17 seats filled in the Senate and Allocations Board

The Student Union announced on Thursday that 17 seats were filled following Wednesday’s election. The Class of 2023 comprised almost 60% of the total voter turn-out, providing 290 out of 507 total voters.

Elections were held for both Senate and Allocations Board (A-Board) positions.

Allocations Board

Jordy Piñeiro ’23 and Emma Fiesinger ’23 won the two-semester representatives seats, with 20 percent and 18.7 percent of the votes respectively. 

Piñeiro was the senior treasurer of his high school and led fundraisers for multiple projects. “To play a role in hearing and supplementing the passions of those on campus is the best way I can see myself spending my time,” wrote Piñeiro in his candidate biography.

Fiesinger decided to run because she was involved in student government in high school and because she felt like certain student groups got more funding and attention than others in high school.

“I want to make sure that every club has a fair shot, so they can run,” said Fiesinger to The Brandeis Hoot. “I want [the community] to know that their concerns deserve to be heard. I feel like people discuss with their friends what they want to be changed, but they don’t [talk] to the necessary people to get change happened. Although I’m a freshman and I’m new to campus, I’m open to talking to other people and listening to what they want done.”

Marshall Smith ’21, who ran unopposed, was reelected for the two-semester racial minority representative seat with 145 of 207 votes.

“Primarily this year, I plan to increase the amount of funding that clubs get,” Smith told The Hoot. “I know that in previous years and under a different administration, clubs received less funding or more stringent funding. Now with the budget the school has given us, we can give clubs more funding to host more or bigger events. If they want to do more traveling, we can help fund that as well. We can spend more before the school takes it from us.”

He said that he will give his “absolute best to make sure that funds are allocated properly and efficiently across campus.”  

The winner of the uncontested three-semester representative seat is Rebecca Shaar ’21, with 315 out of 460 votes. 

Shaar was co-chair of A-Board last semester and said she felt an obligation to run for the position because the knowledge she gained last semester would be key to the board. Her goals include making the process of getting money easier for clubs and making sure money is allocated equitably.

“I think we should make it easier for clubs to get money to get the funding that they want,” Schaar said in an interview with The Hoot. “I think the fact that we have an expanding budget means we should be more generous to clubs, so it’s going to be my initiative to make sure that we’re spending the money we have wisely but also being as kind as possible.”

As co-chair, Shaar said that she has seen A-Board evolve and is optimistic about the board’s future relationship with the Student Union and in managing their now $2.4 million budget.

Senate-Quad Positions

Out of the four candidates running for the position of Senator of Massell Quad, Dariel Jimenez ’23 was elected with 48 out of 148 votes. 

Jimenez said he will work to “shape our shared spaces.”

“As a first year student, just like many of you, I am also trying to quickly adjust to a new lifestyle here at Brandeis,” wrote Jimenez in his candidate biography. “I understand that this is a big change and that is why I am so passionate about making Massell Quad feel more like a home for all of us.”

Krupa Sourirajan ’23 was voted in as Senator for North Quad with 39.42 percent of the total vote.

Sourirajan said she decided to run because she wanted to fix a lot around North Quad and because her friends encouraged her. Sourirajan hopes to implement a monthly event called “Fun with the Quad” where North Quad students can spend time together cooking, playing games and drinking hot chocolate. In addition, Sourirajan would like to add hammocks to North Quad to provide more space for students to socialize. She also hopes to improve living conditions in North Quad by adding command hooks and shelving to bathrooms. “I would love to change and improve the living conditions for everyone,” said Sourirajan in her candidate biography.

“Thank you so much for electing me to serve in this position,” said Sourirajan. “I’m grateful for everyone who voted. I just want to make… better living condition[s] [in North Quad].”

Priyata Bhatta ’22 won the seat for Senator for East Quad with 13 of the 17 total votes after running unopposed. 

Bhatta’s plans for office include improving access to drinking water since there are not water fountains on all the floors, improving problems caused by infrastructural issues such as the bug infestation and the “unpleasant odor in various floors” and trying to create a comfortable environment of coexistence by holding events to encourage the interaction of different groups, ideologies, passions, religions and cultural experiences.

“I will be living in East Quad for at least another year, and I think it is necessary to make sure that it is a comfortable environment so that everybody can feel like this is not just another quad but their home.”

Leah Fernandez ’22 won the seat for Senator for Rosenthal and Skyline quads, with 19 of the 23 votes after running unopposed.

Fernandez wants to advocate for improvements in infrastructure for the laundry rooms, showers and kitchens. She also hopes to facilitate better access to Community Advisors, maintenance services and student representatives. Fernandez previously worked as the Secretary for the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) as well as the International Students and Scholars Office as a Global Fellow and orientation leader for international students. “I believe that my experience in academic and extracurricular activities on campus have put me in a unique position to represent you and give back to our community,” said Fernandez in her candidate biography.

