Candidate Statements for ASCIT Spring 2023 Elections

Candidate Statements for ASCIT Spring 2023 Elections
Page content

The voting period for the ASCIT Spring 2023 Elections closes at 11:59 PM on Monday, April 24th. You can vote here:

ASCIT President (1 Candidate)

Gabriella Twombly (Fleming CS ’24)

Hello all,

My name is Gabriella Twombly, but most of you might just know me as Twombly. I am running for the position of ASCIT President for the 2023-24 academic year. After serving as your ARC Chair and VP of Academic Affairs on ASCIT BoD this year, I know I have the experience necessary to hold the position and continue the progress of the individuals I would be succeeding. I will keep focusing on enhancing the experience of the Caltech student body both socially and academically. As one of the few juniors on ASCIT, I have worked closely with administration, IHC, faculty, and the other ASCIT positions, so I am confident I will be able to hit the ground running.

I have loved putting together events to help students take advantage of the opportunities Caltech has to offer as well as navigate their academic careers. ASCIT and the ARC have allowed me to do just that. Some of my goals would be:

Organizing social events: I have assisted in the organization of many of the events that ASCIT traditionally holds for the undergraduate community. These include the 2023 Student-Faculty Conference, ASCIT Formal, Student-Faculty Lunches, Pi Day, Midnight Donuts, and more. I am looking forward to implementing feedback from previous events, and I am already thinking of some new opportunities for student enjoyment outside of campus events.

Volunteering: I currently serve on the steering committee for the ASCIT girls mentoring program with the Caltech Y. I would love to continue working with these groups, and also bring in the clubs on campus, for more volunteer & mentorship opportunities. I’m hoping to sustain the work of our current BoD in hosting an annual charity opportunity as well.

Academic Support: I will collaborate with the new VP of Academic Affairs on providing academic support to students. This will include working to improve general wellness on campus, checking up on the suggestions made by this year’s SFC special topics, updating research opportunity listings, and generally making students aware of the resources available to them on campus.

Strengthening the bonds between student leadership: The ARC was able to re twombly.jpeg gain much of the structure lost during the pandemic and strengthen its bonds with representatives from different offices and committees. I would like to carry this on through ASCIT, inside and outside of the board.

Being approachable and transparent: I will continue to be a friendly presence in the Caltech community and act as a resource for any students with any questions or concerns. Just as I did on ARC, I will host office hours (virtual/in-person), communicate student concerns clearly, continue providing public minutes, attend house dinners, and be transparent with ASCIT projects and decisions.

I would be honored to serve as your ASCIT President, and I am excited about the possibility to continue working with the rest of Caltech’s leadership to provide the best resources, communication, and opportunities possible for the Caltech community. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me through my email (, messenger, or discord (Twombly#9245).

V.P of Academic Affairs / ARC Chair (1 Canidate)

Alex Burr (Venerable Bi ’24)

TLDR: Hi! I’m Alex and I am running for the position of ARC Chair. I have been ARC Secretary for the past year and want to continue working on your behalf to improve academics at Caltech. If elected, my main goals are to improve student experience in the core curriculum, strengthen academic and career advising on campus, help rebuild student-faculty relationships, and most importantly be your advocate to faculty and admin for everything related to academics and research.

Hello! I’m Alex Burr, a junior in Venerable majoring in biology. I am your current ARC Secretary and a member of the Caltech Cross Country and Track & Field teams. I have served on the ARC as the Venerable House Rep and most recently as the ARC Secretary this past year. During this time, I have worked closely with the previous ARC Chair, the Center for Teaching Learning and Outreach (CTLO), various faculty members, and administration to improve the state of academics on campus. As a result, I know what it takes to work with groups outside the ARC to strengthen academics and research on campus and I am prepared to hit the ground running if elected as ARC Chair. Having been on the ARC for over a year and having worked closely with the current ARC Chair Twombly, I am familiar with the requirements and expectations of the position and would be honored to continue serving you on the ARC. I am excited about the chance to continue and expand our initiatives to provide the best resources, advice, and opportunities to everyone at Caltech.

