This past week, the community of Lawrence International (LI) elected sophomore Tamanna Akram to serve as the organization’s 40th president, alongside freshman and Vice President-elect Kazuma Noguchi, and freshmen Mingyan Lu, Binita Rajbhandari and Daniel Vaca as incoming members of LI’s General Board.
As President, Akram “would like to start with tiny steps and strengthen LI as much as possible for the years to come.” Some of her goals include “increasing outreach to our general members and getting them more involved in the planning and coordination of events.” Akram also said that she “want[s] to increase LI’s representation at various platforms such as LUCC [Lawrence University Community Council] and CODA [Committee on Diversity Affairs].” Akram would also like to open more platforms for discussion and dialogue “to ensure LI is maintaining a strong support system and network for all its members.”
Noguchi echoed these statements, saying, “I want LI to reach out to groups and give opportunities that all members of the Lawrence community can take advantage of.” He plans to focus significantly on bridging the gap between “international” and “domestic” students at Lawrence. Noguchi stated, “LI is open to all students at Lawrence and wants domestic students to participate in its events, and to contribute to LI as an organization. However, many students still think that LI is exclusively for international students.”
Rajbhandari shared similar sentiments, saying “My vision for the future of LI would be to ensure that LI will continue on providing, not just for international students, but for other students who are interested with the same support system of being a friend and a home to people away from home.”
She thanked LI for this opportunity, saying “I would not have been a part of the board if it was not for LI giving me all these wonderful opportunities to connect and volunteer. I will ensure that the purpose of LI will keep going with my hard work and dedication.”
Lu also remarked that she is thankful for the familial aspect of the organization: “LI is a big group of people with different cultural backgrounds and shar[ed] similarities as an international student in this school,” she said. “What I can do most importantly is to cooperate with my team members and accomplish my job 100 percent.”
Lastly, Akram reiterated that “LI is our home far away from home. The members come together as a family during different events and activities. I want to encourage people to be more involved.”