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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

A look at the candidates for elections, round 2

Published: April 20, 2007
Section: News

After last months elections of for the Student Union executive board, a subsequent election will take place next week to determine the other members of the Student Union for the 2007-2008 school year. This second round features the elections for Class Senator, Senators-At-Large, Racial Minority Senator, and the Union Judiciary. First round elections will take place April 24th, with follow-up second round elections April 26th.

Candidates for all positions were sent emails requesting them to identify themselves and their platforms. Their responses have been reprinted in their entirety.
The candidates for the Class of 2010 Senator positions are Jenna Brofsky, Akhil Gupta, Julie Rapp, Henry Schleifer, and Rebecca Wilkof.

Jenna Brofsky: Hi! My name is Jenna Brofsky and I am running for re-election for Class of 2010 Senator. This past year, I have devoted my efforts to improving dining services and increasing pride for our class and for the greater Brandeis community.
Next year, I will be a resource for students not only in the Class of 2010, but for any individual or club in need of support. I possess the experience the position requires and have formed invaluable relationships with administrators that will certainly aid in my campaign to effect change in the future. I support the activist community on campus and will work to implement policies that will ensure the success of activist clubs. One specific reform I intend on pursuing is the addition of another Bran Van during rush hours.

Akhil Gupta: My name is Akhil Gupta and I am running for Senator for 2010. There are three main issues that I would like to address: 1) Parking availability and location for sophomores, 2) Food variety, 3) Social Life. Brandeis is our home for the next three years and I feel that these three issues are very important and if improved, they can make our college experience more memorable. I am a hardworking student who is capable of doing the job efficiently and effectively.

Julie Rapp: My name is Julie Rapp and I'm running for Senator of the class of 2010. My platform includes keeping Usdan open longer, especially on weekends, and instituting a form of a 24-hour eatery on campus. In addition, I will make the bathrooms in residence halls more usable with two-ply toilet paper and cleaner facilities. I want to clean up the campus adding more trash cans, and create a recycling policy on this campus that actually works. Lastly, I will create programs that connect Brandeis students with their class and the entire student body. Basically, I'm interested in doing whatever I can to make Brandeis a better place, and I think being Senator is a great outlet for me to do so. In high school I served as President, Secretary, and Treasurer of my graduating class throughout my four years, was Editor-in-Chief of my high school newspaper for two years, as well as President of both the Model UN and Spanish clubs.

Henry Schleifer: I promise that if you elect me as your Senator, I will do my best to make the year even more enjoyable. I truly care for this grade and will make sure to work hard to make stuff happen. I will also come up with more sentences that basically say the same thing, only worded differently to make it seem as if I am actually saying something new and original. Lastly, I will strive to achieve goals for the grade that will lead to future enjoyment.

I will push for some fun activities and dances. I will make even more events with “awesome” themes like, I dunno, Norwegian Hip-Hop that ultimately no one goes to but I can still call a success because nobody was around to prove otherwise.
But on a serious note, I hope to try to allow sophomores opt out of Meal Plan program. Even if you get an all points plan, you get 1400 points for 2175 dollars, a clear rip-off. Sophomore should not be forced to purchase a dining plan. I also hope to stop any increase in student fees and try to cut out waste in the Student Union.
The candidates for the Class of 2009 Senator positions are Yuki Hasegawa, Julia Sferlazzo, and Justin Sulsky.

Yuki Hasegawa: Hi all. My name is Yuki Hasegawa, and I am running for the Senator for the Class of 2009. I would make a great Senator because of my past experience and the broad network I have established through that.

I have proven leadership throughout my time here. Currently, I am a Community Advisor, work as a Student Manager at Usdan, and an Executive board member on the International Club as the PACHANGA organizer. Also I acted as a member of the Housing Advisory Committee, the Founder of the Japanese Student Association, and an Orientation Leader. I am very dedicated and showed success in all these positions.
Many of the goals I have are very similar to what all other candidates are running for. (i.e. Healthier choice + Longer operation hours for dining halls, ResLife + Parking concern, etc).

However, what makes me different from all the others is the broad network I established. I know who to talk to for different issues, and my voice will be heard. Issues raised from the past are finally going to be considered. So please, vote Yuki for the Senator for the Class of 2009. Thank you.

Justin Sulsky: I'm Justin Sulsky and I'm running for Senator for the Class of 2009. I've been working hard for Brandeis students during the past two years in a variety of ways. On the dining and public safety committees, I tirelessly worked to enhance campus life by being on the team that lobbied for longer hours at the Boulevard Friday nights, pressuring dining services to add more food items, and working with Public Safety to enhance campus lighting.

