Union to hold elections, debate

March 15, 2019

Candidates announced their plan to run for several seats including the President of the Student Union on Wednesday. The Student Union is holding a debate between the candidates on Monday, March 18 at 8 p.m. in Skyline Commons, which representatives from The Brandeis Hoot and the Justice are helping to plan.

The upcoming elections are expected to fill Union executive board positions, including the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and junior representative to the Board of Trustees positions. Voting will take place from 11:59 p.m. March 19 to 11:59 p.m. March 20. A second election will take place in April for seats on the Judiciary, Senate and Allocations Board.

Other positions open this election season include the representative to the Brandeis Sustainability Fund, the junior representative to the Board of Trustees and the junior representative to the Allocations board.

All candidates have posted biographies, available from the Student Union election announcement email sent on Thursday. No candidate has declared their intent to run for the junior representative to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, a vacant position.

Four students are running for president: Lizy Dabanka ’20, David Hui ’22, Oliver Price ’20 and Simran Tatuskar ’21. Two candidates, Guillermo Caballero ’20 and Trevor Filseth ’20, are running for vice president.

Dabanka has worked on the Student Union for the past two years, she wrote in her candidate biography, and wants to focus on accessibility, advocacy and accountability. Hui, a member of the Campus Operations Senate Committee, is currently the senator for North Quad and wants to focus on bringing the community together, he wrote in his candidate biography.  

Price, who serves as the Charles River senator in his second year at Brandeis, according to his candidate biography, wants to focus on sustainability and increasing awareness of the Community Emergency and Enhancement Fund (CEEF) and the BSF. Tatuskar is serving as the Student Union secretary and has served as the co-chair of the Health and Safety Committee. Tatuskar, who created her own Wix site (a free online website platform) wants to focus on communication, creating an STI clinic and integrating a representative from the Greek Awareness Council and the Brandeis Athletics in the executive board of the Union.

Caballero, who has worked with the Club Support Committee on the Union in the past, wants to focus on making the branches of the Union more cohesive, create a stronger relationship with the Prevention and Advocacy Resource Center (PARC) and support divestment and minority groups on campus. Filseth is the senator for the class of 2020 and is involved in the Campus Working group and Senate Sustainability Committee. He wants to focus on making transportation more accessible, streamlining funding for clubs and increasing communication between the Union and the student body.

Three candidates are running unopposed. Taylor Fu ’21 is running for secretary, Yona Steinman ’20 is running for treasurer and Gabi Burkholz ’21 is running for junior representative to the Alumni Board.

Fu hopes to foster communication between the Union and the student body. Steinman, who has served for three semesters as deputy treasurer, wants to make the treasury system simpler and efficient. Burkholz hopes to foster connections between students and alumni, according to her candidate biography.

Three candidates, Zoë Fort ’21, Jake Rong ’21 and Nakul Srinivas ’21 are running for junior representative for the Board of Trustees.

Fort, the union diversity and inclusion officer, wants to “share our collective concerns, passions and dreams with the board of trustees,” she wrote in her candidate biography. Rong, who is the Village senator and Rules Committee chair, has served on the Union since his first year at Brandeis, wants to create more opportunities for trustees to meet with students, allow further transparency from the executive board and represent students in President Ron Liebowitz’s “Framework for Our Future,” a three point plan to improve Brandeis.

Srinivas is the class of 2021 senator and has served on the Social Justice and Diversity Committee. He hopes to advocate for students rights, affordability, accessibility and diversity.

In the race for Representative to the Brandeis Sustainability Fund (BSF), Ian Duffield ’22, Isaiah Freedman ’20, Zhenmao Sheng ’22 and Ben Silver ’20 are all running.

If he wins, Duffield wants to encourage more applications for project grants and serve as a resource for students desiring to use the BSF. Freedman hopes to improve sustainable actions at Brandeis and fund projects to help the Brandeis community. Sheng hopes to support sustainability at Brandeis and in Waltham. Silver hopes to advocate for funding and support students projects utilizing the BSF.

Campaigning began after Tuesday at midnight and will continue until the elections are held on March 20.

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