Nine senators chosen to fill vacant positions in campuswide election
On Thursday, Brandeis students voted of 16 seats and elected 12 senators and representatives, leaving four empty seats after the Student Union fall elections.
Luxi Wen and Skyler Golann were voted Class of 2018 senators, Lorenzo Finamore ’18 was voted North Quad senator, Millie Wu ’18 was voted Massell Quad senator, Mitchell Beers ’17 was voted East Quad senator, Nimisha Shinday ’17 was voted Rosenthal Quad senator, David Herbstritt ’17 was voted Castle senator, Lauren Phillips ’15 was voted Charles River/567 senator and Mary Michalos ’16 was voted off-campus senator.
Arianna Zelley ’18 won the position of Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program senator on a write-in ballot. However, since she is not a current member of the Transitional Year Program, she will be unable to fulfill the position. This position will be up for election again in the special election next week, said Student Union Secretary Charlotte Franco ’15 in an email to the Justice.
Annie Abrams ’17 and Stephanie Weinstein ’17 were voted Brandeis Sustainability Fund representatives and Mohamed Sidique ’15 was voted senior representative to the Board of Trustees.
The seats left vacant are the Village senator, Ridgewood senator, FosterMods senator, one Class of 2016 senator and the Transitional Year Program senator. These seats were left vacant because no candidates chose to run.
Herbstritt said in an interview with the Justice that the new senators seemed enthusiastic and were “ready to put in a lot effort.”
In an interview with the Justice, Phillips said that she feels the Charles River Apartments are “often neglected because it is technically off-campus but it is still part of Brandeis.”
Her goals as senator include bringing the community closer together as well as improving safety in the Charles River Apartments. She would like to host residence-wide events throughout the year as well as have the University put picnic tables in between buildings. She also would like to see additional street lamps and blue-light emergency stations installed on Angleside Road because she feels that they are not safe enough for the Brandeis students who use them to walk to campus or to places like Village Market and Cappy’s Pizza. Blue-light emergency stations are stations where Brandeis students can send a signal directly to University Police for help in the event of an emergency.
Herbstritt said his goals as senator include improving dining, promoting the arts, improving general conditions in the Castle and planning events to bring the Castle community closer together.
“The obvious hot button [issue] is dining,” said Herbstritt in an interview with the Justice. He added, “A lot of good people have already been putting a lot of work into it.” He also said students should contact him with any questions or concerns.
In an email to the Justice, Golann wrote that he hopes to work on three specific initiatives in his time as senator. He said he hopes to improve dining hall hours, specifically Usdan Student Center, make the campus more environmentally friendly through increased composting and put more furnishings in the first-year residential quads including cookware and sporting equipment. He also wrote that this is an incomplete list and he looks forward to hearing from his classmates and working to meet their needs.
Beers told the Justice in an interview that he wants to improve the conditions in East Quad. He plans to advocate for more water fountains and vending machines in Pomerantz Hall and Hassenfeld Hall. He said he feels there is a lot he could do to improve transparency between students and administration. Beers also said that over the summer he worked in facility services as an office assistant and understands the process of work orders, so he would like to push for outstanding work orders to be completed.
In an interview with the Justice Wen said, “Food is the first thing Sky [Golann] and I will improve at Brandeis.” She expressed plans to add more options to the menu to include international dishes because she said she feels this will help students learn about and experience each other’s cultures. Wen said in an interview with the Justice that cleanliness in the dining halls is also an issue that she hopes to focus on. She added that she is committed to making a difference and will be cooperative and responsible.
“There are two big issues—one is parking and transportation to the campus and the other is the references to off-campus housing, which I hope to change,” Michalos said in an interview with the Justice. Michalos’ plans include extending BranVan operating hours for students trying to make early morning classes, as well as extending stops for those living past Moody Street. Michalos also believes that Brandeis could do more to help students find suitable off-campus housing. She hopes to advocate for a program where Brandeis and Watch Factory Lofts can cooperate on student housing.
Finamore, Wu, Shinday, Abrams, Weinstein and Sidique did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
According to the Student Union Constitution, the secretary and elections commissioners will hold a special election next week to fill the vacant seats. Franco told the Justice in an email that there will be a mandatory candidates meeting for the open positions.