Hey everyone, I’m Kenny Song and I’m running for President of our student government. To let you know a bit about my background, I was born in Beijing and moved to the US when I was five. I’ve lived in New Jersey ever since, where I was raised on Chinese traditions and American culture, and educated with a Western/international curriculum (I’ve also studied abroad multiple times). I can speak for both of the largest demographics here, and my cross-cultural upbringing helps me to understand and relate to the experiences and problems of our classmates from 35 other countries.
Like many of you, I chose NYU Shanghai because I’m ambitious and I saw incredible potential in both this school and its students. We have ridiculous opportunities in front of us, and I want to help everyone take full advantage of them. Throughout my life I’ve aimed to maximize my opportunities: in high school, I competed at the USA Biology Olympiad, became a Presidential Scholar semifinalist, and summited Mount Kilimanjaro. I also cofounded a non-profit that dealt with education inequality (Accelerate Academy), so I understand the difficulty and the breadth of consideration needed for a new venture to succeed.
Many of you also know that I’m extremely passionate about technology. I love working on the edge of what is currently possible, and I think we have an incredible opportunity here to integrate new technologies into the backbone of our university.
If you’re interested in exactly what I want to achieve, keep reading!
There are three main themes in what I want to accomplish: academics, opportunities, and technology.
First, I want to resolve many of the issues students have with academics. So far, many students have been plagued with unexpected restrictions, meaningless regulations, and inconsistent rules. A lot of us have been discouraged from auditing courses and exploring what we want to learn, which is absolutely wrong. Our university should value intellectual curiosity by providing more diverse classes and external resources. As a STEM student and a potential double major, this issue is also personally important.
Second, I want to provide better opportunities outside of academics. Student workers should have higher wages (after all, we’re paying American tuition) and access to better, paid internships in the city. There are also tons of amazing conferences in Shanghai every year, which we should be able to attend through either student tickets or an NYU subsidy. I also want to explore the possibility of venture capital and funding for student entrepreneurs.
Third, like I stated in my biography, I want to implement technology in ways that will make life here easier and more innovative. The Student Senators Council in New York has developed a Research and Development Committee to create NYU-specific applications to address student problems. I’ve already spoken extensively with the committee chair and we’re working together to create a similar initiative in Shanghai. If our students and professors have access to the best resources, we can truly be a world-class university.