Rosen reviews year in office, looks ahead to Teach for America
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 01:05
JustNews: What is your biggest achievement as Student Union president?
Herbie Rosen: For me, ’Deis Impact felt good. A festival of social justice partnered with the [International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life]; an entire initiative that I don’t think the Student Union had been involved with recently. … Getting students together to talk about this term that we get thrown at us way too often and starting a thing at Brandeis where at least students will take time, once a year, to really question what it means.
I think continually advocating to the administrators and staff about student concerns is the second. … I can rest easy knowing that as a president I was letting administrators know every time students were upset. … The fact that that email [about the dining review] went out a couple weeks ago, in my mind, that’s one of the greatest things we helped bring about.
Overall, the Student Union image will never be perfect—it should always be under criticism—but I feel that I and some others were able to leave feeling like we were close with the students, connected with the students, faculty and staff. … I leave feeling like I left the Student Union in a better place than I found it.
JN: What do you think your biggest weakness as Student Union president was?
HR: I walked in with no training as to how to be a president. … I walked in unsure which way to shoot, … I couldn’t wait to jump into everything, and in that, overextended myself and then had to pull myself back. … I ... sometimes missed the opportunity to delegate to my executive board.
JN: What do you hope [President-elect] Todd Kirkland ’13 does next year?
HR: I hope Todd is visible and connected to the student body. … That’s something I strived for as the Student Union president, and I think I did. … One thing I’d really like for him and the Union is that I [ask] them to think outside of the Student Union. … It was a balancing act as a Union president to try to do both [to be part of the student body and the Student Union]. … I am looking for more of an impact on the students, and I think Todd really needs to focus on that. His platform was very Union-structure heavy, which is good ... [He] needs to remember to be connected with the students.
JN: So what would your advice to Todd be?
HR: Remember that you’re for the students, not for the Union.
JN: What are you going to miss the most about Brandeis next year?
HR: Sherman [Dining Hall] when the time is right. Just kidding—the community, especially by the end of senior year. I can walk through campus and see at least four people I know from different corners and say “Hi.” … Here, it felt like I really mattered and that I knew that people are here together with a common mission.
JN: What are your plans for next year?
HR: I will be in New York City doing Teach for America, … I will be there for two years. I wanted to do something out of college where I was making a difference or at least impacting others. … It is a terrific cause. ... Law school is in the distant future, but right now I want to put my energy into something that really is a tremendous organization.
JN: In one sentence, what is your takeaway from Brandeis?
HR: I was free to be who I was, and that was cool.
JN: What advice would you give to those who aren’t graduating yet?
HR: Take it easy at first, and then go nuts, if you’d like. Remember there is stuff outside of Brandeis. Keep it real.
—Alana Abramson and Emily Kraus