SAO Board Election Platforms


Co-president :

Angela Meng

As a candidate for SAO’s co-presidency along with James, I would like to emphasize my enthusiasm and passion for continuing SAO’s legacy on campus and improving on our accessibility and variety of events hosted. My past year on board has been incredible and I was pleasantly surprised in how welcoming and nurturing the board members always are to new members. Board is such a great community and opened so many possibilities for me. I never imagined myself being in charge of cool campus events, meeting so many awesome people, and learning first-hand how funding processes work here. SAO board has given me an overwhelmingly amount of opportunities to express, expand, and explore myself and my identity and it is this exact warmness and openness of SAO for why I want to run for President. I want to help others, future leaders of Swarthmore and SAO, to have these same experiences and discover themselves through SAO.
As this past year’s co-publicity chair, I have a unique insight on how SAO works and good ideas on how maintain and improve upon our general awesomeness. I work well with other people as well as being in charge of my events myself. Past events I have helped organize include Paces parties, a Sharples Takeover, and a panel event. I am a very hands-on person who is always receptive to comments, requests, and feedback. I like to be very organized so SAO members can always rely on me to always be ready to hold meetings with administrators, remind them about their obligations, and basically on top of my stuff. Having experience last year’s APIA month, I know how exhaustive the entire process is and I’m not afraid to tackle the work ahead of us next semester. There are many things I hope to improve and expand upon in SAO next year.
First, with James’ support, I think that we should improve our working relationships with other API groups on campus. I know that in the past we have done this by emailing other groups for co-sponsorships but I think that we could improve this with more personal things such as hosting large API meetings and events together. For example, our combined manpower in the Sharples takeover with Deshi was super smooth. Furthermore, for general meetings, rather than recycling the same meeting ideas, I would like to expand the scope of our meetings to a larger variety of discussions and meeting topics. For instance, after talking to Andrea, I would also like to have a book-club-like meeting every month to discuss our thoughts on different authors’ interpretations of Asian-American identity and the like.
With all these new, upcoming ideas and events for SAO, James and I are ready to attack them with vigor and eagerness. We complement each other in terms of personality and strengths because while I like throwing out ideas and being sensitive to many different options for events in SAO, he’ll be the one who will put his foot down and make a good decision. I tend to be detail-oriented whereas he could look at the big picture. Communication is never going to be an issue because we live in the same dorm and I visit him a lot anyways. In essence, we would work and build off each other’s characteristics to make an even stronger team. I’m excited for the next semester to work with James and the rest of SAO board in continuing SAO’s amazing presence in Swarthmore’s community.

James Mao

What up SAO,

My name is James Mao ’12 and I am running to be your Co-President, along with Angela, for the next two semesters. Being President requires that I essentially oversee all the events that we as an organization are involved in even as individual tasks are delegated among the members of our venerable Board, and ensuring that we maintain a healthy dialogue with the other groups on campus as well as the College administration. I believe that of our potential candidates, I am in a distinguishably advantageous position to meet these standards.

Having been a member of SAO Board for three semesters now (one as First-Year Intern and two as Treasurer), I have extensive experience with the always-fun process of making proposals to the likes of the Student Budget Committee and the Forum for Free Speech, among the other sources of dollars on this campus. I would venture to say that as far as SBC goes, there is nobody on SAO who knows the ins and outs of that colossus better than I do. Additionally, in my year and a half with SAO, I have experience completing tasks on a scale as large as organizing the Student-Faculty-Staff Luncheon to tasks on as small a scale as running around campus chalking for Stone Forest Ensemble’s performance during last year’s APIA Month. APIA Month, our crowning moment as an organization, is indeed next semester and will require somebody with the necessary experience to guide it. I am that somebody. (Angela too, I guess.)

I hope also to continue and extend the positive relationships we have with organizations on this campus. Most relevantly, I aim to more substantially include the other by-definition APIA groups (FOTS, HAN, Deshi, and Persuasian) in the process of effecting APIA Month in March/April. Such inclusion implies more than rubber-stamping their names as co-sponsors on our flyers; I want to constructively include them in the choosing of speakers/performers and raising of funds – and of course the finding of volunteers to run all these events. These goals obviously require interaction with the different groups’ leaders. As a quote-unquote IC Leader, it will also be important to engage with the leaders of other groups, ranging from i20 to SQU. Conveniently, I am familiar with many of group leaders and some of them even live right on my hall (Phil Koshy of Deshi and Ana Rosado of Enlace, specifically). I will make every effort to engage those still unfamiliar with me.

None of this, of course, illuminates why I am running for Co-President – it only tells you that, in my obviously completely objective opinion, I am the best candidate (with Angela, I guess) for the position based on qualifications alone. But the more important point is that SAO has been and is my family at Swarthmore, and as a displaced international-Taiwanese-Chinese-Asian-American person the organization has offered me a foundation, in a place far from home, to work through my own ideas and beliefs. And goals. And my goal is to give back to the organization as much as I can. Nothing would make me more pleased with myself (and if you know me, you’ll know that I’m already pretty pleased with myself most of the time) than to pull off another great APIA Month in Cathy’s and Vivienne’s footsteps and to keep this organization running until I can hand it off to the insanely talented first years that we have waiting in the wings.

