Junior Anusha Mannam said her experience with representing students will likely give her the edge as she hopes to become the next president of Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC) in the upcoming election.
Anusha Mannam, a 21-year-old international studies and political science double major, has served on the University Senate and SGLC during her three years at Loyola and currently serves as a student representative on the Board of Trustees. Anusha, the current SGLC vice president, is running alongside junior Adriana Caballero.
“We want to be held accountable and be transparent with what we have been campaigning for and where we’re at,” Mannam said.
Mannam said she and Caballero would ensure accountability with a “progress bar” which can be viewed by the student body. They also plan to hold office hours and collaborative dinners among students, faculty, administration and SGLC representatives.
Mannam said she hopes the #NotMyLoyola movement, which has gained traction recently after the arrest of Loyola student Alan Campbell and other accusations of racial profiling by Campus Safety, will bring a much-needed conversation to campus. She referenced the town hall meeting held by the movement March 1.
“What we’ve seen from events such as the town hall is that there’s … a clear lack of representation on campus and students aren’t feeling like they’re being represented or heard or included in some conversations and that’s an issue,” Mannam said. “It’s so important to hear each other out.”
University President Jo Ann Rooney announced the requirement of Campus Safety officers to wear body cameras, which will be in full effect by fall. Mannam said this is an important step forward but only the first of many.
“The conversation shouldn’t just end with body cams but seeing ‘Okay, what is the training [Campus Safety goes] through right now and how can we improve that?’” Mannam said. Caballero said Campus Safety and students should build a better relationship moving forward.
“I think the relationship between the campus police and the students should be a matter of trusting each other, and [within] the administration,” Caballero, an international studies major, said. “It’s a matter of being educated enough to know that we have to respect the rules.”
Mannam said increased awareness about campus issues, such as tuition and housing, is essential for better student life. She said students should understand their responsibility to educate themselves on campus events.
“I think that knowledge is power and although knowledge is power, it can’t be kept between the leadership of SGLC, it needs to be communicated to the students,” Mannam said. “If there’s issues that are found within that, that’s how we know we have to do better than just [hearing] through rumors.”
Mannam said recent housing issues should be approached with a combination of admitting less students and considering construction of new student housing. She said SGLC would serve as the connection between students and administration for housing issues.
“If elected, our role would be to communicate … the student concerns and see where this can improve and com- municate why this is an issue,” Mannam said.
Mannam thinks that a totally environmentally sustainable campus, as presented on the SGLC ballot this cycle, is possible, but it’ll take time to see realized.