Candidate Profiles - Student-Elected Trustee Election, Fall 2022

Socrates Wong - Candidate for Trustee
Socrates Wong
Personal Statement:
What do you consider the top 3 priorities for the Board of Trustees to address
I wish to serve as the graduate and professional student trustee to improve Cornell, and I believe the following are my priorities:
  1. Oversight: A key part of the job is to provide oversight to Cornell. This includes two major facets: holding the university accountable for commitments, which include the return of normality post-covid, divestments from fossil fuel, and mental health; the second facet is simply asking Cornell to acknowledge the problems and issues that the community faced. This includes recent problems such as the long lines in RPCC, the lack of parking or timely transportation to Cornell, or long-standing issues such as sexual assault. Cornell should acknowledge the problem instead of pretending the non-existence or deflecting responsibility.
  2. Advocacy: My duties is to advocate the needs of my constituents to the Cornell. I plan to accomplish this responsibility by providing an inclusive venue for the graduate and professional students to direct their thoughts to university leadership and other trustees.This includes addressing the institutional and systemic issues such as racial disparity and accessibility to allow our campus to be a welcoming environment for all.
  3. Stewardship: We are in unprecedented times, and it is only natural that unexpected occur despite the best intentions. My principle is to develop policies to help prevent the issue and challenges from reoccurring in the future instead of applying a bandaid without regard to the risk of reoccurrence.
Relevant Experience:
I have a history of representing my peers and colleagues and aiding them in advocating their needs in both my undergraduate university, Purdue, and Cornell. I plan to continue my service to the community and help safeguard the Cornell legacy for the current and future generations. 
Community Involvement:
Positions I have served include:
CSL Student Steering Committee in Cornell(2021-Current)
Floor Representative for Purdue Residence Hall’s Titian Club (2015-2019)
Purdue Student Government’s Board of Directors (2015-2016)
Special Interests:
My primary special interest is to make making Cornell accessible to all. Being accessible means that the campus is inclusive, respecting diversity, providing accommodation to those who need it, and catering to students and stakeholders that live on and off campus. As accessible is a term that evolves over time, this will be a never-ending task, but it is a noble clause that is best expressed with the words of our founder   “... any person ... any study.

Alexis Miller - Trustee Candidate
Alexis Miller
Personal Statement:
What do you consider the top 3 priorities for the Board of Trustees to address?
Cornell University operates with the mission to educate the next generation of global citizens and enhance the lives of our community through public service. As the student elect-trustee, I will uphold this mission by prioritizing the following:
  1. Access: I want to implement a method for prospective and current students to seamlessly integrate into the Cornell community by providing financial support to eliminate barriers to recruiting, financial aid, disability services, and international student support. Students deserve to discover their professional identity without financial constraint through participation in research, conference attendance, and exposure to experts in their respective field.
  2. Wellness: I want to ensure that the University maintains adequate mental health services and continues to make current digital technologies tools available for accessible learning. With the effects of the pandemic still disrupting our education, students should not feel burdened by balancing their health and classes.
  3. Equity: I want to create systems to regularly analyze and discuss anti-racism and inclusion data from Cornell. It is imperative that we adopt inclusive, culturally responsive teaching and decolonize curriculums by incorporating the growth of knowledge about colonialism; slavery; the construction of race, gender, disability, class and age classifications; and earlier misuses of the social and natural sciences.
Relevant Experience:
Fund Manager - Lokono Capital (2022-Present)
Attorney - New Jersey (2020-Present)
President - Rutgers Black Law Students Association (2018-2019)
Advisory Committee Member for Graduate Students of Color - Vera Institute of Justice (2019-2020)
Community Involvement:
Director of Community Service - Northeast Black Law Students Association (2019-2020)
Director of Social Equity - Rutgers Student Bar Association (2019-2020)
Restorative Justice Mediator - National Education Association (2016-Present)
Community Organizer - BLM Paterson, NJ (2016-2020)
Corps Member - AmeriCorps City Year (2015-2016)

Special Interests:

Over the years, my work in community service has fueled my passion for capacity building. My goal as the student-elect trustee is to serve without paternalism or assumptions so that Cornell operates as a unified organization. It is imperative for those with decision-making power to seek or have a grassroots perspective of the communities in which they serve. Thus, I will ensure that I spend time speaking with students from each unique corner of Cornell and relaying innovative ideas, pressing concerns, and pertinent questions of our student body. Essentially, my voice, as trustee, will be our voice.

