This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Questions &Answers

Published: September 30, 2004

David Brooks is a second-year student in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and student representative to the UB Council.

For those readers who are new to UB, what is the University Council?
The UB Council is the primary advisory and oversight body to the university, its president and senior officers. The council consists of 10 members, nine of whom are appointed by the governor of New York, and one student member, who is elected to an annual term by the UB student body. The council reviews all major plans and activities of the university. In addition, it has the responsibility of recommending candidates to serve as president of the university. A more detailed description of the roles and responsibilities of the council, as well as a listing of the council's members, can be found on the UB Council Web site at

What are your responsibilities as student representative to the council?
I represent the entire UB student body to the council, including both undergraduate and graduate students. A student voice is extremely important when reviewing the major plans and activities of the university. In addition to giving a report on behalf of the students to the council, I meet regularly with the administration to discuss student concerns.

Why do you want to represent the student body on the council?
As a Buffalo native and a UB student, I am committed to make UB the best it can be. This position affords me the opportunity to make a difference in our university. I am passionate about producing positive change at UB, so all students have an excellent experience here.

What issues/points of view do you plan to advance on the council?
Increasing student pride and student services are extremely important issues that I am working on. Our administration is very responsive to the needs of the students and I am communicating their concerns. One of the primary issues that undergraduate and graduate students brought to my attention concerns South Campus library hours. The Health Sciences Library is the library where many students in the health professions schools, along with students who live on and around South Campus, study. The library hours on South Campus were not as extensive as those on North Campus. In addition, the hours did not coincide with the academic calendar of the medical and dental students. Over the past two months, I have had meetings with library administrators in order to resolve this issue. I am very pleased that within the next several weeks, library hours on South Campus will be increased. Weekend hours will be more extensive, and the Health Sciences Library will be open longer hours during undergraduate breaks.

You're the first medical student in recent memory to serve on the council. How do you think that will impact on your service on the council?
The fact that I am in medical school has little influence on my activities on the council. However, many essential qualities that helped me get to where I am do impact my service. In order to achieve my goals on the council, attributes such as dedication and perseverance are an absolute necessity. In addition, I have been a college student for nearly seven years. I have much experience in dealing with student issues, as well as ideas for improvement. I also have seen what works and does not work at other universities, so I bring a different perspective to many issues.

There are some distinguished community members on the council. What's it like rubbing elbows with the elite of the Buffalo business community? Is it intimidating?
It is a great honor to work with the distinguished members of the council. They are very kind and easily approachable. They are very interested in student issues and truly want the best for the students. It is not intimidating, since the council members value our voice on the committee.

Tell me a little about yourself. Where are you from and where did you get your undergraduate degree? What area would you like to specialize in?
I grew up in Lake View, N.Y., and attended Frontier Central High School in Blasdell. In 2002, I received my B.S. in applied economics and management from Cornell University. After starting two successful online businesses, I realized that while business would be a promising career, it would not afford me a fulfilling lifestyle. I decided to pursue my goal of becoming a physician so that I can help people receive the best quality of health care. I am not sure what I will specialize in, but I know I will combine my skills in business and medical practice to produce change in the field of medicine. I see myself practicing, volunteering and working as an administrator in health care.

What question do you wish I had asked, and how would you have answered it?
How have you been involved directly with the students? In addition to managing a free medical clinic in Buffalo and running three organizations within the medical school, I have attended numerous other organizations on campus. In order to better understand student needs, I have participated in both undergraduate and graduate international, academic and service organizations. I also have met with student government leaders, including Student Association President Anthony Burgio and Graduate School Association President Xun Liu. The feedback I have received has helped me realize additional student issues that I will work to improve in the near future.