Library liaison plans to bridge student-led reform efforts

Aria Varasteh, Student Association, town hall, gelman student liaison
Senior Aria Varasteh, seen here speaking at a Student Association town hall held in September, has been named the new student liaison for Gelman Library. File photo

This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Katherine Rodriguez.

Have you seen a stash of cookies in the lobby of Gelman Library?

That’s the work of senior Aria Varasteh, the library’s new student liaison.

The Student Association vice president of student activities assumed the library position that links administrators and students earlier this month. He has spent this week helping to hand out free cookies to anyone who completes a survey about Gelman.

Varasteh – the first undergraduate in recent history to serve on a post that normally goes to a graduate student – said he decided to take on the role because he wants to learn “more of the ‘ins-and-outs’ of Gelman Library.”

He stepped into the post after graduate student Jenny Wiley left her role last month. Sources inside the library said Wiley – who held the position for two years – opted to pursue a job with the national nonprofit Heritage Preservation after receiving a degree in museum studies last spring.

As Gelman renovation plans start to take shape, Varasteh intends to gather as much student input as possible and use his role in the SA to create collaborative projects with the library.

“I hope to be a receiver for student input from thoughts on the handicapped entry ramp to the color of the soft seating furniture items,” he said.

Varasteh’s first priority is to let students know that their voices are being heard.

“I believe being a student affords me the opportunity to better connect with the library’s constituents,” Varasteh said. “Whereas administrators may have difficulty, I may be able to better empathize with the issues other students are having, being a student myself.”

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