Jacob Edelman ’18 took office as Student Union president on Wednesday, May 3 during the annual State of the Union. The event also marked the end of David Herbstritt’s ’17 presidential term.

After updates and announcements from the heads of each of the Union’s branches, Herbstritt took the podium to bid farewell to his constituency.

“In low moments, the Union was there for me, and I doubled down on my obligations,” he said in his speech, a copy of which he provided to the Justice. “Over the years, I found myself spending nearly as many hours in the Union office upstairs as I did my own room. My colleagues became my friends, and my friends became like a second family,” he said.

Herbstritt also addressed Edelman during his remarks, adding, “You have a talent for spotting problems and a knack for coming up with solutions. You are a workhorse, and you speak in a way that is both subtle and booming. I am confident that you will be excellent, in the Union and beyond.”

After Herbstritt was given a round of applause and a musical send-off — to the tune of “You’ll Be Back” from “Hamilton” — Edelman took the podium to address the audience.

“Brandeis is a place that all of us on the Union love. But it isn’t perfect,” he acknowledged in his speech, a copy of which he provided to the Justice. “Over the next year, I will make it become the Union’s role to do more active work to bring the community together. It is our responsibility to do what we can. And doing is the core of how we will move forward. Taking action. Not just connecting words to problems, but connecting problems to solutions.”

Specifically, Edelman vowed to tackle Union diversity, reduce the practice of free student labor and promote a more transparent Union budget.

“Today, we [have] plans taking form that will help us know what direction to head in the coming months, and over the course of next year,” he concluded. “It will not be about moving one of the levers all of the way up, but all of the levers just a little bit. That is how we will steer the ship.”