Student Union candidates form political party for the first time in over a decade
The Justice spoke to current Union members about the upcoming elections.
On Sept. 8, Student Union Secretary Ashna Kelkar ’24 announced the candidates for the upcoming fall election. Students will vote on Sept. 14 for senators, associate justices, and an allocations board representative.
For the first time in over a decade, multiple candidates for Student Union positions organized themselves into a political party known as “New Frontiers.” Seven candidates are running under this banner, two of which are running unopposed.
According to the party’s website, it supports “cooperative government and new leadership, hand-in-hand with, but not subservient to old.”
The last time a comparable block existed in the Student Union was in 2008-09. In that year, a popular student-run blog called “Innermost Parts” endorsed several candidates who began to refer to themselves as the “Progressive Party.” The Progressive Party ended the fall 2008 elections with a slight majority in the Senate, though short of the two-thirds majority required for passing resolutions at the time.
Even though the candidates had strong support from Innermost Parts, the creation of the Progressive Party movement polarized opinions between those who supported the Progressives’ goals and students that preferred to stay unaligned.
Despite this precedent for political parties, Union President Peyton Gillespie ’25 expressed concern with the creation of New Frontiers in a voice message to the Justice on Sept. 9. Even though he said he was happy to see students participating in student government, Gillespie said that he "doesn't think the formation of political parties is necessary since we’re such a small campus.” He added, “it’s best that the Union works together as a whole, united and not split up into political parties.”
Union Director of Communications Noah Risley ’24 said that though political parties are within the bounds of the Student Union constitution, they still have similar concerns, which they relayed to the Justice on Sept. 9. “I have not seen a single policy, it just seems like a group of people who want to get elected together.” Risley said that the point of the Union is for representatives to create new ideas to benefit their constituents. “I would still be opposed to the idea,” Risley said, “but I would find it much less problematic if they were unified around some policy goals rather than just running as some social club.”
Risley said they were more upset to see candidates for allocations board and the judiciary running in the party ticket, as those are supposed to be non-political roles.
The following are the candidates for the fall 2022 election cycle. New Frontiers Party candidates are labeled NFP.
Class of 2024
Sahil Muthuswami is running unopposed for the position of class of 2024 senator. In his candidate bio, Muthuswami said he prioritizes community engagement, such as the Midnight Buffet. Muthuswami was a senator during the 2021-22 academic year.
Class of 2025
James Brosgol is running for class of 2025 senator. Brosgol, who was a senator in the previous academic year, said in his candidate bio he would “serve with unwavering commitment to the truth and to integrity.”
Erica Hwang is running for class of 2025 senator. Hwang said in her candidate bio that if elected, she would work with Period Activists at ’Deis to make menstrual products more widely available on campus.
Andrew Zeiler is running for class of 2025 senator. In his candidate bio, Zeiler said his goals are to improve food quality, access to hygiene products, and “work on Brandeis’ commitment to climate.”
Class of 2026
Stephen Gaughan (NFP) is running for class of 2026 senator. In his candidate bio, Gaughan said he is not running to add the Union to his resumé, but because he “can get the job done.”
Koby Gottlieb is running for class of 2026 senator. If elected, Gottlieb plans to create a network to connect a student who feels unsafe traveling around campus or Waltham with someone who will walk them to their destination.
Tyler Hupart (NFP) is running for class of 2026 senator. In his bio, Hupart emphasized his belief that the diversity of the student body is the University’s greatest asset.
Bryan Jiang is running for class of 2026 senator. Jiang said in his bio that he plans to use his leadership experience to “[uplift] the voices of those in our brilliant class.”
Fiona Wang is running for class of 2026 senator. Wang said she plans on creating community-building events both within Brandeis and with surrounding universities.
Eve Begelman ’26 is running for North Quad senator. In her bio, Begelman said she wants to make North a “friendly and comfortable environment for all.”
Prateek Kanmadikar ’26 is running for North Quad senator. Kanmadikar said in his bio that he plans on using his leadership experience to “tackle the challenges” Brandeis faces.
Liam Spilker ’26 (NFP) is running for North Quad senator. In his candidate bio, Spilker did not list any experience or goals. Instead, he quoted from the Rick Astley song “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
Chana Thomas ’25 is running unopposed for the combined Skyline/Rosie senate seat. Thomas said she wants to be a resource for students who have questions about the campus.
Summer Coronesi ’26 is running for Massell Quad senator. Coronesi said in her bio that she looks forward to hearing ideas from students.
Chloe Doonan ’26 is running for Massell Quad senator. Doonan said in her bio that she would like to keep Massell’s bathrooms clean and the quad free of trash.
Joseph Heaney ’26 is running for Massell Quad senator. In his bio, Heaney said he plans on bringing better toilet paper to Massell.
Zachary Moskovits ’26 (NFP) is running for Massell Quad senator. Moskovits said in his bio that he believes many first-year representatives are unable to speak their minds due to older union members. “Unfortunately for the establishment, I don’t know how to shut my mouth,” Moskovits said.
Eamonn Golden ’26 is running unopposed for the combined Ziv/Ridgewood senate seat. Golden, who was chief justice of the Union Judiciary last year, said his goals for the quads are “threefold,” the first of which is to make menstrual products available in dorms without common bathrooms.
Kai Kibilko ’25 is running unopposed for the combined Village/567 South Street senate seat. Kibilko said in their bio that they want to increase transparency and “democratize the process by which decisions regarding the students are made.”
Charles River Apartments
Nicholas Kanan ’23 is running unopposed for senator for the Charles River Apartments. Kanan was the senator for 567 and Village last semester and said in his bio that he wants to improve the communication of transportation outages to residents of Charles River.
Kelly Lei ’24 is running unopposed for Off-Campus senator. Lei said she hopes to improve parking for off-campus students, clarify BranVan and shuttle routes, and create social media groups for students living near each other off-campus.
Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program
Jahkhi Waters ’26 (NFP) is running unopposed for MKTYP senator. Waters said in his bio that he is an “outspoken person,” and that he wants to give back to the University by becoming a representative of the Union.
Rachel Gao ’25 is running for Racial Minority Senator. Gao said in her bio she wants to “create a more inclusive student body and community.” Additionally, Gao said that she wants to have safe spaces accessible to various groups on campus.
Divam Gupta ’26 is running for Racial Minority Senator. Gupta said in his bio that he wants to serve as a “connection between minority students and the Brandeis administration.”
ALLOCATIONS BOARD REPRESENTATIVE
Cameron Sherman ’26 (NFP) is running unopposed for the position of allocations board representative. “I’m a big saver,” Sherman wrote in his candidate bio. “However, that doesn’t mean I don’t know when the right time is to spend.”
Farishta Ali ’24 is running for Associate Justice. Ali said in her bio that she hopes to uphold the student union constitution and “build a friendly environment amongst the Brandeis community.”
Alyssa Golden ’26 is running for Associate Justice. Golden said in her bio that she has “committed [herself] to improvement and advocacy.” Golden hopes to provide “accountability and transparency” to the Student Union.
Jenna Lewis ’26 is running for Associate Justice. Lewis said she would “hold individuals accountable for their past but [does] aim not simply to punish or deem what is ‘right.’”
Zachary Miller ’25 is running for Associate Justice. In his bio, Miller said that he believes his experiences in Mock Trial and as an intern in a civil court will help him effectively do the job of associate justice.
Maxwell Weiner ’26 (NFP) is running for Associate Justice. Weiner said in his bio that if elected, he would “consult with [his] fellow students to make important decisions.”