Union candidates announced
Candidates are vying for the roles of president, vice president, junior representative to the Board of Trustees, junior representative to the Alumni Association, treasurer, secretary, members of the Finance Board, Member of the Finance Board for racial minority students and junior representative to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. The polls open April 2 and close April 5.Current Senator for Rosenthal Quad Philips Loh '11 and current Director of Community Advocacy Andy Hogan '11 are the two candidates for president. Loh has been the chair of the Diversity Committee, co-Chair of the Brandeis Operations Working Group and leader of the Student Support Services Program, which is a program designated to provide academic and professional guidance to students throughout their college careers. He has also been involved in Brandeis' environmental sustainability efforts, specifically in increasing the number of garbage cans, recycling bins and bicycle racks on campus as well as adding water tabs on the Usdan Student Center soda machines.
Loh said he aims to make the Student Union more accessible to students and more receptive to student voices. He also said he intends to implement programs that will provide clubs with greater sources of funding, such as the establishment of a grant that clubs and individual students can apply for in order to acquire funding for their projects.
"It is now time for the Union to work with the administration to uncap the Student Activity Fee and ensure clubs have sufficient funding," Loh said. He also plans to increase opportunities for students to act as leaders outside of the Student Union by giving passionate students access to higher-level administrators and staff that are usually only accessible to the Student Union senators.
"As president, I'll ensure that students know the Union is a student-run club and that anyone can come to the Student Union as a resource to get involved and better our campus," Loh wrote in an e-mail to the Justice.
Hogan said he has a wide range of experience spanning from Squash Club president to North Quad senator in 2008 and director of the Student Union Executive Board of Community Advocacy. Earlier this semester, Hogan implemented a cell phone reception amplifier in Lower Usdan and led a fundraiser in which the Student Union raised $2,000 in response to the burning down of a predominantly African American church in Springfield, Mass. early this semester.
Hogan said that he wants to foster financial partnerships between clubs in order to create a system of co-sponsorship for a club event. In this system, a club that lacks sufficient resources to fund an event can request another club to co-sponsor the event, thereby providing clubs with an additional outlet for funding as well increasing the number of events on campus. He also aims to give the student body a greater voice in the Student Union by including students in important decision-making processes such as the various budget cut committees that will be formed next year to reduce costs in all areas of Brandeis affairs. Hogan said he is committed to implementing the Clubs in Service Program and expanding it to ensure that all clubs add community service projects to their clubs
"Next year is going to be a defining year at Brandeis, and I am running because I know I will do a great job serving the Brandeis community," he said.
Current Senator for the Class of 2010 Amanda Hecker and Castle Senator Nathan Robinson '11 are the two candidates for vice president. Hecker, who served on the F-Board from 2007 to 2008, said, "I want to make it easier for students to voice their opinions in Union decisions." Hecker plans on instituting office hours for senators directly before their senate meetings and wants to get involved with the student side of the club chartering process. "If someone is going to put their heart and energy in creating an organization based on what they care about, I want to be there to make sure they succeed and that it gets approved," Hecker said.
In addition to being Castle senator, Robinson has been an attorney in a Union Judiciary trial. "I have been immersed in Union politics, and I feel that I am qualified to point out the strengths and weaknesses of the organization," Robinson wrote in an e-mail to the Justice.
Three candidates-Heddy Ben-Atar '11, Sahar Massachi '11 and Phillip Lu '11-are running for the position of junior representative to the Board of Trustees. Ben-Atar wrote in an e-mail to the Justice, "I will work with trustees to ensure the University continues to improve the undergraduate student experience." Ben-Atar is not including any specific issues to her platform because she recognizes that "general student opinion can change, and I'm ready to adapt to those changes in order to properly represent the student body," she said.
Massachi has been involved with the Brandeis Budget Cut Committee, a student-led committee formed to argue for transparency in budgetary issues that arise, Brandeis Votes, which was a Student Union-led initiative to increase voter registration, and the Committee on Ethics and Endowment and Responsibility as well as a founder of the blog Innermost Parts. According to his Web site, Massachi intends to organize an Alumni Union to provide Brandeis alumni with a formal outlet to voice their opinions. Lu could not be reached for comment.
Daniel Acheampong '11 is running unopposed for Student Union treasurer. Diana Aronin '11 and Esther Yi '11 are competing for the position of secretary. Akash Vadalia '12, Gabriel Weingrod-Nemzow '12, Julia Cohen '10 and Makensley Lordeus '11 are running for F-Board. Lisa Qi '11 is running unopposed for Member of the Finance Board for racial minority students. Competing for the position of representative to the Alumni Association are Jordan Kert '11, Samuel Fuchs '11 and Jourdan Cohen '11. Nicole Cordero '11 is running unopposed for junior representative to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.