Angela Meng is my partner-in-crime for these hoped-for endeavors because we are two committed SAO members who work well together and are (painfully) aware of each other’s strengths and limitations. We are good friends who have open communication with each other, helped by the fact that we live in the same dorm (Willets, holla!). Most importantly, our working styles complement each other: where she is supremely organized and enthusiastic, I am better off working under pressure right up to the deadline; where she is prone to high-pitched tangents, I prefer remaining on task and speaking in a low voice. It is true that neither of us can be considered the most visionary dreamer around, but that’s the beauty of SAO – as leaders we will be committed to making sure that our members continue to have their wonderful ideas heard and implemented. And there are many worthy idealists in this organization. Angela and I simply hope to provide the experience and ability to facilitate the realization of ideas.

Political Chair

William Lin
My desire to be SAO’s Political Chairperson is rooted in my belief that it is important for young people to get involved in political issues that are relevant to themselves. Last year, my experience as an involved member of the College Democrats was very rewarding but I was disappointed by the fact that I was the only person of Asian descent who attended meetings. This highlighted to me the need for Asian- and Pacific Islander-American youth to be politically aware and engaged, because there are many issues in society that affect us as young people, as Asians and Pacific Islanders in America, as residents of the country. I hold a firm belief that as Political Chairperson I can continue existing SAO political campaigns as well as develop new ones and bridge the gap between the issues and the actual APIA student community.

I believe that student organizations are more successful the more people they reach out to and establish relationships with. Working with the other IC/BCC groups, the inter-group and intercollegiate liaisons, as well as organizations like College Democrats, Global Neighbors, i20, QSA, and SLAP is something that I am committed to. My experience as a Multicultural Recruitment Intern and as a former SQU Board member have given me the opportunity to develop my ability to reach out to student organizations, organize events, recruit students to participate in events, and work with the college administration. I hope to reach out as SAO Political Chairperson to Provost Connie Hungerford and further my existing relationship with Associate Provost Lisa Smulyan to ensure that APIA communities are represented fairly within the college curriculum. Taking Introduction to World Music in the music department made me aware of how Western/Eurocentric the course offerings of certain departments are at Swarthmore. I believe that course offerings can continue to diversify if the student body pressures departments to respond to the interests of students.

I hope that through my actions I will present myself as a reliable, responsible, and proactive member of SAO board. Please support me in my bid to be Political Chairperson. Thank you.

Yin Guan

Dear SAOees and SAOettes,

My name is Yin, and I am running for SAO treasurer. First I’d like to tell you a little bit about what experiences I will bring to this job. As a first-year intern who helped to coordinate High School Conversations’ College Day, I’ve already started to gain some familiarity with navigating various administrative and fiscal channels in the school in order to turn ideas into reality. I also organized the Earthlust Green Iron Chef cooking competition last month, with two co-collaborators. That project had a very limited budget, which forced us to appropriate our funds, as well as scavenge for resources, in more innovative ways.

Next I’d like to share with you how I will commit myself to this job. The two main responsibilities of a treasurer, I feel, are 1) Communication with the Student Budget Committee, and 2) Management of our account. Regarding communication with the SBC, I am more than happy to dedicate time to meet with them whenever needed, and learn the necessary protocol for getting reimbursed for spendings and such. I have a lot to learn and I’m eager to do it! Next semester I am also applying to be an SBC assistant manager, which, if I get the position, I hope will be able to insulate the line of communication between SAO and SBC and make it that much more rapid and efficient. The way I will take on the other responsibility of a treasurer, which is managing our money, has two parts. I’ll be sure to keep track of & update the budget regularly, and notify board members of any changes when relevant. On spending, I will most certainly delegate funds to the events we sponsor whenever needed. However, I’m aware that money is tighter now, and so I’d like to help devise ideas on how to make the money that we have go a longer way, and also to find alternative sources for funding.

Within the past three months, I know I’ve personally benefitted a lot from what SAO has to offer. I’d like to become more involved in SAO and learn about the inner workings of running an organization. All in all, I understand that managing SAO takes the joint effort of all of the board members; I hope to contribute what I can as treasurer and work together with you to make it enjoyable and beneficial to all.

Thank you for your consideration.


Melissa Zheng I’m interested in running for Co-publicity Chairperson for next semester’s board. I find the weekly digests very helpful for learning about what’s going on with SAO, and I’d love to be more involved in the planning process. As co-publicity chairperson, I would increase the publicity of SAO events for the non-SAO population of Swarthmore; for example, actually updating the SAO board in Parrish! If elected, I will maintain and improve SAO’s role on campus.



-<3 SAO

One thought on “SAO Board Election Platforms”

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