Union fills nine empty election seats in winter elections


January 31, 2020

The Student Union filled nine seats in the Winter 2020 elections. A total of 503 students voted in the election.

One of two candidates running for the position of Midyear Senator, Michelle Kleytman ’23, won the position with 35 votes. 

Kleytman said her main priority as Midyear Senator is to give a voice to the midyear students to ensure an equal amount of representation as the other classes. 

“I know what it means to represent a diverse body and encapsulate their views,” said Kleytman in an interview with The Brandeis Hoot. Kleytman has worked in civil service on the local, state and federal level. Kleytman has also held the position as campaign coordinator for Josh Becker in his campaign for state senator. 

“I think that this is even more personal than [the] local [level of government] because this is where change really happens. If I can be as available as possible to the midyear class, then that’s when most of the change is going to occur.” 

One of six candidates running for the Judiciary Board Associate Justice, Sophia Reiss ’23, has won the position with 116 votes and just over 23 percent of the votes.  

“I am passionate about working to make the world a fairer place and I’ve had experience in high school on a similar council,” Reiss wrote in an email to The Hoot.

Reiss was a member of the Disciplinary Council in high school which advised the administration on rule infractions and appropriate disciplinary actions. She said that the council gave her the opportunity to learn how to work collaboratively to find creative resolutions to disputes. According to Reiss, she is actively involved in Hillel, Masorti, the conservative minyan and the Brandeis Women’s Football Club.

Jasmyne Jean-Remy ’22 won the Racial Minority Senator position with 121 votes and over 66 percent of the votes, running unopposed. 

In an interview with The Hoot, Jean-Remy said that she wants to focus on “being a voice for the clubs which represent minority groups on campus,” saying that she “[understands] how hard it is to get money from A Board and approval for events” and that she wants to make that easier for them. 

She also said that she wants to place an emphasis on minority STEM students because, she says, as a STEM student herself, she understands “how alienating it is to be one of the few people who are like you in the class.” She said that she wants to “bring the community together to make it easier.” 

Jean-Remy has not had any experience in student government, though she is a Posse Scholar, which is given to students with leadership potential in their communities. In light of her victory she told The Hoot that she “will do everything she can to make minorities feel at home on campus.”

Aria Pradhan ’21 ran unopposed for the Allocations Board Member for Racial Minority Students. Pradhan received 115 of the 181 votes, or 63.54 percent of the votes. 

The two winners of the Allocations Board Member three-semester seat are Sonali Anderson ’22 and Ryan Pyatesky ’22, running uncontested. Anderson received 210 of the 525 votes, or exactly 40 percent of the votes, whereas Pyatesky received 172 of the votes, or over 32 percent. 

The Hoot reached out to Anderson and Pyatesky, but they did not respond.  

One of the three candidates for the Class of 2023 Senator, Oona Wood ‘23, was elected with 71 of the 212 votes. 

Wood said as 2023 Class Senator, she is aiming to create platforms “where the three largest minority groups on campus can be highlighted at a very Jewish school.” She wants to organize three events on campus partnering with the Chinese Cultural Connection, SAS and the Muslim Student Association. 

Wood said that she’s proven that she’s willing to work for things that she and others want, citing the process of founding the Model United Nations Club on Campus. She had experience as the Secretary General and founder of the Model UN Club at her high school and she served as a prefect in her school’s student government. At Brandeis, Wood had been the Social Justice Coordinator for Brandeis Reform Chavurah and she is an asylum representative for The Right to Immigration Institute (TRII).

In light of her victory, Wood thanked the student body “for entrusting [her] with this honor.”

Two of the five candidates won the two Allocations Board one year seats, Mariya Teslya ’22 and Yonah Schafner ’22. Schafner won the race with 144 votes, followed by Teslya with 98 votes. 

The Hoot reached out to Teslya for an interview, however she was unable to attend her interview due to scheduling conflicts. Schafner was also reached out to for an interview, but he did not respond.  

The winner of The Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program Senator is Erick Comas Hernandez ’23, he ran unopposed. Hernandez received both votes casted. 

Hernandez said that he was running on a platform of getting “better quality toilet paper on campus.” He said that he was running for three reasons—no one else in the program was running, he was interested in learning how the Union works and he wanted to do a better job than his predecessor. Hernandez wants to give more opportunities to the people he’s representing to allow them to get more involved.  

Hernadez has had experience working with Young Voices, which he said is a program for youth advocacy. Through this program he was able to help with fundraising as well as work to combat gun violence. 

In light of his victory, he said he “[looks] forward to bringing more inclusion and diversity to the Student Union.”

Senator for the Class of 2022 Senator position was won by Joshua Feld ’22, who ran uncontested, with 107 votes.

As Senator for the Class of 2022, Feld wants to focus on the issues with dining, facilities housing and transfer credits. He said that he wants to address the concerns of sophomores with their housing experiences.

Feld has had leadership positions as the Non-Senate Co-Chair of the Student Union Dining Committee and the Co-Chair of the Logistics Committee of Relay for Life on campus. He is also currently employed by the New York State Department of Education as a teacher’s assistant in special education classrooms. Feld is looking forward to working with everybody, and wants the class of 2022 to feel free to reach out to him at any time.

One of two candidates running for the Senator at Large seat, Alex Park ’22, won the position. Park received 165 votes and over 32 percent of the total vote, beating out Denezia Fahie ’22, who received 158 votes and over 31 percent of the total vote.

The Hoot reached out to Park for an interview, but there was no response.

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