BJ Siasoco: Be part of the university conversation

Hello! My name is BJ Siasoco and I am the assistant director for the Cornell Commitment, which includes The Cornell Tradition, The Hunter R. Rawlings III Cornell Presidential Research Scholars and The Meinig Family Cornell National Scholars. I advise and work with almost 900 students across all departments at Cornell. Like many staff members, I believe our vibrant student body is what keeps me coming back to work each day – the students here never cease to amaze me! 

I first attended an Employee Assembly (EA) meeting at the invitation of a friend on the EA. I decided to join the EA because I wanted to take an active role in the community I have been a part of for almost 11 years. As staff members, we are integral to the daily functioning of a multi-billion dollar research institution. Because of our contribution to the university, I believe we also have a responsibility to take part in the shared governance structure at Cornell. 

Through the EA, I sit on the Campus Welfare and Campus Infrastructure Committees. Committees are where a lot of “real work” for the assemblies gets done. The initial research on issues is generated in committee before a recommendation is passed up to the whole assembly. The committees are staffed by representatives of all constituencies of the Cornell community, including faculty and students.

My committee participation led to my involvement in campus-wide policies regarding transportation and diversity and inclusion. Committee members may not always share the same opinions, but it has been an eye-opening experience to learn about all the different viewpoints on campus. By working with the other constituent assemblies, I truly believe we can make an impact on this campus.
 
It is an interesting time to be on the EA. With the presidential search in progress, I am looking forward to seeing who will lead Cornell at a time when higher education is fundamentally changing. Many staff members have certainly felt this change, and I believe the EA is a great vehicle for members of the staff community to lead the conversation on what Cornell will look like in the future.

Consider being part of that conversation by joining the EA today or serving on one of its committees. More information on participating in shared governance at Cornell can be found at http://assembly.cornell.edu/EA/Home