The winter elections of the Student Union saw 12 out of 13 possible positions filled, spanning the Executive Board, Allocations Board (A-Board) and the Senate.
In the Executive Board, Simran Tatuskar ’21 ran unopposed for the secretary position, winning almost 75 percent of all votes. Tatuskar spoke about her victory to The Brandeis Hoot, saying, “Now that I’ve won, I look forward to learning more about the inner workings of the Union and [to] be able to actively take steps to help the student body and keep it informed on the ongoings of the Student Union.”
“Thank you and I will try to do my best,” Tatuskar told The Hoot in an interview. “Thanks for trusting me to be your voice, and I’m sorry in advance for all the emails.”
A-Board had three different openings and four seats: Three-semester representative, two two-semester representatives and two-semester racial minority representative. Ruizhang Zhi ’21 ran unopposed in the election, receiving 397 votes and 78 percent of the overall vote. Alan Huang ’21 and Aria Pradhan ’21 ran unopposed for the two open seats. Huang garnered 336 votes and 45.22 percent of the votes, while Pradhan trailed with 41.59 percent of the votes.
Sonali Anderson ’22 beat out fellow first year Shivam Nainwal ’22 in the race for two-semester racial minority representative. Anderson received 141 votes, over 60 percent of the total votes, while Nainwal only received 49 votes. Anderson told The Hoot in an interview that she is ready to get to work for the short time that she has. “Thank you for bestowing the trust on me for being their chess player in the works of it. Trust me and I have your best interests,” Anderson told The Hoot.
Madeline Scherff ’22 won the midyear senate seat with 68.63 percent of the vote, or 35 votes. In an email interview with The Hoot, Scherff wrote that she was incredibly grateful to have won. “My priority now that I’ve been elected is to bridge the gap between midyears and the rest of the student body through student government,” Scherff wrote. “I also plan on actively involving myself in committees such as the committee for sustainability to have a say in the evolution of an even better Brandeis,” she continued.
Taylor Fu ’21, who ran unopposed for East Quad Senator, won with 44 votes of the total 61. In an earlier email interview with The Hoot, Fu wrote, “I would like to build a more collaborative community at East among the students and CAs.” Fu continued, “I plan on working with DCL to organize and clean the facilities in East. I would also try and work with the C.A.s to ensure that they are more accessible to students in case of lockouts and other emergencies.”
Matthew Reeves ’19 ran unopposed in the race for Foster Mods Senator. Reeves received almost 80 percent of the votes, or 23 votes of the 29 total votes. Other written-in senators included Mod Cat. Reeves told The Hoot in an interview that “the Student Union seems like a shit show, to say the least. So I want to improve it, but I don’t know.”
Upon winning, he told The Hoot in an email interview, “While my campaign found great success thanks to the brilliant work done by my campaign manager, minority outreach coordinator, friend Nathan Greess, I find my victory to be bittersweet.”
“Marred by the fact that a percentage of the votes went to the fictional character ‘Mod Cat.’ I am deeply bothered by this fact,” he said. “Let alone the fact that candidates must compete with fictional characters, where would we be if this so called Mod Cat won? Is this the standard that we are setting for ourselves? Is our college experience so banal and mundane that we must resort to childish measures in order to find some sense of amusement from a serious election?”
He continued, “I believe Brandeis can be better and do better than this, and that’s where I’ll start. Together, we’re going to improve our community and leave a lasting impression that all may be proud of!”
Jacob Diaz ’20 won the off-campus senator position, after the election was delayed due to technical problems with the ballot question not showing up. Diaz won with 60 percent of the vote, or 41 votes. Diaz told The Hoot he hopes to “work as a dedicated senator and try to be a voice in politics for all students and not just use it as a name only,” he said.
After his victory, Diaz wrote to The Hoot in an email interview saying, “I’m over the moon right now not only because I won but because the off-campus student body is willing to put its trust in me to represent them. I am ready to get to work and make Brandeis a better place for all students!”
Thomas Alger ’20 and Trevor Filseth ’20 will now represent the class of 2020 in the Union. Alger won the overall race with 49 of the overall 109 votes, just under 45 percent of the total votes. Filseth received almost 34 percent of the total with 37 votes.
Alger told The Hoot, “I’d like to say that I am a very approachable person. If you have any desires or anything else you want changed, come talk to me, especially being one of the few senators who would be linking the athletic department with the greater student body as I know has been a very disjointed two groups within the history of Brandeis.”
“I’m honored that I was elected and I’m going to do my best to represent you guys and not let you down,” Filseth told The Hoot in an interview.
Finally, the last question on the ballot was to recall International Student Senator Linfei Yang ’20. The recall passed, with 63 percent of the vote in favor, 42 out of the 66 total voters. Yang has been recalled.
Denezia Fahie ’22 won the Racial Minority seat by 6 votes, with 45.71 percent of the vote. Fahie could not be reached for comment.