Catalyst is Duke’s social and pre-professional community for aspiring technologists. We strive to foster Silicon Valley’s spirit of innovation by building a network of student mentors and collaborators who see technology as a catalyst for change.

We had the opportunity to meet with all candidates running for Duke Student Government President and Executive Vice President, and after much internal discussion, we have chosen to endorse Sabriyya Pate for President and Jake Hoberg for EVP.

Pate’s clear understanding of improvements to be made within tech at Duke and her initiative to engage proactively with Catalyst set her apart. Principally, she addressed the need for both increased accessibility to the recruiting process and diversity within our faculties. Pate advocated for the creation of a fund sponsoring students to attend hackathons and conferences, which would break down some of the barriers that have thus far kept students from furthering their pursuit of technical projects. And with regards to department diversity, Pate mentioned her active role in pursuing this topic in conversation with administrators she had organized as a RA. She fundamentally believes in the need for female faculty representation in the Pratt and Computer Science departments.

Hoberg demonstrated a deep desire to increase tech’s visibility on campus and in our student government. His vision for changing the relevance of tech within DSG is twofold: firstly, he proposed an initiative whereby DSG representatives would encourage tech-related organizations on campus to leverage hitherto untapped resources. This would foster an exchange of ideas that does not currently exist across organizations such as Catalyst and DSG. Secondly, Hoberg proposed creating a student technology board within DSG that would serve as an ideation group with the goal of bridging policy and technology across campus.

Catalyst is excited for what the future holds regardless of which candidates are elected as all are strongly qualified to execute their bright visions for our student body. Nevertheless, we believe that Pate and Hoberg are the two candidates who will best champion the interests of Duke’s rapidly growing tech community.

Oscar Hong, President of Duke Catalyst