The Brandeis Student Union plays a huge role in the school functions and activities that make Brandeis special. They plan events, charter and allocate funds for clubs, and connect the administration with the student body. Much of what the Student Union does is behind-the-scenes work, but their efforts directly and openly affect the student body. The aspects of Brandeis in which the student union most heavily participates, such as the funding of clubs and the planning of student events, are an essential part of what makes the Brandeis experience unique. Lorenzo Finamore ’18, senator at large for the Student Union, spoke about the experience of participating in the Student Union.
Last year, Finamore served as the North Quad Senator. When asked how his role as senator at large differs from that of North Quad Senator, he explained that he now “represents a broader constituency,” and can therefore act as the voice of far more Brandeis students. He also stated that his year of experience in the Student Union left him far more prepared for his position as the senator at large because it “takes a year understand where the school can improve.” According to Finamore, participating in Student Union facilitates a “very different perspective” on the inner workings of Brandeis. This change in perspective is extremely helpful in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of school events.
Last year, the Student Union worked on many important projects, such as the Turkey Shuttle, the shuttle service that transported students to and from the Logan Airport during Thanksgiving Break. They also organized the semesterly pre-finals Midnight Buffet, a beloved tradition that provides a break from studying in the form of food, friends and music.
This year, the Student Union has even more to offer Brandeis students. Finamore would like to convert the abandoned shed near East Quad into a student space. He wants to set up “a marketplace for students” with food or other goods that would function as an autonomous, student-run area. Finamore asserts that the presence of a student-run area on campus is important to the cohesive nature of the Brandeis community, and wants the abandoned building near East Quad to function as that space. Although the building currently belongs to the Waltham Historical Society, Finamore believes that Brandeis can “restore it in the process” of turning it into a student space.
Finamore’s committee is also “looking into making the club process more efficient for everyone involved.” For example, the Student Union plans on facilitating communication between similar clubs so that they can share resources and collaborate to plan events. Finamore also wants the Student Union to “collaborate more with clubs” to organize events such as the Midnight Buffet. Many Brandeis students consider club participation to be a central aspect of their Brandeis experience, so an improvement in the process of creating and funding clubs would likely be appreciated by the student body.
His favorite aspect of working with the Student Union is the “opportunity to change things, make the campus better, and represent others.” He enjoys “being able to have students ask for something,” and being able to honor their requests “in an institutional framework.” Student Union members cherish the opportunity to represent the student body. Their job is to make students heard, bridging the gap between students and the administration. They work hard to be as accurate and helpful of a voice as possible for Brandeis students, and their efforts are an important part of what makes the Brandeis experience unique.