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Student Union releases fall election candidate bios + announcements

The Brandeis Student Union is currently hosting its fall 2023 elections. There are 15 seats open for the Senate, one seat open for A-board, and one seat open for Undergrduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) Representative. All voting will be held on Thursday, Sept. 14. Students will receive ballots in their emails on election day and have 24 hours to cast their votes. 

 

The positions currently available in the senate are: Senator at Large (two seats), Class of 2025 Senator (two seats), Class of 2027 Senator (two seats), North Quad Senator (one seat), Massell Quad Senator (one seat), Ziv and Ridgewood Senator (one seat), Village and 567 South St. Senator (one seat), Charles River Quad Senator (one seat), Foster Mods Quad Senator (one seat), Off Campus Senator (one seat), and Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program (MKYPT) Senator (one seat). 

 

The other available seats open are A-board Racial Minority (one seat), and Junior UCC Representative (one seat, community seat). 

 

For the Senator at Large position, Samuel Calel ’27 and Yoni Kahn ’24 are running. 

 

Calel is a first-year looking to major in Sociology with a Legal Studies minor. According to his bio he wants to use this position to “better voice the opinions and needs of students across campus.” Calel also wants to use his diverse background to help and support students whenever necessary. 

 

Kahn is a senior majoring in Politics with International and Global Studies (IGS) and Social Justice, Social Policy minors. He wants to use this position to address pressing issues on campus that have mainly stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to his bio, he states “As our university has transitioned out of the pandemic, there have been issues such as a lack of on-campus housing for undergraduates, dining hall mishaps, and frustration with unreliable BranVan scheduling and availability.” Kahn also plans to target issues surrounding international students and the struggles they may face being far away from home. 

 

For the Class of 2025 Senator position, Allison Weiner ’25, Rachel Zhang ’25, and Ariel Schultz ’25 are running. 

 

Weiner is a junior majoring in Politics and IGS. According to their bio, they were the President of Student Demands and Action and want to “continue [their] focus on student safety in the Senate.” Weiner notes that they want to connect with Brandeis Public Safety more to address issues surrounding gun violence and how students’ voices could be better heard. 

 

Zhang is a junior majoring in Psychology and Business with an Economics minor. According to her bio, she developed communication and management skills from her leadership experience with various Brandeis clubs. She states that “I’ll utilize resources on campus and off campus to make a positive change to our community and the rest of my college life.”

 

Schultz is also running for this position but currently does not have a bio. 

 

For the Class of 2027 position, Cindy Nie ’27, Janet Nganga ’27, Remi Young ’27 and Sanjana Kumar ’27 are running. 

 

Nie is studying Journalism and Creative Writing. As an international student, she hopes to “be a voice and bring to light the needs of the international student population and the student body at large.” She adds that she will “establish academic study groups so students can feel 

more comfortable tackling tough academic subjects in a stress-free environment and meeting new friends” and “organize weekly/monthly wellness-themed events so students can have opportunities to socialize and enjoy fun activities that help us bond.”

 

Nganga is studying Creative Writing, English and Legal Studies. Her “goal for this semester is to be Chair of the DEI Committee and overall help create a great community for our class.” She is “committed to helping create stronger and equal communities and would love the opportunity to do so as Class of 2027 senator.”

 

Young will “organize events that will bring our class together, making us all more comfortable to be our true selves, pushing us further out of our comfort zones. In addition, I plan to advocate for the needs of the student body, listening to and valuing your opinions. ”

 

Kumar is studying Neuroscience and Anthropology, and hopes to “foster a sense of community and pride for our school, and more specifically, get nicer bathrooms (especially for North).” She also wants to “emphasize mental health awareness with weekly newsletters and academic help groups for those who feel overwhelmed with school or just life in general.”

 

For the North Quad Senator position, Daniel Shin ’27 and Ria Escamilla-Gil ’27 are running.

 

Shin is studying HSSP (Health: Science, Society, and Policy) and Chemistry, and hopes to “improve the cleanliness of restrooms in each North Quad residential hall. [He] understand[s] your inconvenience due to the outdated shower facilities. For this reason, [he] would try [his]best to start a campaign and raise funds for potential dorm shower floor improvements to provide better-quality restroom facilities.”

 

Escamilla-Gil is studying History and Legal Studies, and hopes to “advocate for students across all backgrounds, contribute to improvements in our school, and help first-year students feel welcome and adjust to the new but wonderful environment at Brandeis” while ensuring that “first-generation students, mid-years students, international students, and all minority groups feel heard and accepted in this institution.”

 

For the East Quad Senator position, Aima Nadeem ’26, Avery Mangum ’26 and Divam Gupta ’26 are running.