During my time on the ARC, I have helped organize events for the undergraduate student body, generate resources for the Caltech community, bridge the gap in communication between faculty and students, coordinate the logistics of ARC programs, and much more. I have loved holding events and putting together resources to help students navigate their academic careers at Caltech and the ARC has given me a space to do that. Some projects and events I have had the pleasure of working on include:

Student Faculty Conference: Just this past Tuesday (April 18th 2023) was the biennial Student Faculty Conference, the first in-person SFC in four years. I worked with our current ARC Chair Twombly, the CTLO, the Deans, and other administrators to choose the special topics, select option committee chairs, coordinate the logistics of the event, and contributed to the COVID special topic committee presentation. I am committed to increasing communication between students and faculty to help rebuild the relationships that have been strained over the pandemic. I am excited to present the findings of the SFC with Twombly to the faculty board and will work to make sure that changes to the core curriculum and proposals put forth within each option not only get brought to the right administrators but also implemented.

Freshman Orientation and the ARC Frosh Guide: This past summer I had the pleasure of running the ARC subcommittee that puts together the ARC Frosh Guide, a 39-page document sent to frosh when they enter Caltech outlining the core curriculum, academic advising, logistics of registering for and switching classes, research opportunities on campus, how to get help when things get difficult, and much more. I also contributed to several events during freshman orientation about academics and research. I am very passionate about making sure incoming frosh have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about courses for themselves and am excited to help put together the next Frosh Guide this summer.

Ombuds Training: I have helped run ombuds training in coordination with the current ARC Chair Twombly and the CTLO. The ombuds program is one of the most effective forms of student faculty communication on campus. One of my goals if elected is to continue expanding this program into more classes to help resolve misconceptions and issues directly so both students and faculty can have a better experience in the course.

Connecting Students to Research/SURF: I have helped students find research opportunities, draft emails to faculty, and connect to resources about research and the SURF program. I hope to expand the resources available to students looking to get involved in research by working with the SFP office and the current SURF ambassadors.

ASCIT Teaching Awards: ASCIT Teaching Awards is an annual event run by the ARC to recognize exceptional teaching by professors and TAs. I helped run, organize, and photograph the event last year and would be thrilled to help run it again this year.

Option Advising: In the middle of third term, after frosh have selected their option but before everyone registers for fall term courses, the ARC hosts an option advising fair. I helped organize the event last year and am looking forward to running it again this year if elected. I assisted frosh and other students with choosing their courses, particularly the natural sciences majors, and offered advice and resources about scheduling graduation requirements such as intro labs, menu courses, and HSS classes. I hope to expand this program to every term next year in addition to increasing the number of ARC office hours so that students always have someone to go to for questions about courses.

Course Concerns: I have facilitated communication between students, TAs, and professors to resolve course concerns so that both students and faculty can focus on the content of the course rather than logistic barriers to education.

Website Updates and Accessibility: One of the longest projects I have worked on while on the ARC has been restructuring and updating our website ( in order to make it easier to find resources and advice for your specific questions. Our website now lists all of our events and programs throughout the year (Student Faculty Conference, student-faculty lunches, option advising, ASCIT Teaching Awards, etc.), general academic resources for registration, more specific academic resources (about menu courses, intro labs, pizza courses, and HSS requirements individually), resources to help students get involved with research on campus, a research list of open lab positions on campus, and much more! I hope to continue updating the website with all our events and resources so that current and future Caltech students can use it as the go-to convenient resource for all their academic and research related questions.

