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Senate Log: Sep. 19

Student Union President Krupa Sourirajan ’23 announced the goals of the union for the academic year include increasing school spirit by making students well connected across different areas such as performing arts and athletics.

“The union is what you make of it,” said Sourirajan to the returning and new Student Union members. What you put into the union is what you get out of it, Sourirajan explained. She encouraged everyone to make the most of their position. 

Another goal of the union is to mandate diversity training for all undergraduates. First-years would be required to take diversity training; in order to make this happen the Student Union would like to partner with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

A main goal of the President and Vice President is to improve mental health resources on campus. They want to make students more aware of the mental health resources they have available to them as well as host more events. 

Courtney Thrun ’22, Student Union Vice President, led the confirmation of e-board members by acclamation—a majority of senators voted verbally. Sourirajan appointed individuals to these positions and their roles needed to be confirmed by Senate members. 

Jasmyne Jean-Remy ’22 was appointed Chief of Staff. Jean-Remy has been in the Student Union since 2020 and said she believes her experience makes her qualified for the position. The union voted by acclamation and she won.  

Shelly Polanco ’24 was appointed the Undergraduate Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer (UDIO), a liaison between students and administration. Polanco would be involved in making initiatives concerning diversity as well as making these initiatives more accessible to students. In this role, Polanco wants to push initiatives concerning how we form communities on campus and make sure everyone feels included. The union voted by acclamation and she won.  

Scarlett Ren ’24 was appointed Director of Community Engagement. In this role Ren would be responsible for the planning of events around campus including Pumpkinfest and Midnight Buffet. Ren said she wants student activities to be more vibrant. The union voted by acclamation and she won. 

Bonnie Chen ’23 was appointed Director of Academic Affairs. In this role, she serves as the facilitator between students and professors. Chen said she wants to allow students to connect to professors outside of class topics including what to do post-graduation. The union voted by acclamation and she won. 

Clay Napurano ’24 was appointed Director of Health and Wellness. Napurano would be the student liason for the Brandeis Counseling Center (BCC) and be on the student advisory board. Napurano wants to connect students and the BCC to improve the way people view mental health on campus. Making a safe space on campus and allowing for a dialogue about mental health is important to Napurano. Napurano said he wants to make people aware of where the BCC is on campus and look at including mental health talks to normalize talking about mental health. The union had a vote-by-roll call, where the majority wins. The motion did not pass. 

Chris Tian ’24 was appointed Director of Technology. Tian would be responsible for working on the union website. There are currently two different websites and he’s going to update the union members with photos as well as maintain the website throughout the semester to make sure important information, including events, Student Union bylaws, the Student Union constitution and office hours, are available to students. The union voted by acclamation and he won. 

Francesca Marchese ’23 was appointed as Director of Media and Outreach. Marchese said her goal for the year is to help promote social media and not just Student Union events but other club events too. She’s been making posts since August on the Student Union’s social media. She wants to create eye-catching informational posts about what the Student Union does. The union voted by acclamation and she won.

Emily Zhu ’23 was appointed as Director of Residential Life. Shu would be working as a liaison between the student body and the Department of Community Living (DCL). SHe wants to improve the quality of life on campus in dorms and in the dining halls. She wants to continue initiatives that have been started and get them finished, including new laundry machines and water machines in dorm buildings.  The union voted by acclamation and she won.

Selah Bickel ’24 was appointed as Director of Sustainability and Climate Justice. Bickel has had experience working with sustainability on campus, having been the co-chair of the sustainability committee. She wants to focus on climate justice on campus; to do so Bickel wants to connect with groups on campus that focus on climate justice as well as check in with other groups to make sure they are following sustainable practices. She wants to promote education and climate justice on campus and in Waltham. The union voted by acclamation and she won. 

Noah Risley ’24 was appointed Director of Communications, a new position established by Sourirajan. The position was created to better facilitate communication between the Student Union and the administration as well as between the administration and the student body. Risley has experience having run communications for Brandeis Democrats, a club on campus. Risley said they are excited to get to work. The union voted by acclamation and they won. 

There were no chair reports because there are no senate committee chairs yet. Student Union members can run for chair positions based on an interest form sent out by Thrun. By the next senate meeting, chairs will have been decided and reports will begin. 

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