The Student Union held its second round of special elections for the Fall 2021 semester on Nov. 4, according to an email sent by Jasmyne Jean-Remy ’22, Student Union Chief of Staff. Students had 24 hours to vote in the elections.
The Senate position that was voted for was secretary. The other positions on the ballot which were voted for were five seats on the Allocations Board. Three of those seats were three-semester seats open to the whole student body, and the other two were one-year seats open for racial minority identifying candidates.
Michael Pollard ’22 won the position of secretary over Shivam Nainwal ’22, Ben Topol ’24 and write-in candidates Rick Astley and Cookie Monster. Pollard won with 32.13 percent of the vote in a race against Topol who received one less vote (133 and 132 votes respectively). When asked about his goals as secretary Pollard said, “right now my goal is to get into a routine and get the union moving smoothly again.”
With regard to the position’s opening, Pollard noted, “I plan on taking the seat the same way I’d take it in the absence of controversy. I’m here to do the job by the books regardless of who held the position before me and who will hold it after me. I don’t want to focus on what has been happening amid the controversy because it feels like a distraction to me performing my duties.”
Pollard mentioned that he hopes the network he has forged at Brandeis can aid in moving along the agenda of the Student Union. Noting his experience as president of other organizations Pollard said, “I also understand how an e-board interacts and ideally, the skills and positions are similar enough to be transferable.”
The three three-semester Allocations Board (A-board) seats were won by Lauren Rifas ’24, Natalie Saltzman ’25 and Sarah Kim ’25 receiving 29.32 percent, 20.45 percent and 20.15 percent respectively. They ran against Maxim Kovalenko ’25 who received 12.33 percent of the vote and write-in candidates “Weird Al” Yankovic and “Me like cookie!!!”
Saltzman expressed to The Brandeis Hoot her hopes to make access to funding more equitable to all clubs. She mentioned how helping smaller clubs get funding to hold events can attract new members and that that attention to those clubs from the A-board is what can help them grow.
When asked about her goals for the position Saltzman said, “My goals for this semester are really to focus on clubs that are struggling to get the funding they need. Bigger and more populated clubs tend to get more funding for events and meetings, but I hope to focus on those smaller clubs that need more funding to help get them off the ground.” She also noted her excitement for the position, saying “This is completely new and different than anything I’ve done before, but I’m incredibly excited and dedicated to help fund such an important part of student life at Brandeis.”
The Hoot reached out to both Rifas and Kim but they did not respond by the time of publication.
The two one-year A-board seats were won by Cindy Chi ’25 and Sara Motoyama ’24 with 29.21 percent and 24.75 percent of the vote respectively. They won against Jeff Yu ’25 who received 11.88 percent of the vote and write-in candidate “come on you gunners.”
Motoyama told The Hoot that her interest in understanding how the allocation process works drew her into running for the position, saying, “I believe in celebrating and embracing diversity, and as a member of a cultural club, I thought this position would allow me to further engage with the Intercultural Center and the Student Union in accomplishing their missions.”
Motoyama mentioned her desire to advocate for cultural clubs as a person of color and increase cultural visibility within the allocations process. When asked about her goals for the coming term Motoyama said, “I am excited to work with the team and assist clubs through the allocation process. Especially after coming back on campus after a year, I am pumped to see more in-person club events and have a more active college life!”
Chi was reached out to by The Hoot but did not respond by the time of publication.