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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Union candidates announced

Published: April 5, 2012
Section: News

Student Body President Herbie Rosen ’12 outlined the upcoming presidential elections in a meeting Wednesday.

Five candidates announced their intention to run for student body president by press time, including current secretary Todd Kirkland ’13, David Fisch ’13, Louis Connelly ’13, Dillon Harvey ’14 and Joshua Hoffman-Senn ’13.

Charlotte Franco ’15 said she thinks the race is shaping up to be “really interesting” since there are “a lot of different people running.”

“I do know some of the candidates,” Franco said, “but I don’t have a favorite.”

Connelly and Harvey both noted that it would be a tough race, particularly because Kirkland has what Harvey referred to as “name brand recognition.” Since Kirkland sends out many e-mails in his role as secretary, he will already be given a boost in students’ awareness.

Connelly said that while Kirkland may have name recognition, “I feel I know the student body better, so I would be better suited to the position.”

Although Connelly is still working on his platform, some of his proposals include building a better relationship with Aramark, so that the relationship is more flexible and catered to the needs of the students. He also mentioned some changes he wishes to make with the Hiatt Career Center.

“While it’s a great resource for students, I think that we could include more programs, initiatives and opportunities to learn and network with alumni.” Connelly noted how he felt he had to go look for some of this information for himself, and how he hopes to incorporate that knowledge with Hiatt for further programs.

Harvey said he plans to run a “vibrant social media campaign” and focus on word-of-mouth campaigning. He currently serves as the Director of Community Advocacy on the E-board, and was a Class of 2014 senator last year. While his platform is still developing, Harvey plans to focus on building in events to promote school spirit and bring the campus together. He also cites his commitment to diversity and pluralism in the Brandeis community.

A total of 38 students showed up to listen as Rosen reviewed the rules and regulations for the candidates. “Hopefully if you’re here, you want to continue something that the Union has done which you liked, or you want to change something you think you could do better,” Rosen said, citing financial restructuring as one of the major issues facing the Union.

Overall, Rosen said he is “happy to see a bunch of people interested” in being a part of the Student Union this upcoming year. When asked to give advice for those running, he said, “Be open and show the best side of yourself. Have a platform. Do research. One of the reasons I was so successful is because I knew what I was talking about.”

All those running must be at Brandeis for the full academic year, meaning that juniors studying abroad cannot be on the official ballot.

Rosen mentioned many strategies that students running can employ, such as the popularity of social media campaigns, particularly Facebook. Those running for full campus positions are allowed 200 copies for fliers (second-round candidates are given a smaller amount), and can use the option for a full page in the Union newsletter, which can include a quick summary of the candidate’s position. All have the option to create a website, although usually only presidents take advantage of or need this option. Rosen described how his computer major friend set up his website during his campaign, joking “that stuff is beyond me!”

Only university recognized clubs and groups may endorse candidates, meaning that fraternities or sororities cannot endorse.

The elections will be separated into two rounds, the first on Thursday, April 19, for the positions of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, member of the Union Finance Board, and representatives for the board of trustees, Alumni Association and Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. Campaigning officially begins on April 5 at midnight. While candidates were told to sign up as soon as possible, the deadline is this Saturday.

The second round of elections will include the positions for Senator at Large, Class Senators, Senator for Racial Minority Students and Associate Justice of the Student Judiciary. Those candidates are not permitted to start campaigning until April 18.