Cindy Yao ’22 is the new Senator for Village Quad and 567 South Street after running unopposed, receiving 16 out of the 23 votes.

Yao heard about the Student Union Senate through her friend and former Senator for North Quad David Hui ’22  and wanted to help the Brandeis community. Yao wants to focus on improving basic facilities so that everyone in her quad can be safe and healthy and can connect with the larger Brandeis community, she said in an interview with The Hoot.

“Before I do anything really fancy, I should make sure that basic facilities are good and make sure everyone’s safe and healthy,” Yao said. “My main goal as the senator for Village and 567 is to improve our quad residents’ school life quality,” said Yao in her candidate biography.

In the race for Senator for Ziv and Ridgewood Quads, Sagar Punjabi ’21 won 78 percent of the vote unopposed.

“I’m trying to get more involved on campus and with the processes that impact the students,” said Punjabi in an interview with The Hoot. 

Over the summer, Punjabi became interested in politics and said, “This is something I could really see myself getting involved in.” Although Punjabi has not held a leadership role, he has been involved in a variety of clubs, including the boxing club, Brazilian club, Jiu Jitsu club and Deis Robotics team. 

While in office, Punjabi wants to see change in two areas in particular: housing and food. 

“To me, it seems like housing and food are some of the most impactful things on a student’s life,” Punjabi said, “What you eat can really affect you.” 

Punjabi is ready to assume this role, though he said, “Good change always takes time.” He spoke about how hopeful he is to positively impact the lives of students during this school year.

Oliver Price ’20 is the new Senator for the Charles River Apartments with 17 of the 26 votes after running unopposed.

Price wants to make Brandeis more sustainable by banning the sale of disposable plastic water bottles. He served as the Charles River Senator during his sophomore year and participated in the Sustainability Committee, which introduced Brandeis Sustainability Ambassadors. Price also contributed to managing the Brandeis Sustainability Fund, which invested in energy efficient lights and thermostats for campus. “I want to continue to be involved in the Sustainability Committee this year and work towards a more sustainable Brandeis,” Price said in his candidate biography.

Trevor Filseth ’20 won the Foster Mods Quad seat with 10 of the 17 votes after running unopposed. Filseth was the Class of 2020 Senator last year for about six months, he said, and ran because he enjoyed the work of student government and felt that no one else would step up to the role.

“I’m used to being in the Union, and I enjoy it,” Filseth said. “The fact that I’m the only person in the Foster Mods interested in doing this is kind of sad.”

Filseth hopes to increase student engagement and is interested in joining the committees he learned about and served on last year: the Senate Sustainability Committee (SenSus) and the dining committee. 

Alison Liebowitz ’20 is the winner of the election of Senator to the Off-Campus Students with 44 percent of the votes.

Although Liebowitz does not have previous experience in student government, she said that she believes that as a transfer student, living off-campus her entire time at Brandeis has given her insight on what the community needs as a whole. 

“I think my strength is that I am just one person. I recognize that,” Liebowitz said. “I’m willing to listen to a bunch of different voices, and give people tools without forcing anything on anybody.” Her platform would require simply listening to the opinions of peers and implementing changes according to community needs, according to Liebowitz. She hopes that becoming a part of the Student Union is a good way to get to know a variety of people in the diverse community of Brandeis. “I want to give people the opportunity to get more connected and also to branch off.”

Senate-Racial Minority Senator

Joyce Huang ’22 won the seat for Racial Minority Senator, running uncontested. “I wanted to take on a challenge,” Huang said. “It is the duty of every student to make changes on campus.” 

She has three goals for her time in office. Huang will strive to make Asian culture clubs on campus more inclusive of South Asian students, as these groups, according to her, are currently primarily targeted towards Central Asian students. She also plans on organizing events for specific minority groups to allow them to connect with one another. Finally, Huang wants to start an online forum where students would be able to reach out with concerns they have.  

Huang stated that she will make sure that the voices of her constituents are heard during Senate meetings by not allowing any issues they face be dismissed. 

Senate-Class Positions

Janice Huang ’23 and Yitong (Skye) Liu ’23, receiving 31.4 percent and 28.1 percent respectively, were elected the Senators for the Class of 2023.

Huang wants to improve the facilities in Massell and North Quads and represent her class’ voice, according to her candidate biography. 

Liu served in student government in high school, as per her candidate biography, where she promised to fight for the student body.

Senate-MKTYP Senator

Erik Lambrecht ’23 received six out of the 10 votes for the senator to the Myra Kraft Transitional Program (MKTYP). 

Lambrecht wants to give students from the transitional program more of a voice on campus. “I would strive to make sure students within the program’s voices are heard amongst the rest of the Brandeis community, making the experience more seamless and divide nonexistent,” Lambrecht said in his candidate biography.

Menu Title