Dan Bromberg - Trustee Candidate
Dan Bromberg
Personal Statement:
What do you consider the top 3 priorities for the Board of Trustees to address?
As your student elected trustee, I’ll use my 4-year knowledge of Cornell to progress its commitment to an environment where any person can engage in any study. I have three priorities in meeting this goal. Please see for more information:
  1. Access: I will work to increase student voice in Trustee decisions. To that end, I’ll advocate for a “Student Proposal” system. Students will submit proposals for board consideration to an online portal where students can sign-on to submitted proposals. A proposal with high support will be automatically forwarded to the board for consideration. Shareholders of public companies use this system.
  2. Trust: I will further student participation in faculty hiring, tenure, and firing decisions by requiring student interviews in those processes. I’ll also advocate for Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) audits of Cornell’s investments, including a racial equity audit.
  3. Equity and Justice: I will highlight how Cornell perpetuates marginalization and strive for concrete commitments to progress equity and justice for students of all identities. I’ll seek funding for students on e-boards of identity-based organizations, a living wage for all TAs, subsidized housing for grad students, and voluntary recognition of a grad student worker labor union. I’ll also strengthen Cornell’s support of international students through further visa support (for employment, too) and advocacy for student-friendly Federal immigration laws.
Relevant Experience:
Some advocacy I engaged in as a Cornell undergrad:
-To eliminate the student summer contribution fee. I talked with trustees 1-on-1 to advocate for this change. A&S then created a grant to eliminate the fee for students doing unpaid or low-paid summer work.
-Against the proposed merger of the College of Human Ecology and ILR School. Grad and undergrad students united. The university discontinued its consideration of the merger within a few months.
Community Involvement:
Graduate Teaching Assistant— ILRLR 2010 (Present)
Cornell Law Faculty Appointments Committee– Student Representative (2022-2023)
National Lawyers’ Guild, National– Labor and Employment Committee’s Steering Committee Student Representative  (2021–Present)
College Democrats of NY– Statewide Labor Caucus Chair (2019-2020)
The Peoples’ Organizing Collective, United Students Against Sweatshops Local #3 - Refounder and Lead Organizer (2018-2020)
Research Assistant (2017-2020)
Cornell ACLU - Co-founder (2018)
Special Interests:
Cornell has committed to sustaining an inclusive environment that enables people of all backgrounds to actualize their full potential. That promise helped me complete my undergrad at Cornell and convinced me to return here for law school. As students, we have the power to hold Cornell to that promise. I’ve organized with peers to make Cornell remedy its shortcomings in accommodating students from diverse backgrounds. My goal is for all students to feel empowered in advocating for change and in their place at our university. I haven’t always felt included at Cornell, let that be socially, academically, or institutionally. Isolated and invisible, I was silent and complacent. It’s naive to ignore my identity as a queer child of refugees as a factor in that. As your student elected trustee, I’ll work to amplify marginalized perspectives to ensure that Cornell is accountable to its promises and supports the development of a truly inclusive, accessible, accountable, and just space for all.

Femi Olonilua - Trustee Candidate
Femi Olonilua
Personal Statement
What do you consider the top 3 priorities for the Board of Trustees to address?
Through my campaign, I intend to address the needs of the students and work with the Board to undertake three main priorities:
One Cornell – One Cornell begins with integrating the different schools at Cornell, inclusive of all people, all backgrounds, and all locations. We have an incredible opportunity to diversify networks and make a differentiated and exponential impact through cross-collaboration. I want to work to bridge the gap between student concerns and administration and make communication across the Cornell schools and administrators more accountable and transparent. One Cornell also includes advocating for increased resources to provide reduced costs to all students for access to university resources like mental health sessions, fitness facilities, and spiritual facilities.
Relevant Experiences:
Founding Member of the Global Shapers Queens Hub. The Global Shapers community, born out of the World Economic Forum, is a network of inspiring young people working together and taking collective action to provide access to education, create more inclusive communities, and safeguard youth mental health. In the Queens hub, I lead projects focused on promoting literacy and providing access to resources for high school students in Queens, NY. 
I also serve in iMentor, where I help high school students develop leadership and career skills necessary to graduate high school college-ready and enable success in college.
Special Interests:
As someone born and raised in Nigeria and awarded the opportunity to pursue college in the US, I understand the importance of quality education and financial resources and how access to these can change lives and generations. I am passionate about driving impact in the education sector and advocating for social change in my communities, especially those who do not have a voice. Through my work as a Global Shaper, I have been able to work with high school administrations in New York City to provide access to resources such as technical skills training, and financial literacy and mentorship to the students. I have also been able to raise funds (>5K) to facilitate the college application process for these students.