SA Guide: Jason Kaplan

Age: 20

Year: Junior

Major: Poli Comm

Hometown: New York City

Embarrassing freshman year moment: I went to see David Plouffe speak and my cell phone went off to the sound of Stewie from “Family Guy” yelling, “Mom! Mom! Mommy!”

Next song University President Steven Knapp should dance to: I really think he should do an interpretation of “Circle of Life” from the “Lion King” because he is the king

Platform: eliminate University Counseling Center fees; lower printing costs in Gelman; improve diversity on campus


Jason Kaplan is running for Student Association president to bring the SA back in touch with the student body.

He wants to be a champion for student concerns – but he wants to make clear that the SA president is not a policymaker, and real change takes time.

“[Students] know the president’s role is to be an advocate… [but] students understand that we’re just here for 1 year,” Kaplan said.

To counteract the yearly SA turnover rate Kaplan said impedes results, he would bring everyday students and student leaders into meetings with top University administrators to be consistent and more personal voices for change.

“If you bring the student leaders who are having a problem to the actual administrator,” you are more likely to get results, Kaplan said.

Chief among his policy goals for next year is to end counseling fees at the University Counseling Center, an issue he described as his “passion.” He said the $50 fee for individual counseling is “ridiculous,” and worries the UCC’s fees will drive students away and discourage them from getting the help they need.

“It’s a real issue. It’s bigger than J Street, it’s bigger than 4-RIDE,” he said.

Also on his platform is improving Gelman Library. He said the steps toward getting the first floor renovated are a good start but not enough.

“I will talk to the Board of Trustees and say listen, thank you so much for the first floor… but it’s not enough, and the students are not going to be happy with this,” Kaplan said. “We’re not going have a new Gelman Library by the time we graduate, so we have to worry about the future generation.”

Lastly, Kaplan said he wants to focus on “diversity and inclusion” on campus.

“Racism is not gone. It’s still much alive on campus – black, Hispanic, gay, Jewish – it’s here during our generation and we’re not letting it be ignored,” he said. “I want to literally have a conversation with everyone, I want to bring people together. I can’t tell you that I have the solutions to this issue, it needs to come from everyone.”

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