Student Union Senate elects new executive senator and votes on the probationary status of multiple clubs
The Student Union Senate gave probationary status to two new clubs, denied probationary status to a third, elected a new executive senator, and heard a comment from a member of the public at its Feb. 26 meeting.
Jack Granahan ’23 and Parker Press ’26 from the Pickleball Club said that the group would provide a space and supplies for students interested in playing pickleball. The Senate voted by acclamation to give the Pickleball Club probationary status.
Ifigenia Oxyzolou ’26 presented on behalf of the Hellenic Students Association, which she said would give students an opportunity to participate in and learn about Greek culture. Oxyzolou said she wants her club to eventually be under the Intercultural Center’s umbrella. The Senate voted by acclamation to give the HSA probationary status.
Marco Qin ’24 and Shreya Ahuja ’25 presented the Blockchain Club, which Qin said is for educating students about blockchain and creating a welcoming space for those that are interested in the subject. According to the International Business Machines Corporation, blockchain is a type of digital ledger which businesses and individuals can use to securely keep track of transactions. Qin originally proposed the club last spring, but the Senate voted against it due to some senators’ concerns that it was not actively inclusive enough.
In their new presentation, Ahuja and Qin emphasized how they were attempting to recruit people other than men for their club. “[We are] actively using inclusive language in recruitment materials and reaching out to diverse groups on campus,” Qin said.
Sherry Tao ’25, chair of the Senate Club Support Committee, said that the Blockchain Club should focus more on longer-term projects rather than hosting only educational events. She also suggested that the club overemphasized food in its advertising for events. Tao said that this draws people in who are more interested in eating than blockchain. The Senate voted against giving probationary status to Blockchain Club.
Nicholas Kanan ’23, now the vice president after Lia Bergen’s ’25 resignation, gave a statement regarding a video that has been circulating around campus, which an anonymous student sent to the Justice. The video shows a former Student Union member, then a high schooler, waving an Israeli flag while repeatedly shouting “Nakba,” which refers to the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
The student in question resigned from their position as senator under pressure from the Union. Kanan said that the Union became aware of the video in December, but that administration discouraged the Union from taking action. “Though the actions were reprehensible and we do condemn them, action could not be taken at that time,” Kanan said.
Four senators — Eamonn Golden ’24, Erica Hwang ’25, James Brosgol ’25, and Tyler Hupart ’26 — ran for the executive senator position, which is internally elected by the senators. Each candidate had two minutes to make a statement, and the other senators were able to ask questions afterward. Senators voted anonymously on Slack, and Golden emerged as the winner.
Jack Napoleone ’24 presented an open letter at the meeting, which addressed to the University and contained a variety of demands. Napoleon asked the Union to consider signing the letter. Napoleone said he was representing “a number of progressive groups on campus,” and later clarified that this included the Brandeis Leftist Union, Graduate Student Union, Students for Justice in Palestine, Qeer and Trans People of Color Alliance, Intersectional Feminist Coalition, and the Nordic Skiing Team.
The letter included requests to support the dining workers union, limit student acceptance to housing capacity, create a Diversity. Equity, and Inclusion board, and disarmament of the Brandeis Police. Napoleone shared the document with the Union for their consideration.