Union polls open for elections
Polls open today for Student Union elections. The posts of president, vice president, treasurer, secretary, and junior representative to the Board of Trustees are all open for election. Members of the Student Union Finance Board will also be up for election. This is the first election that will take place after the constitutional amendment to implement instant runoff voting, which will eliminate the need for students to vote in multiple rounds of student voting by utilizing a ranking system that requires students to vote only once in the elections.
Daniel Acheampong '11, J.V. Souffrant '13, Matt Kriegsman '11 and Sahar Massachi '11 are the candidates for Student Union president.
Andy Hogan '11, the incumbent president, has decided not to run for re-election.
In an e-mail to the Justice, Hogan explained, "I decided not to run because I wanted to dedicate my time to other things in my life next year," such as applying to law school and working on a thesis.
Acheampong, the current Union Treasurer, defined the student body in an interview with the Justice as the "backbone of the University" and explained that one of his goals as president will be "to form a committee of students and administrators to work together on the renovation of [the Charles River Apartments]," as well as the Usen Castle.
Kriegsman, in an interview with the Justice, said, "I want to leave Brandeis knowing that I changed something."
He plans to make the Union more approachable and deal with campus overcrowding, Usen Castle renovations and connecting students with administrators.
Souffrant is running to improve the relationship between the Student Union and the students, focusing on academic mentorship, BranVan use and improving the use of facilities.
He explained in an interview with the Justice that "one of the first things" he would like to do as President is to "talk to Facilities [Services], see if they need anything from administrators, [and] tell the administrators what the . needs" are within facilities services.
Massachi, who previously served on the Constitutional Review Committee, is campaigning to make issues within the Union more transparent.
Senator for the Class of 2012 and Massachi-supporter Abby Kulawitz said in an interview with the Justice that Massachi hopes to "increase communication between administrators students and the Union."
In an e-mail to the Justice, Massachi wrote, "I've fallen in love with the idea of Brandeis, and I've dedicated myself to pushing it toward its ideals. We are a school explicitly founded to fight against discrimination and bigotry, and to this day we talk about our strong commitment to social justice."
Shirel Guez '12 and Senator for Ziv Quad Ryan Fanning '11 are running for vice president.
"I'm frustrated and disappointed with a lot of things at Brandeis," explained Guez in an e-mail to the Justice, also citing "unhealthy" dining halls, a lack of school spirit and overcrowding in dining halls as reasons for her frustration and disappointment. Fanning could not be reached for comment by press time.
David Fisch '13, Sophie Riese '11 and Herbie Rosen '12 are campaigning for the position of secretary.
Rosen, a 2010 orientation coordinator, defined the secretary position as "one of the links between the Student Union and student body" in an interview with the Justice.
Running for the junior representative to the Board of Trustees are Nipun Mawaha '12, a former Union senator; Supreetha Gubbala '12, former Student Union Director of Academic Affairs; and Marla Merchut '12, a member of the Presidential Search Committee.
"The main responsibility of this position is to bring a student's perspective to issues that come to the board," Merchut wrote in an e-mail to the Justice.
Like other candidates running for office during this election season, Merchut has chosen to utilize social media in her campaigning. She said that she understands that students "are very available to mediums such as Facebook and Youtube for a campaign."
Other students running for office are Akash Vadalia '12, member of the Finance Board who is running for treasurer.
Savannah Pearlman '12 is running for representative to the Alumni Association.
Students running for membership to the F-Board include Paul Sukijthamapan '13, Eitan Mosenkis '13, Gabriel Weingrod Nemzow '12, Sidak Pannu '12, Jessica Preis '13 and Makensley Lordeus '11.
Currently, the F-Board is staffed by seven student members, including the member for racial minority students.
Students running for the member of the F-Board for racial minority students include Adhip Sacheti '13 and Bo-Reum Lee '13.
In his e-mail to the Justice, Andy Hogan wrote that "Although all of the candidates certainly have merit, I feel that Daniel Acheampong, the current Treasurer, has the connections, experience, and motivation necessary to successfully continue the initiatives that we started and bring the Student Union to higher levels."
-Clare Churchill-Seder and Alana Abramson contributed reporting.