A Union divided

In light of the recent judiciary case against Student Union President Simran Tatuskar ’21, we, The Brandeis Hoot editorial board, would like to encourage the Student Union to focus more on building and improving community instead of focusing energy on interpersonal conflicts within the Union. 

We would like to note that this is our tenth call to action to the Student Union in four years.

The Hoot has previously called for the Union to become more active and be more effective in carrying out the student body’s wishes. We sound like a broken record. And all we want is for the Student Union to do its job.

Early in the semester, students are elected into positions in the Student Union after promises of better quality food, pianos in the common areas and most importantly, more transparency than the last person who held the position. When accepting these leadership roles on campus, these students are setting an example for the student body and are representative of the best that Brandeis has to offer. But when this role is treated as a personal privilege rather than an elected responsibility and internal conflict becomes a concern of the student body, that goal is compromised. We believe that the interests of the Student Union, as a whole, need to be prioritized over the interpersonal issues between Union members.

The previously mentioned judiciary complaint that Student Union Vice President Guillermo Caballero ’20 and Senior Representative to the Board of Trustees Zosia Busé ’20 filed against Tatuskar is only the latest in a series of internal Student Union clashes that have done nothing but restrict progress and disrupt the community. From The Hoot’s perspective, parts of the Union are more preoccupied by their own drama and personal problems than working toward solutions for the student body. 

The Student Union purports to be an organization that promotes “a safe, engaging, innovative, and equitable environment at Brandeis, while creating policies and initiatives meant to build community and improve everyone’s quality of life on and around our campus,” according to the Student Union website. Instead of building up the community, however, tensions within the Union have forced students to either pick sides or watch their representatives spend more time working out their own problems than those facing the community. In this case, however, many students didn’t even have the option to watch these events unfold as some members of the press, senators and members of the judiciary had to cram into the Student Union office to hear a few officials parse through their problems. 

Members of the Student Union must understand what it takes to be a part of an effective team; specifically, realizing that teammates are meant to build each other up, not tear each other down. With that in mind, petty drama should be set aside, and members of the Union should be able to reinstate the ambitions and intentions of the Student Union. 

Considering that Union members are elected in the good faith of the student body based on each members’ campaign promises, the Union should be more cohesive in order to fulfill the promises that they have made. The student body wants to see change enacted by the Union regarding issues such as transparency from administration, diversity and accessibility, but the latest news from the Union is in-fighting. While we acknowledge there are members of the Student Union working on initiatives to improve student life, as a whole, the Union currently seems to be all talk and no action.

Editor’s Note: Layout Editor Sabrina Chow is the non-Senate co-chair of the Senate Sustainability Committee in the Student Union and did not contribute to this editorial.

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