Students were elected to fill 10 seats in the Student Union last week. The midyear election is held to fill vacant seats and select a senator to represent the new midyear class.
Open positions included senator seats to Massell, Rosenthal and Ziv Quads and the position of Off-Campus Senator, as well as senator seats for the classes of 2016, 2017 and 2018 and four positions on the Allocations Board.
Cacildia Cain ’18 was elected Class of 2018 Senator and plans to focus on sustainability issues, something she is passionate about, as a member of the Union. Cain was elected to the position after former senator Skye Golan ’18 transferred to a different school.
“I am often frustrated with environmental issues and sustainability not receiving enough attention at Brandeis and focus from the administration,” said Cain in an email to The Brandeis Hoot.
Issues she wants to take on include “addressing climate change by taking part in the fossil fuel divestment movement, advocating for energy saving habits amongst students and supporting renewable energy projects on campus,” she said.
Stephanie Reifenberg ’16, the new Class of 2016 senator, is also interested in sustainability issues. She worked with the Senate Sustainability Committee as the Student Representative to the Brandeis Sustainability Fund (BSF) last semester, according to a Facebook page advertising her candidacy in this most recent election. BSF provides grants to students for sustainability projects at Brandeis.
Morris Nadjar ’19, elected Massell Quad senator, has goals he wants to achieve within the quad he serves. Improving bathroom standards, especially the showers, is one of Nadjar’s objectives. Nadjar ran to represent Massell because he wants what is best for his peers and believes it is important to represent first years fairly.
The Rosenthal Quad senator position was open as well. Claudia Roldan ’18 ran for the position and won. However, Roldan took herself out of the race so the seat still remains vacant and will soon be filled in another election.
The new midyear class elected Vincent Lauffer ’19 as their senator. Although the Student Union announced the seat was vacant, Lauffer won with two out of five total votes. There were no candidates running in the midyear election and only five votes cast: two write-in votes for Vincent Lauffer, one write-in vote for Michael Maglio and two abstain votes, according to Student Union secretary, Shuying Liu.
Abstain signifies the voter believes no candidate is qualified for the position and is different from not voting at all. For “abstain” to win, it has to be the majority vote and two out of five is not a majority.
Liu met with Lauffer to discuss what his responsibilities as a senator would be and to help him determine if he wanted to take on the position, according to an email she sent to The Brandeis Hoot. Lauffer has accepted the position and believes he can be a reliable link between the midyear class and the Student Union.
Four new students were elected to the Allocations Board (A-board) in this election, which is a group of students that allocates funding to student clubs and organizations.
Students approved a constitutional amendment last semester which expands the number of seats on A-Board from five to nine. The amendment, proposed in response to student frustration related to the allocation process, guarantees that there are always students on the A-Board who have experience and are aware of the current allocations process.
There are now A-board positions with two and three semester terms. “The amendment opening up more A-Board positions will ultimately be very beneficial to the student body and clubs on campus. With a larger A-Board, we are able to represent a wider variety of interests and concerns of the student body,” said Emma Russell ’19, who was elected to a three-semester A-Board seat.
Russell decided to run for an A-Board position because she enjoyed working as the Non-Senate Chair of the Services and Outreach Committee, a Student Union committee that is responsible for programs such as the Midnight Buffet, throughout last semester. Russell said she wanted to find more ways to serve the campus and student body.
Xinyi Xu ’19, a new two-semester A-Board member ran for the position because she gets to know what’s happening on campus and can participate in activities that she is interested in.
Jiabei Wang ’18 was elected to the Racial Minority A-Board seat and XiaoRan Wang ’18 was elected as a two-semester A-Board member. Other positions filled in the election include Mitch Mankin ’16 as off campus senator, Gwenyth Fraser ’17 as Ziv Quad senator and Ryan Tracy ’17 as Class of 2017 senator.
Another election will be held to fill the seat of Rosenthal Quad Senator.