State of the Student Union: Zosia Buse
Since I assumed this position in September, my goal for this year has been to learn the inner workings and nuances of the Board of Trustees. This is why the role was created to have two representatives, a junior and a senior. It takes an entire year to figure out the role and most importantly, establish relationships and mutual respect with Board members. Christian Nunez and I, along with our graduate student counterpart, Dusan, have worked incredibly hard to maintain and strengthen the Board’s perception of the student representatives, which is an integral part of the success of the role.
The majority of students are unaware what the Board is or what they do. The Board of Trustees are, in essence, the “powers that be” of the University, and they are responsible for being the final authority on all aspects of the University's operations. The specific functions of the Board of Trustees are reflected by the standing committees of the Board: Coordination, Academy, Risk Management & Audit, Resources, Institutional Advancement, Investment Nominating and Governance. I currently sit on the Academy committee and my colleague, Christian, serves on the Resources committee.
Meyer Koplow ’72, the chair of the Board, has been an incredible resource to us so far and is dedicated to addressing the issues affecting students. Christian and Wil, my predecessor, worked with Meyer and other Board members to improve mental health services at Brandeis. One of Christian’s favorite anecdotes to tell is the story of when he first brought up mental health in a plenary session. A board member turned around in his seat, looked at Christian and said, “I had absolutely no idea mental health was an issue on campus, I haven’t been on campus in 25 years.” This is one of the most important aspects of the student representative role — to inform Trustees of what is happening on campus. Starting in September, Zoë Fort and I will be sending a monthly report to the Trustees on student life. Moreover, I am currently undertaking an initiative to reevaluate meal-plan pricing, as well as establish a Trustee-Student engagement program that would bring Trustees to campus to audit classes, attend club meetings, have lunch with students and faculty, and more.
I am incredibly excited to have Zoë Fort joining the team as the incoming representative. I am excited and hopeful for all of the things we can accomplish next year. Learn more about the trustees here: brandeis.edu/trustees/