spotlight-logo-01Amanda Tam

CAS Senator


Where are you from?

I am from Queens, NY, a Chinese American.

What’s your major?

My major is social work, I am a senior in the Undergraduate School of Social Welfare

What do you want to accomplish during your tenure at USG?

I want to accomplish a whole lot, more than I can probably actually do in my last year here but I’ll try my very best to really represent my fellow students. One of my goals is to read through the USG Code and Constitution and come up with revisions that represent change that we need to further better the experiences for students, clubs, and organizations. I also want to show students that USG really does care about what the students want; our meetings (which are open to the student body) give us a better understanding of what the plethora of clubs do at their meetings and throughout the year. We started our year off with a few disappointments: Toll Drive not being ready, the food at swipe dining halls being subpar. I see students posting on Facebook groups, a great way to express their frustration, but this is not enough.If students attend our weekly Thursday meetings (SAC 302 at 7:30PM), expressing that they really want something to change, USG can do it. We can give you the professional and respectful voice you need when talking to administration, because we represent you.

What was your favorite USG event?

My favorite event had to be Brookfest. Last year, I had the honor and privilege of being the RHA representative in USG’s Student Activities Board, a very important committee that handles a $600,000 budget that goes towards the two concerts, Roth Regatta, Senior events, and other big events on campus. Anyways, Brookfest was really fun because we got Cash Cash and Future and I really like EDM so I was jumping all over when Cash Cash was performing. ALSO, I got to go on the stage and I threw some t-shirts (I also took too many and kind of dropped them all, but it’s okay only a few people noticed) and um they did not go very far but my friends recorded me on Snapchat and I had a good laugh at my poor throwing skills. I was also in charge of setting up the backstage rooms for the performers and it was really interesting to understand the performers based on their runners list.


“I’d like to beautify the Health Science Center”


SPOTLIGHT: What initiatives are you interested in bringing to light, whether USG related or Stony Brook related, or just something you’re personally interested in?

Oh my goodness, so many initiatives. I am really interested and involved in sustainability and small clubs and community service. When I was running for CAS Senator I had a really long platform and I guess I’ll say it again (though some have changed after I realized that some of it is impossible because of state laws and regulations). So first off, I’d like to beautify the Health Science Center by getting community service clubs and nature clubs involved in planting flowers and seeds and pulling weeds out of the ugly gigantic planters out front. There should also be a way for students to cut down on the amount of plastic waste that we produce; dining halls do not allow for you to bring your own containers and also it is apparently not allowed for us to refill our reusable bottles at the soda fountain at, say, Roth, so that is quite silly. There are poorly placed (and not enough) recycle bins around campus. For example, the e-waste recycle bins are placed in the SAC at a location where students would normally not have any e-waste but food waste so instead of batteries and electronics going in to the e-waste recycle bins, burger buns and cups go in there. They should move to the library. Additionally, the Union does not have enough recycle bins, the only one is located far away from the dining area. International students have it really tough when they come here and it requires a lot of strength, patience, and knowledge in order to feel at home on a campus miles away from their real home. There should be an immersion program for international students to help them understand the ways of Stony Brook students to help them feel more comfortable and at ease at such a large campus. As a resident, I live in on campus and without a car, I find it really hard to leave campus to enjoy the shopping centers nearby us and areas such as Port Jefferson. The shopping bus should be expanded and more information should be out there because traveling on it for the first time is a little scary. Finally, something that is really important is transparency and updates. Currently, there is no way for students to hear or read about updates from Senator projects other than the minutes that are posted on the USG website. Additionally, not a lot of students know who the Senators are or what we do and our projects do not exactly represent what the students care about. A poll should be sent to students to ask what kind of initiatives and projects they care about and would like to see, and then monthly videos or a bulletin board should be updated and circulated so that students will know that we are working on a better campus experience for them!!!!