I have had the immense privilege of getting to organize these projects and events during my time on the ARC. If elected as ARC Chair I would not only continue with these programs but expand upon the current ARC initiatives to increase accessibility, flexibility, and student wellness on campus. Some proposals I would like to implement include:

Academic Advising: I want to use my experience not only on the ARC but also as a fellow student at Caltech to improve academic advising on campus. Centralizing frosh advising would help alleviate inconsistencies in what courses frosh are told to take, standardize what constitutes a reasonable overload, and increase both the speed and ease of getting questions about registration answered. Additionally, I hope to work with each option to publish guidelines on what within-option advising should look like, gather data on what advisees and advisors within each option need for their interactions to be as meaningful as possible, and make it easier for students to get their academic questions answered in a timely fashion.

Professional Mentoring: One of the greatest benefits of being a student at Caltech is the proximity to many extraordinary and brilliant faculty. I hope to work with the ARC and with each option to promote more mentoring about research, possible careers within the field, and how to get positions in industry.

Improve Student-Faculty Relationships: The pandemic exposed and created many issues. Student-faculty relationships in particular were strained over COVID, making courses more stressful and less engaging, enjoyable, and interesting for everyone involved. I hope to work with the ARC, with the CTLO, and with department administrators to repair these relationships so that learning and teaching is more enjoyable for everyone involved. I propose to do this in part by facilitating more non-academic student-faculty interactions such as department-wide formal dinners, speed-mentoring sessions, career talk lunches, student-faculty lunches, and student-faculty athletic games.

Being a Resource to Students: I hope to be an approachable, helpful, friendly resource on campus for all your academic and research related questions. I plan to hold office hours, promote ARC events and resources, and be transparent about all ARC projects. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out over email (, messenger, or discord (Alex.B#6458).

Hopefully I’ve been able to convince you that I am qualified for the role of ARC chair and am incredibly passionate about improving academics, research, and student wellness at Caltech. I would be honored to continue to serve you all as ARC Chair. Regardless of who you vote for, please make sure to vote in the ASCIT spring elections on Monday!

ASCIT Director of Operations (1 Candidate)

Ankita Nandi (Page/Avery MS/En ’24)

Hi! I’m Ankita, current junior and member of Page and Avery House majoring in Materials Science and English. I’m running to be Director of Operations to provide support for campus publications and clubs on campus. To give an example of my campus involvement, I’m a current reporter/columnist and former business manager for The California Tech and on the executive board of APIDA+. I’m also a Title IX advocate for Page/Avery and Orange Watch Coordinator for Page. Through these different commitments, I have an idea of the support clubs and publications need and aim to support the student body in this function as best I can. I’m always open to more suggestions on how to best serve the student body, I am always open to talking about what I plan to do as Director of Operations. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out via Messenger or by email at

ASCIT Treasurer (2 Candidates)

Jonathan Booker (Ricketts Ph/CS ’25)

For those who do not know me already, my name is Jonathan Booker; I am a sophomore in Ricketts studying Physics/CS, and I am running to be your next ASCIT Treasurer.

Over the past year, I have been serving on the Board of Directors as the ASCIT Secretary. During my time as ASCIT Secretary, I used my platform to make a lot of change happen that some said were impossible. I recovered many ASCIT/IHC records that have been thought to have been lost since before ethe pandemic. I worked with SIF and the Board of Directors to get over $14,000 of ASCIT equipment, including the new speaker system. Additionally, I worked with and assisted Winter, the current CRC Chair, to pass the amendment that reactivated the CRC. Over this term, I have served as the Business Manager of the California Tech and have worked with Ankita and Michael Gutierrez to create a system that automates menial tasks to bring back the Tech to publishing regularly and to paying its editors and writers.

This year alone, ASCIT was requested $600,000 in club funding when the entirely of our annual budget excluding endowment payout and other sources of conditional revenue. Additionally, increased restrictions and red tape have caused houses to pay more for events including interhouse parties. As ASCIT Treasurer I will make sure that houses and organizations have the funding that they need. At the end of this week, the members of ASCIT will vote on whether dues should be raised from $33 to $40 per term. This change will allow for more funding to be allocated towards these events. If houses and clubs are still not able to receive funding for their events and functions, I will continue and extend the current Treasurers’ efforts to personally work with each house and club to get the money that they need by reaching out funding sources within Caltech or by taking advantage of ASCIT’s 501(c)3 status to solicit donations from outside sources and alumni.

