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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Republicans, BIPAC under new leadership

Published: February 2, 2007
Section: News

Both of the communitys traditionally conservative groupsthe Brandeis Republicans and the Brandeis Israel Political Affairs Committee (BIPAC)are now under new leadership. The Republicans are now led by president Megan Vijiarungam 09 and vice president Amanda Hecker 10, while BIPAC is headed by president Asher Tanenbaum 08.

Hecker, unfazed by her relative youth amongst her peers, is excited to assume her leadership role. She said in an email interview, I am very honored to be elected vice-president. I feel that by taking an active role now, I will become more involved in the campus community and be able to enact positive change over the next three years.

Republicans secretary Jackie Fox 08 believes young leadership is the key to the clubs viability. Having young leadership is good, she posits, because it will help get new members.

Additionally, Fox explains that having young leadership is nothing new for the Republicans. Her first year at Brandeis saw the election to president of Robbie Schwartz '08, then a first-year student. Schwartz is currently one of the clubs three executive directors.

Beyond younger students ability to attract new members, Fox asserts that younger students have more time to commit to the advancement of the club than seniors who are under intense pressure. As such, she explains, In order for the club to be active, we need younger members in charge.

Former president, Campus Curriculum Coordinator and current executive director, Alan Meyerson '08, is unconcerned with the age of the clubs leadership. He says of Vijiarungam and Hecker, Theyre both bright girls and theyre going to do a great job. I have full faith and confidence in them. When asked specifically about Heckers youth, Meyerson responded, Amanda was one of our best activists last semester. She came to all our meetings and events. She ran for vice-president, she won and thats how it works.

Vijiarungam believes her personal characteristics are unrelated to her qualifications. In an email interview she explained, The membership simply felt we were the best candidates for the job. [Anything else] is irrelevant.

Meyerson shares Vijiarungams view. He says of Vijiarungam and Hecker, Theyre both bright girls and theyre going to do a great job. I have full faith and confidence in them.

Meanwhile, BIPACs ranks have undergone a tremendous shift, with Tanenbaum assuming the presidency, Andrew Brooks 09 becoming Campus Political Coordinator, Shelley Kier 08 assuming the position of Early Engagement Coordinator, and Avi Swerdlow 10 acting as Public Relations Coordinator.

We have a new but extremely competent group, said Michael Goldman 08.

The group feels confident about success and their past leaders are excited about the future of the organization. Goldman, who left BIPAC after three semesters, said that the new people would make BIPAC an even more integral force on campus. Other members were similarly optimistic.

BIPAC had a great showing last year, with resolutions by the student body condemning recent actions taken by Iran and a trip to Washington that was attended by around 50 people. With a new executive board in place and past successes behind them, BIPAC is poised to have a great showing in the upcoming semester.