3 named YT finalists

Seniors Jane Chong, Jordan Giordano and Sunny Kantha were selected as Young Trustee finalists by the nominating committee after more than four hours of deliberation Tuesday night.

"We took a very critical look at each candidate.... It was a very difficult decision," said senior Amanda Tong, chair of the Young Trustee Nominating Committee and Duke Student Government's vice president for the Intercommunity Council. "I feel like we picked three very strong finalists."

The three finalists will meet with DSG and ICC members in the coming weeks in preparation for a final, weighted vote between the two organizations Feb. 18. They may also meet with student organizations for endorsements.

All three finalists hold major leadership roles on campus, which they said would aid them in representing the interests of students to the Board of Trustees.

The Young Trustee post is the most prestigious position for an undergraduate at the University. The Young Trustee serves a three-year term on the Board, representing undergraduate views and providing recommendations on policy issues. In the first year, the Young Trustee is an observer and in the final two years, a voting member.

"We were looking for someone who could represent a broad scope of student views with sufficient depth and accuracy," Tong said.

The candidates were chosen from a pool of eight semi-finalists following interviews Monday with the nominating committee, which comprises eight members of DSG and eight members of ICC.

Chong, a Chronicle columnist and former member of its independent Editorial Board, serves as chair of the Honor Council and co-chair of the Undergraduate Judicial Board. She said she has interacted with a wide variety of students and would bring unique experience to the position.

"I don't have that much advantage when it comes to very specific policy issues, but I would hope that [DSG and ICC] would see the Young Trustee as somebody that grows into the position and that whatever your factual knowledge is right now, it's more a question of how you think," she said.

Giordano is current DSG president and former executive vice president, and has also held leadership positions within the Interfraternity Council. He said being involved as a leader on campus is the best qualification for Young Trustee.

"It's a really great way to serve the University-serving on the Board of Trustees is a great way to have an impact," he said. "I love Duke and I hope that I can keep a strong connection to Duke in this capacity or another capacity."

As DSG executive vice president and former vice president for athletics and campus services, Kantha said he has a good operational understanding of the University and applied to be Young Trustee so he could impact large-scale policymaking.

"To even be selected as a finalist is one of the greatest honors of my undergraduate career," he said. "I've really developed a love for this University over the past four years. I'd like to translate that into helping the University even after I graduate."


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