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Student Union Elections fill seats in the Union and Judiciary

Students were elected this week to fill five seats in the Student Union senate and five seats on the judiciary.

Nathan Greess ’19 and Shaquan McDowell ’18 were elected as Senators-at-Large. Greess received 38 percent of a total 782 votes and McDowell received 54 percent.

Greess, who is a Class of 2019 Senator this year, has worked to examine the university’s over 200 clubs to avoid duality of purpose and encourage collaborative events that would make the most of the Allocation Board’s limited funds. Next year will be McDowell’s first time serving on the Union, but he cited leadership experience as Secretary of Westlake Health Sciences Association and the Co-Founder of the Purple Party, a political youth organization. The Purple Party encourages young people to evaluate ideas based on merit, rather than which political party they come from, according to its website.

Christian Nuñez ’18 and Abhishek Kulkarni ’18 were elected Class of 2018 Senators. Elected with 87 votes—or 32 percent—Kulkarni is a Village Senator this year. He said he wants to organize or co-sponsor more campus events and collaborate with student governments at other schools. “Besides the Midnight Buffet, Turkey Shuttles and a few other union sponsored events, the student body has little visible reason to concern itself with the union at all. This is not to say the union does not do crucial work—only that this work is often considered to be lackluster.” Kulkarni also wants to ensure the Senate does not charter clubs with duplicate purposes that “drains [monetary] resources and spreads membership and participation thin,” he said in an email.

Nuñez, who has been involved with Ford Hall 2015 activism and the Brandeis Asian American Task Force, ran for President of the Student Union this year. He lost to current Vice President David Herbstritt ’17, but won his senatorial race by the largest margin of any candidate, with 204 votes or 74 percent of the total. There were 276 votes cast in this election, the most of any class senatorial race.

Nuñez plans to raise awareness for resources at the Rape Crisis Center and work towards having all students receive bystander intervention training. He also wants to increase dialogue concerning issues of mental health on campus and promote divestment, according to a Facebook page for his candidacy.

Gwyneth Fraser ’17 and Ryan Tracy ’17 were elected Class of 2017 Senators with 69 and 47 percent of a total 196 votes respectively. Students are permitted to vote for up to two candidates in senatorial races.

Hannah Brown ’19 and Kate Kesselman ‘19 ran unopposed for the two Class of 2019 Senator positions, with 70 and 77 percent of a total 185 votes. Brown is North Quad Senator and Kesselman is a Class of 2019 Senator this year. Kesselman has worked extensively with Allocations Board to help it become more efficient. She has also worked with Dining Services and has helped coordinate Midnight Buffet and the Turkey Shuttles. Brown worked with Dining Services and hosted Midnight Buffet as well. She said in an email to The Brandeis Hoot, “This year, I aim to fix the Union Constitution and Bylaws, better integrate mid-years with first-years, continue improving food on campus, increase club cooperation and more.”

Lian Chen ’19 was elected Racial Minority Senator with 224 votes or 77 percent. Although she has no prior experience in the union, she cited experience as President of the International Club at her high school. In this position she said she was able to introduce “diverse cultures to students and faculties and became a good negotiator between different groups.”

Five students ran for the five open positions as Associate Justice in the Judiciary: Lilly Hecht ’18 with 414 votes or 57 percent, Becky Israel ’17 with 327 votes or 45 percent, Eric Danowski ’18 with 371 votes or 51 percent, Stephanie Sjoblom ’17 with 366 votes or 50 percent and Brooke Granovsky ’18 with 390 votes or 54 percent. Granovsky said that she wants to conduct more outreach because not many people know that the Judiciary mitigates dispute between clubs, and she wants clubs to know they have that option. She cited prior experience mediating disputes on club e-boards: “As an E-board member of several clubs, I have an understanding of where club disputes can stem from, as well as experience planning outreach events. I would use this sense of empathy to draft fair rulings that address all parties’ needs.”

Correction: This article said there were 276 votes cast in the race for Class of 2019 Senator. There were 276 votes in the Class of 2018 Senator election.

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