concerns, but also develop a strong working relationship with this new administration. No student likes the fact that they have to pay $350 more for the same level of care, but coming from someone who has personally benefitted greatly from Gannett’s services, I cannot be too upset.

At the end of the day, the Student Assembly doesn’t have nearly as much authority as we’d like. As President, I hope to engage with administrators and work closely with any and all students who wish to be involved in this process. The health fee is probably here to stay, and tuition increases continue to burden students across this campus, but these issues are bigger than the Student Assembly.

This election is really about how you want students to be represented to the administration. I firmly believe that these administrators are working their best to make Cornell a better place for students. Of course, they will make mistakes and it will be my job to encourage transparency and advocate for each one of you. I think we build this lasting relationship on mutual trust and respect. We should be working together, not against one another. I can’t promise that I’ll change the way this university operates, but I can promise you I’ll work my heart out.

Matthew Stefanko

The story I most want to convey is one related to the Student Health Fee and how the administration took advantage of students during the process. In late-November, they called numerous student leaders, including myself, into a room to discuss the fee. Instead of asking us if the fee was right, they asked us to convince students that the health fee was right for them. They also told us we were to remain quiet on the issue and that it was our job not to inform students of this fee until the administration decided they were ready. They asked us how we should market the fee to students. I believe that they blatantly took advantage of representative’s abilities to speak on behalf of students. Under my leadership, this won't happen. We will approach the administration on behalf of students, not on behalf of their interests. We will push forward the causes of students, not the causes of trustees and administrators. We will not rest until they are held accountable for the tens of thousands of dollars you spend on your tuition. I look forward to serving as your Student Assembly President and holding them to a higher standard. If you have any questions or want to learn more about my platform, please email me at or visit my website at

Juliana Batista

My name is Juliana Batista and I am currently a candidate for Student Assembly President. What does SA President do? I would be the advocate for students that not only speaks for them but with them. Within the SA I have developed a referenda process, refocused sexual assault policy, advocated for expanded February Break services, co-chaired AIDS week, created quiet North Campus study spaces, and implemented United Student Body among other actions that impact campus life. Let’s create a system where every part of Cornell is benefitting the others. Below are the initiatives I would focus


  • Free legal advising: Provide a free and accessible service to undergraduates through the law school for counsel on matters relating to tenant/landlord issues, housing contracts, alcohol and drug violations, traffic tickets and any other matters outside of the University. We need to feel empowered to navigate the system.
  • Late night transportation: Expand the services of the Big Red Shuttle to operate beyond prelim and finals weeks to weekend nights. Explore the option of developing a Cornell “Uber” student car ride system where anyone can be picked up and dropped off until 3am
  • Academic System: Encourage all seven colleges to offer open course evaluations that are available online. Transparency regarding class median grades, class difficulty, and qualitative analyses assist students in choosing courses. Re-examine the timeliness and feasibility of late night prelims.

Don't forget to read more at Voting is March 16th @ 8am to March 17th @ 4pm.