 

Nadeem is studying Chemistry and Economics with a minor in Legal Studies. She will “advocate for water fountains to be installed at more accessible locations throughout the buildings, specifically in the basement and on the 6th floor. … To make it easier for the Quad residents to voice their concerns and increase the unions receptiveness to their ideas, [she] will also set up an online form where students can submit their issues and suggestions anonymously.”

 

Mangum feels that “the Student Union could use a bold, lively voice unafraid to make the most of its potential to improve the lives of Brandeisians on campus.” They also believe that “it is critical that we be represented by someone with no compunctions about challenging what exists and conceiving what could exist.”

 

Gupta is studying Politics and Business, and served as Racial Minority Senator last year. He is “eager to work towards gaining your trust to be the connection between East Quad residents and the Brandeis administration and be an effective member of critical committees to create day-to-day change.”

 

For the East Quad Senator position, Antis Wang ’27 is running unopposed.

 

Wang’s bio notes that if you “Wanna improve the living environment of your quad … [and] love to have an aggressive debater who stands for you in the Senate? Then you know you should vote for Antis Wang.”

 

For the Ziv and Ridgewood Quad Senator position, Penelope Llibre ’25 is running unopposed.

 

Llibre is studying Physics and Applied Math, and has “helped with a large variety of on-campus events, including club and athletic events, and would love to bring and keep that same positive, active energy.”

 

For the Village and 567 South St. Quad Senator position, Sydney Feld ’26 is running unopposed.

 

Feld is studying Sociology and Education, and will “work to the best of [her] ability to construct optimistic differences within the Village/567 family, relaying our wants and needs to my (potential) Student Union peers.”

 

For the Charles River Quad Senator position, Kat Xikes ’26 is running unopposed.

 

Xikes is studying HSSP and Studio Art, and aims to “communicate the concerns of [her] fellow residents in Charles river along with the concerns of my peers to help improve Charles River Quad.”

 

For the Foster Mods Quad Senator position, Jolie Newman ’24 is running unopposed.

 

Newman is studying Creative Writing, Legal Studies, Journalism and Italian Studies. She hopes to “keep mods (or make, depending on your perspective) a great place! As a resident of mods [herself], every choice [she] make[s] will be one that benefits the entire mods community.”

 

For the Off Campus Senator position, Cameron Sherman ’26 is running unopposed.

 

Sherman has “learned from [his] Brandeis experience that community is one of the most important values.” He “will represent the off-campus student body to the best of [his] ability and fight tirelessly for a sense of community among Brandeis students.”

 

For the Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program (MKTYP) Senator position, Cesar Tarton ’27 is running unopposed.

 

Tarton is studying Biophysics, Comparative Literature and Culture and HSSP. He will ensure that future MKTYP classes “have a smoother transition when they embark on a new journey in higher education.”

 

For the Allocations Board Racial Minority Seat position, Sandy Chen ’27 and Angelina Truong ’27 are running.

 

Chen will “aim to ensure that every organization here at Brandeis is heard and that every organization feels supported by the Student Union to make any event or initiative you want to create happen.”

 

Truong is studying Psychology and wants to “provide support for the students currently attending Brandeis, as well future students.” She has always “felt passionate about providing a voice for students whose cultures are similar to [hers] and would like to continue to do so here at Brandeis.”

 

For the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) Representative position, Bhoomika Chopra ’27 is running unopposed.

 

Chopra is studying Computer Science and Business. She plans on “bringing a student perspective to our reviews of the academic and curricular activities within Brandeis departments and programs.”

 

Brandeis’ Student Union also introduced CEEF (the Community Enhancement and Emergency Fund) which is “open for all Brandeis undergraduate students to apply to use, and applications are now open! This fund is for you to propose a change on campus and possibly get the funds to start the project! Most recently, a group of students applied for CEEF funding to refurbish the Village gym, which is now set up and open for student use! Additionally, CEEF funded … the free menstrual product initiative in partnership with PAD (Period Activists at ‘Deis). If you want to know more about CEEF, reach out to the chair of the board, Lexi Lazar, at lexilazar@brandeis.edu.

 

The Student Union also told students that, “thanks to the help of our team and the Department of Student Engagement, [they] have repurposed the romper room (SCC 312) to be the Club Resource Room! Student organization leaders around campus will now have the opportunity to reuse supplies from one another to help Brandeis be more sustainable and to support one another.”

They added that “last year, the Health and Safety Senate committee worked tirelessly to improve our Condom Dispenser initiative to be more accessible and allergen-friendly! Keep an eye out for [Student Union] condom dispensers in each quad, now latex free! Thank you to all the Community Advisors (CA’s) for refilling each dispenser!”

They also noted that Brandeis students now have access to “a student discount at Kung Fu Tea on Moody St.! As a Brandeis student you will now get 10% off drinks when you show your Brandeis student ID.”

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