As ASCIT Treasurer, I want to make it to where Orange Watch (OW) members are paid with money instead of GrubHub credit. This will not only provide more incentives for more under graduates to join OW, but it will also allow the IHC and the OW Coordinator to be able to hold (OW) members accountable for not fulfilling their roles. My plan is to extend the system that I helped create to pay writers for the California Tech as their business manager by streamlining the process to onboard all members of ASCIT that provide services to the organization. This will make campus not just more fun, but safe as well. Additionally, I want to both continue the efforts of the current Board of Directors by working with the IHC and various alumni organizations to establish a network of alumni that will donate directly to undergraduate life. I will extend this effort by creating a direct and easy line for alumni to donate to various specific houses/organizations.

I have really enjoyed serving this school for the past year by having the opportunity to serve as ASCIT Secretary. I have done the best I could to make life easier, fairer, and less stressful for everyone involved in the Caltech community. I care about the students in this school and anyone who says otherwise is wrong. I feel like there is more work to be done. This needs to be crystal clear: everything that I have said in this statement and during my previous term in office has been true to the best of my ability and can be verified by the current members of the Board of Directors.

If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to say hello, I’m usually hanging out in the Ricketts Lounge, or you can reach out through Messenger or Discord Jbooker053#9278.

Purvi Sehgal (Lloyd CS ’25)

Hello everyone!

My name is Purvi Sehgal, and I am a sophomore CS major in Lloyd. I am running to be your ASCIT Treasurer for multiple reasons. Previously, as Caltech’s unaffiliated CRC Rep, MHF Committee member, and a member of Lloyd House’s Excomm (Lloyd Rep), I have enjoyed serving large groups of students and contributing to their betterment. In the process, I have built relationships with administration, which I will leverage as ASCIT Treasurer. Thus, one of my first action items is working with admin to get reimbursements processed more easily and faster.

In the past years, we have had more funds than what was spent. Therefore, this year, I will spend more of our funds by supporting more student clubs and groups and providing greater professional development opportunities such as hybrid/in-person career fairs. In my opinion, deciding how to spend extra funds should be an open process with your input being factored into the decisions, so I will conduct surveys for suggestions.

As Treasurer, I will also improve financial transparency & accountability by having transactions, spending, and other financial information made available to you. I will ensure that this system stays in place, even after I am no longer Treasurer. Lastly, I pledge to allocate money in a way that maximizes the student body’s benefit.

In short, as your Treasurer, my action items are to (1) streamline and speed up the reimbursement process, (2) spend extra ASCIT funds on student-run clubs/groups, professional opportunities, and events, (3) involve the student body when determining how to spend extra funds, (4) improve financial transparency/accountability, and (5) keep the finances healthy and implement budget balancing.

Please reach out to me at if you have any questions! Thank you, and don’t forget to vote Purvi Sehgal for ASCIT Treasurer!

ASCIT Social Director (1 Candidate)

Snigdha Saha (Ricketts CS ’24)

Hi everyone,

I’m Snigdha, and I am running to be your next ASCIT Social Director! Currently, I’m a full Skurve and a social Lloydie majoring in Computer Science and minoring in IDS. I am the current Food Committee Chair, an Admissions Ambassador, and a member of our Fluid Dynamics a cappella group, and of Caltech Dhamaka! You may have also seen me around campus organizing various events such as Diwali and Holi. This past year, I have also held an ASCIT Staff Position under the current Social Director (Matticus), and have been helping out with various events such as TechFest, alternate Interhouses, and the Multicultural Fashion Show!

