Herbstritt and Nunez compete for Student Union presidency
The Student Union met on Wednesday evening to discuss the positions available in the Union’s spring elections with potential candidates. The Union’s current president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, junior representative to the Board of Trustees, and representative to the Brandeis Sustainability Fund each spoke about their positions and answered questions about their work on the Union.
Student Union president Nyah Macklin ’16 began the meeting by recalling her time thus far on the Union’s executive board. “There’s a lot of work you’re going to be doing,” she said. As president, Macklin had to drop many of her other commitments, as she spends about 20 hours per week on the position. The Student Union president is responsible for meeting with administrators as “an advocate for student needs at all times” and “trying to be more inclusive of what voices you’re representing when making certain decisions,” Macklin explained. A president should be “someone who’s representing all of our students and not just their own personal voice.” This year’s presidential candidates are David Herbstritt ’17, the Student Union’s current vice president and an executive senator earlier this year; and Christian Nunez ’18, an active figure in the Ford Hall 2015 movement and member of the Ford Hall negotiations team.
Next, Herbstritt talked about his experience as vice president. “It’s a very organizational role,” he said. “The main function of being the vice president is being the president of the Senate.” The Union’s vice president organizes and runs Student Union Senate meetings and is also free to pursue their own initiatives — Herbstritt, for example, has been involved in making changes to Allocations Board, including a November amendment to the Student Union constitution expanding the size of the A-Board and a more recent amendment to the Allocations bylaws changing the marathon process. The Student Union’s current executive senator, Paul Sindberg ’18, is running for vice president unopposed.
Student Union secretary Shuying Liu ’16 explained that her position involves sending out a weekly email from the Student Union and overseeing access to the Romper Room and to the Student Union office.
The candidates for this position are Transitional Year Program Senator Gabriela Gonzalez Anavisca ’19 and Isaac Altman ’19.
After Liu, Nicole Lenchner ’16 spoke about her time as treasurer of the Student Union and the responsibilities involved in the job. The treasurer is in charge of the Student Union’s P-Card, meets weekly with University budget analyst Steve Costa and attends meetings of both the e-board and the A-Board. Ziyang Chen ’18, a member of this year’s A-Board, is running for treasurer unopposed.
Emily Conrad ’17, junior representative to the Board of Trustees, said that her position involves providing insight into student life, representing student views and sitting in on meetings of the Board of Trustees, which occur four times each year. According to Student Union policy, Conrad will continue on next year to replace Grady Ward ’16 as senior representative to the Board of Trustees. Will Jones ’18 is running for junior representative unopposed.
Matt Smetana ’17, chair of the Senate Sustainability Committee, spoke on behalf of current sustainability representative Stephanie Reifenberg ’16 about the duties of the sustainability representative, which mainly consist of “advertising the sustainability fund, getting student submissions for it, and serving on the board as one of the people who votes on these ideas.” Cacildia Cain ’18 is running unopposed to serve on the Brandeis Sustainability Fund.
Brooke Granovsky ’18, Jacob Edelman ’18 and Alec Hoyland ’18 are all running to serve on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
The meeting ended with an explanation from Liu on the campaigning process. Candidates’ campaigns began at midnight on the night of Wednesday, March 9 and will last until this Thursday. No money or paper may be used in campaigns. The Student Union will also hold a presidential debate this Wednesday.
Elections for all executive positions will be held this Thursday.