To his colleagues in the Plattsburgh State Student Association, Sapoonjyoti “Sapoon” Duttaduwarah, a junior computer science and economics major and SA Executive Vice President, is not just another student legislator, but a valuable source of excitement and intelligence for the organization as well.
“He’s fun to work with,” said SA Associate Justice Kyle Chapman, who spent time working alongside Duttaduwarah on the SA’s Executive Council last semester. “That is a big benefit when we spend so much time in the office.”
Although being a member of the SA is a testament to his leadership skills on his resume, Duttaduwarah said that’s not the reason he decided to join the SA.
“I do it for the student involvement,” he said.
Some of his goals for the SA this semester include increasing student participation for both on- and off-campus students and to recruit a dozen new members for the SA’s legislative review board.
“I want (the SA) to be more about what students think,” Duttaduwarah said.
In the eyes of his peers in the SA, Duttaduwarah takes a unique stance on many of the issues that arise. His ability to state his opinion, make it known and stand behind it is respected by other SA members.
“He always has another perspective to offer me, and he’s not afraid to say whatever is on his mind,” said SA Vice President of Finance Jessica Rappaport. In a nod to his easy-going nature, Rappaport added, “He always makes me laugh.”
Duttaduwarah said the two make a good team and work well together on SA business.
“We share common interests,” he said, “and we keep each other motivated.”
Aside from the SA, Duttaduwarah enjoys being involved in other organizations on campus. He is a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, as well as the Model United Nations club, which Duttaduwarah said is a source of pride for him.
“My biggest accomplishment would be SUNY Model UN being ranked in the top 50,” Duttaduwarah said.
When the SUNY Model UN won its competition at Cornell University and secured not one, but two victories in competitions at Penn State University, Duttaduwarah said those triumphs are some his proudest moments as a PSUC student.
Though he is heavily engaged in student politics, Duttaduwarah said he draws inspiration from a unique place — professional sports. Sir Alex Chapman, a Scotsman who formerly managed the European football club Manchester United and is regarded by some as the most respected manager of all time, is Duttaduwarah’s biggest influence.
Chapman retired from managing the club in 2013 as the longest standing manager of Manchester United in the history of the team.
Duttaduwarah said he draws inspiration not only from European football, but from American football as well. A year ago, Duttaduwarah said, he knew nothing about the sport, but as of now, he considers himself highly knowledgeable about the game.
“All of my inspirations have come through sports,” Duttaduwarah said.
As far as the SA, Duttaduwarah said Chief Justice Adam Saccardi has been both an inspiration and role model. Duttaduwarah said Saccardi possesses all the qualities of a skilled leader, pointing out Saccardi’s ability to keep a “calm head” in tense situations.
“He knows how to push ideas forward,” Duttaduwarah said.
Duttaduwarah went to high school at Pathways World School in India, where he completed all of his courses at the International Baccalaureate level, but enjoyed studying economics best of all.
After college, he hopes to attend graduate school at Columbia University, where he wants to study conflict resolution and international relations.
Email Thomas Marble at firstname.lastname@example.org