The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Ankit Lulla, mechatronics and computer science junior

What is your Aggie story? 

I’m a first-generation Aggie. All of my extended family isn’t actually from the [United] States. I have family from India and Argentina and it’s really just my immediate family up in Dallas that I fall back on. I came to A&M a huge introvert. All through high school, I didn’t have too many friends. I didn’t get to talk to too many people. I felt like I didn’t really have the right to speak up. It was ridiculous. I felt so insecure about the way I talked, and what I had to say. Then I came to A&M discovering that this is a place where I can have a new image and Aggies are people that uphold values that are true and just and no matter where you come from, no matter what you believe in you have a right to speak up and be heard. August and September of freshman year were transformative. I turned from a kid who raised his hand in one classroom per week to someone that was always talking to people around me. 

What organizations are you involved with? 

I’m pretty involved with the Aggie Club of Engineers, the Tennis club, Class Councils serving as the Vice President of my class. I’m semi-involved with I triple E. I should go to more meetings. I’m also part of MENSA which isn’t really affiliated with A&M. 

Why are you running for student body president, and why do you think you’re qualified for this position? 

Last year, I ran for junior class president more out of a whim. It was through an email I got two weeks before the ballot came out asking if I’d be interested in running for class president. I looked at the email kind of unseriously and didn’t think much of it. I started looking into a little bit about what it means to be class president. I didn’t do my research, but I decided to toss my hat in the ring. The weekend before campaign season started I sat down for a few hours on a Friday night just by myself going through the 28th page of the election regulations document, and I started to realize I can achieve and do well for the community. Last year, with all that having happened, I didn’t know how to organize a campaign. I was just kind of thrown into it by myself. I lost by half a percent. My reasons for running this year are different than they were last year, slightly at least. That initial love was rekindled by the encouragement that was sent my way. It’s really multiplied. It’s grown exponentially. I’ve been able to impact people through Class Councils, Tennis club and [Aggie Club of Engineers]. I hope to bring my perspective and my “can do” attitude into the SBP. 

What is your campaign platform?

In addition to serving as vice president of my class, I used to serve as president of the Tennis Club and I enjoy serving as a leader in every aspect of my time at A&M. I think what makes me most special and makes me the most unique candidate of everyone running is my background. I went to an all-boys catholic school. My mom is Hindu. My dad is Buddhist. I grew up going to mass every week, going to temples, and this is passion and empathy has driven a lot of what I do. It’s not about being an authoritative leader as much as being an understanding one. I think I bring that to the table best. 

My acronym for "COMMIT" stands for communication and engagement, organization and support, maternity and campus safety, mental health and wellbeing, infrastructure and facilities and teaching and academic support. I hope to create a forum in which the Student Body President can communicate to student leaders across campus about to best represent them. Even though I have a very diverse background, I’m able to dip my toe and pool across different parts of campus that I’ve never been a part of. I want student leaders to reach out to me and be able to advocate and tell me what I should advocate to administration about.

Org matching I think is a huge issue on campus and even though I came to A&M with a “can do” attitude and meeting people, I never found my real sphere of people to hang out with. Tennis club wasn’t one that I stuck to until my sophomore year and Class Councils until my third year of college. I would like to instill a better organization matching system for students to find their Aggie homes.

For maternity and campus safety, this one is sort of a two-parter. I sat in the back of a [statistics] class and I met this really, really nice girl that told me about where she was from and we totally hit it off a few classes back and forth. Then the third or fourth time I saw her, she told me that she was an expecting mother. When she told me that, I didn’t know what to say. She’s a young, expecting Aggie mother, and she’s my age and I ddin’t know how best I could help her. I asked her “if I were to be SBP where would I start”? She said that making maternity parking spots across campus to better access to facilities and to be a little bit more mobile. Making more blue light stations and improve campus lighting to make Aggies feel a little bit more safe at night.

Mental health and wellbeing. I want to organize more campus initiatives. I want every Aggie to know we have a community that is willing to support you regardless of your mental state.

For infrastructure and facilities, this one harped on a project that came up a few years ago that’s called the Period Project. It’s been headed by a lot of senators and essentially it’s about partnering with Student Health Services to subsidize menstrual products across campus and make them free for Aggies who need them. For education, it has to do with fixing the registration system. I hope to advocate some of that discomfort to administration to see what we can do about that as well as organizing textbook drives. 

Why do you think students should vote for you? 

It’s because of who I am more than who I represent. I think I can be a friend to every Aggie. I hope to live my life that way, and that’s the primary reason why you should vote for me. 

Campus slogan

Commit to Ankit. 

If you could hang out with any former student, who would it be and why? 

He was the president of the Aggie Club of Engineers last year. He and I got to sit down once or twice together and I only got to talk to him one on one for an hour, but that conversation was phenomenal and I would love to sit down with him again.

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