Over the past few years, I’ve been able to pursue my passion for improving the quality of student life on campus. Here are some things I worked on:


  • Gather student feedback through campuswide QR codes and forms

  • Return of waited dinners, salad bar in the houses

  • Better vegan/vegetarian options (still a work in progress!)

Independent Events:

  • Revive Holi with APIDA+

  • Bring Diwali to the Olivewalk to make it a larger community event for undergrads

ASCIT (Staff Position with Matticus)

  • Building relationship with Tom and others

  • Seeing first hand the intricacies of ASCIT event organization

Through these experiences, I have learned how to develop and maintain relationships with campus authorities in a way that allows student voices to be heard and student lives to be enhanced. My primary goal as Social Director is to apply this skill on a higher level to be able to make the experience of being on campus more fun and exciting! Here are some more specific goals I will be pursuing as Social Director:

  1. Student Voices in Social Events: I firmly believe that all events are created and hosted for the students, and thus it is very important to ensure that student events are reflective of student opinions. I will pursue a feedback system to gauge campus interest at a regular cadence to thus allow students to express what kinds of events they would like to see on campus.

  2. Continuing Old Events: Over the last two years back on campus, ASCIT has done a fantastic job at bringing back pre-pandemic events and introducing new ones such as ASCIT Formal, TechFest, Winter Carnival, Halloween, Fashion Show, and so on. It is clear that these events are now an integral part of being a Caltech student and I plan to continue these traditions with the support of ASCIT.

  3. Maintaining the Little T - specifically Pasadena/LA Exploration: I know that a large portion of the student body does enjoy going out and exploring the LA area, including myself. However, I’ve also noticed that many students feel blocked by either the lack of a car or the lack of knowledge. Currently, we do have this guide within the Little T, which was revived this past year as an easily accessible online guide. I want to work with the new Director of Ops to continue and maintain the guide and the Little T. I truly want to better the experience of being a Caltech student, and I am certain the ability to take inexpensive, hassle-free breaks off campus will be a helpful addition to student life!

  4. New Events:

    a. Multicultural Food Fair: Given how diverse the student body is, I want to better represent all the cultures and backgrounds on campus. If there’s one thing all Caltech students tend to love, it’s free food! So, spinning off of the Multicultural Fashion Show, I am committed to hosting a diverse food fair with a mix of student-prepared food and outside vendors to introduce students to a wide variety of foods from across the world!

    b. Clash of the Classes: Caltech is built on the foundations of collaboration, and I want to extend this idea past the classroom through fun competition - the idea is to have mini-events throughout a certain period where classes compete with each other to collect points, and eventually the winning class will get some prize. I know Ricketts already does this to an extent and it’s been a huge success! This will be very low commitment from students too, and hopefully events they can do on the way to class or during study breaks - just a fun way to engage in campus activity.

    c. More widespread De-Stress Events: There are several de-stress events that happen around midterms and finals, but the student body is not always well-informed of them. An integral part of improving the student life is to improve mental health, and thus I want to focus on hosting more de-stress events and providing more awareness about the events that already happen!

As your next ASCIT Social Director, I am committed to creating events that are not only fun and exciting, but representative of the Caltech student body in its entirety. I know Caltech can be extremely difficult and stressful, and I want to do my part to help make college more fun. My favorite part of Caltech is the people, and I am so excited to be able to work with the new ASCIT BoD and all of you to have some great events and parties in the coming year. If you liked my ideas above, and/or have enjoyed my contributions to Caltech in the past few years, I would really love to have your vote. If you have any questions, comments, or thoughts, I am more than happy to receive a message on Facebook, Instagram, or email ( or even come find me in Ricketts!

Unaffiliated Board of Control Representative (1 Candidate)

Diego Barcenas (Dabney Ay ‘26)

Hello, my name is Diego Barcenas and I am running for unaffiliated BOC rep. The honor code is something that is very special and unique to Caltech, as it allows us to have take-home exams. As a BOC rep, I would do my best to help enforce the honor code to ensure that the tradition of the honor code continues.