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Student Union President and Vice President discuss goals for next year

The Student Union President and Vice President for the 2021-2022 academic year are Krupa Sourirajan ’23 and Courtney Thrun ’22. Elections were held on April 7, with a record-breaking amount of student participation, according to an email sent to the Brandeis community by Student Union Secretary Alex Park ’23. 

“I want students to know that our platform will forever be a work in progress,” Thrun wrote in an email to The Hoot. “We designed it with the expectation of new problems arising, and the hope that students will communicate with us what they want/need to make their Brandeis experience as enjoyable as possible.”

Sourirajan and Thrun’s platform was created with their peers and it will continue to be a collaboration with students going forward, wrote Sourirajan. “We will voice the concerns with the student body and make ourselves, along with the rest of the Union, available for students to relay their concerns so that we can advocate on behalf of the student body,” she further explained.

Sourirajan and Thrun ran on five different goals in their platform: increase mental health resources both on and off campus, hold the university accountable for supporting students, implement diversity, equity and inclusion education for all students, continue to improve the Student Union structure and continue to foster strong relationships between students and administration. Thrun noted she hopes they make substantial progress in each of these categories. 

Specifically, Thrun wrote she would like to improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training on campus. She has already begun collaborating and strategizing with community members to tackle this issue. 

“My experience as Racial Minority Senator has shown me, and continues to show me, that these changes and improvements are not only possible, but are well within our reach,” wrote Thrun. 

Sourirajan wants to bring more support to clubs on campus, specifically Intercultural Center (ICC) clubs, wrote Sourirajan. She wants to make sure there is constant communication between the Student Union and club leaders in order to make sure that their needs are met. Sourirajan said she wants to “help direct the university on communications to students and more quality programming on campus.” 

As the university transitions back to in-person learning, Sourirajan wrote that she will be bringing concerns to the administration like she is currently doing in her role as Student Union Vice President. She also plans to meet with Thrun in the summer to plan the structure of the Student Union so they can effectively handle the transition back to an in-person set up. 

Thrun wrote that they have plans for supporting students during the transition from online learning to in-person. Something she believes will be beneficial for students is increased mental health resources. Thrun noted that students have been experiencing large amounts of stress from the changes being made and this has led to a negative impact on student’s mental health. 

“As [Sourirajan] and I move into our roles as President and Vice President of the Student Union, we are planning to increase the number of morale boosting events on campus, continue pushing for breaks during class to reduce burnout and fatigue, advocate for higher quality wellness days, and many other things that will, hopefully, improve the mental well-being of the Brandeis student body as a whole,” wrote Thrun. 

Both Sourirajan and Thrun encouraged students to reach out if they have any questions. Sourirajan wrote that she is excited to advocate for students in her new position as Student Union president. Thrun also wrote that she is excited to take on the role as Student Union vice president and is thankful for the students who trusted her and Sourirajan in these positions. 

Sourirajan and Thrun ran against Nany Zhai ’22 and Ben Topol ’24 who ran together as president and vice president respectively. Sourirajan and Thrun received 377 votes making up 50.47 percent of the vote and Zhai and Topol received 351 votes making up 46.99 percent of the vote. 

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