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Students run for Union Vice President and junior representative. to the Board of Trustees

By Emily Smith and Celia Young

Section: News

March 16, 2018

Vice President
Aaron Finkel
Finkel ’20 is a Senator-at-Large, as well as the Executive Senator and the chair of the Services and Outreach committee. He was first elected to the Student Union as the Massell Quad Senator in Fall 2016 and served as chair of the Campus Operations Working Group (COW-G) last spring.

Finkel has expressed concerns about student life in the past, including the number of student clubs and student dissatisfaction with Brandeis social life. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard ‘there’s nothing going on that’s fun,’” Finkel told The Brandeis Hoot. Despite weekly “What’s Happening at Brandeis” emails from Director of Student Activities Stephanie Grimes, Finkel believes students are unaware of fun activities or don’t feel the events suit their needs.

Finkel hopes to work with the Senate’s Club Support Committee to improve the Union’s club chartering process. During past club votes, such as the Union’s decision not to charter the Jewish Feminist Association at Brandeis (JFAB), Finkel has argued that increasing number of clubs serve to divide the Brandeis community. “I want to make sure we are united … sometimes things can seem a little disconnected,” Finkel said.

The Union, he said, should be focused on “supporting existing clubs so that they put on successful events that are well attended and well advertised.” Finkel plans to support clubs and student life through partnerships with administrators and building community relations.

Benedikt Reynolds

Benedikt Reynolds ’19 plans to address unpaid student labor and build a culture of sustainability and community if elected as Student Union Vice President. Reynolds is the chair of the Senate Sustainability Committee and Class of 2019 Senator.

Reynolds has worked with the Department of Community Living (DCL) to create sustainability programs. During this year’s Midyear Orientation, the Sustainability committee collaborated with new students and DCL staff to encourage recycling and other sustainability-related practices like turning off lights and reducing waste. He is working on a Sustainability Ambassador program to offer students academic credit or a stipend for on-campus sustainability projects.

Reynolds hopes to address student positions with BEMCO and SSIS, services he feels are essential to the university but do not pay their employees. Only students who can afford to work for free can participate and students who must take paid positions are denied important leadership opportunities, Reynolds argued. He plans to continue his work to create a framework for paying students involved in services like BEMCO and SSIS and open up these activities to students regardless of their financial standing.

Vidit Dhawan
Vidit Dhawan ’19 plans to talk with students in the Senate, Union and students at Brandeis to understand what the students want out of the next Union administration if elected vice president. Dhawan is the student senator for the class of 2019.

Dhawan has worked as a senator on a disability project to provide audio cues on crosswalks for blind students. A budget has been approved by the administration for his initiative, and the project is awaiting installation. Dhawan also works on the club support committee, which decides whether or not clubs are chartered, and is on the allocations board which allocates money to clubs.

Dhawan is the undergraduate representative to the undergraduate curriculum committee, which reviewed the new general education requirements that last year’s undergraduate committee decided on.

If elected, Dhawan hopes to increase student awareness of campus activities, and would contact club representatives to create a “priority list” for the student union’s future action. Dhawan’s main goal, if elected to the vice presidency, is to better address student needs.

Zosia Buse Junior Rep to the Board of Trustees

Zosia Buse ’20, director of the Office of Student Rights and Advocacy (OSRA), is running unopposed for the Junior Representative to the Board of Trustees. The position is a two-year commitment with junior representatives becoming senior representatives at the end of their first year. Students must be rising juniors to run for the position.

Buse hopes to raise issues of accessibility on campus and encourage student testimony in front of the Board of Trustees. She also hopes to improve access to the Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC), including addressing lack of communication between BCC administrators and the student body.

In her first year as Junior Representative, Buse would “create a more stable connection between the Board and the student body,” she explained in an interview with The Hoot. Though the trustees are only on campus for short periods of time, Buse hopes to create a meaningful relationship with them by introducing herself immediately and staying in contact with the trustees.

Buse is the Vice Chair of ’DEIS Impact.

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