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Rosen reviews year in office, looks ahead to Teach for America

On May 1, 2012

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


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