Why have there been so many Student Union elections?
Brandeis students constantly get emails about Student Union elections. Why are there so many and what do they accomplish?
The Brandeis Student Union is made up of five executive branches: the Executive Board, the Allocations Board, the Senate, the Treasury, and the Judiciary. The Student Union serves as the student government, as well as community organizers and student advocates. The students elected must follow the Undergraduate Constitution during the time they spend serving. The Bylaws define all Union operations and are carefully maintained by the Student Union Senate.
The Student Union plays a large role on the Brandeis campus, as they are the point of contact for community members with complaints and concerns. They are also in charge of club funding, which has a big impact on all students because it determines each club’s budget.
All Student Union positions are open for election annually. The Union is constitutionally required to hold four elections every academic year. These elections include one in the fall, one in the winter, and two in the spring. If not all positions are filled after each election, the Union is required to hold another election for all seats available within 15 days of the previous election. Holding extra elections ensures that the Student Union is complete, providing the community with a full student government.
“Usually, we have an info session two days before the candidate bios are sent to the student body. These sessions are led by the Chief of Elections, where all rules and questions are answered and discussed,” Student Union Secretary Carol Kornworcel ’26 told the Justice in an April 23 interview.
Once the biographies of all students running for positions are released to the student body over email, there is a week of campaigning before the ballot opens.
The biographies sent out by Student Union usually contain a photograph of the candidate and a short paragraph detailing what they hope to accomplish if they are chosen to serve a term in office.
This campaigning is often seen in the forms of social media marketing and in-person office hours, where students are invited to meet and talk with these potential student representatives.
Many students create Instagram pages to share personal information and campaign platforms in the hopes of connecting with voters.
“According to the most recent election report from the March Presidential election, about 36% of the Brandeis undergraduates voted in that election,” Student Union President Peyton Gillespie ’25 said.
The Student Union heavily relies on the involvement of students, as they are required to both run for and fill all positions as well as vote for the candidates that they support.
“I encourage anyone with ideas, concerns, or the like to run for Student Union — people running for office also ensures that we have less seats to fill and thus conduct less elections. I also encourage students to speak with candidates, read candidate bios, and vote for those candidates you believe to best represent your needs,” Gillespie said.