On the Justice, I have helped foster community by advising students of countless events and initiatives. I've also focused much of my energy to covering the Student Union, allowing students to get an outside look at how their government is working for them.

Due to my coverage of the Union, I determined that there should be new, independent voices in the Union, so I decided to make the bold choice to run for office. I advise students to see for my complete platform. But, briefly, I plan to work with Capital Projects to ensure that Ziv/Village residents are not going to be overly inconvenienced by next year's Ridgewood construction and I wish to brainstorm ways to create more affordable airport transfers for students.

The candidates for the Class of 2008 Senator positions are Darren Gallant, Jacob Korman, Joshua Mervis, Reed Scharff, and Asher Tanenbaum.

Darren Gallant: I came to Brandeis a little later than most of the students in our class, but what I lost in time, I made up for in effort. Before my arrival at Brandeis, I knew I wanted to become deeply involved in the mobilization of student oriented initiatives via effective communication with campus administrators. I actualized my goal of serving the student body through holding several leadership positions including Class of 2008 Senator, Director of Club Development, as well as multiple Executive Board positions within other on-campus groups. I have been selected for orientation programming five times, including January orientations and the Midyear Mentor Program slated to begin next year. I am involved with a diverse and expansive array of campus clubs and associations, which keep me attuned to the wants and needs of the class of 2008. While the prospect of graduation seems daunting, I would be both honored and thrilled to provide our class the dedicated leadership necessary to ensure that we make the most of our senior year.

Jacob Korman: What are the reasons that I have decided to run for Senator for the class of 2008? I think it has to do with my belief that I can do the job better then anyone else running. One of the things I would like to change is Hiatt. The other day I walked into the Hiatt Career Center and asked for help to find an internship. They told me to go to and pick five of the results to email and ask for a job. While this is one way to go about finding an internship, it is by no means the best, in it's fact far from it. It is certainly not the advice one would expect from a top-tier school's career center. Our school is one of the best in the nation, with some of the brightest people in the world attending this fine institution. It's about time that our career center caught up with the rest of us. I think that one of the most pressing issues for all of us is fixing Hiatt so that it can cater to the abilities of our great student body. All of us at one point or another will want to use the resources that Hiatt is supposed to provide. The problem is that Hiatt does not seem to know how to use the resources that it has. If elected, one of the first things I would do is push for reform at Hiatt.

Another important issue is social life on campus. It is important for us to create a vibrant social life on campus, and we can do this, but we need to make sure that the union and university policies facilitate this. We can do a lot to make the social life here better, and this includes advocating for bigger and better events, as well as making sure that the new alcohol policy is the one that the university adopts. I believe that I can help make this a more social place. It is our senior year, we should make sure that we go out with a bang.

There is so much that we can do better, and I believe I can help change campus for the better. If elected, I would work tirelessly to make sure that these reforms and others are accomplished. There is nothing more important to me then leaving this campus a better place and making a contribution to our student life here. I hope the Class of 08' will give me the opportunity to represent you as your senator for next year.

Josh Mervis: The Senate lacks an understanding of many how many of the arts groups on campus, especially the theater groups, where tens of thousands of dollars are spent every year. It is vital that they have, within their ranks, a representative who knows these groups and their intricate procedures and needs in addition to understanding the regular business of a legislative body. As a dedicated member of the Brandeis arts community, a member of the a cappella group Starving Artists, and the Artistic Director of the Free Play Theatre Cooperative, I know what the arts community at Brandeis needs to thrive.

Asher Tanenbaum: I am running for re-election as Class of 2008 Senator because I have served the community well over the past year and I would like to continue my service into our senior year to continue advocating for everyone so I can help ensure that our Senior year is a fantastic year.

Among my plans for next year, if re-elected, will be to make a re-instituted and modified Modfest, work on improving Hiatt so that future students can have better opportunities than we have had, and working on improving the constant issue of dining services.

In the past year some of my accomplishments have been working with President Schwartzbaum and President-elect Sinha to get a new weight-room, working with my co-senators on Class of 2008 shot-glasses, being a member of the Dean of Arts and Sciences Committee on which I have given input on various academic issues, and serving on the Ways and Means Committee to improve the way the Student Union operates. As President of BIPAC and a member of the Committee that brought Alan Dershowitz to Brandeis following President Carter's visit, I have gained much experience in the past year not only as Senator but as a club-leader as well. Because of this, I can truly understand the frustrations that other club-leaders and students can have as well.

The Candidates for the Senator-At-Large positions are Jessica Blumberg, Andrew Brooks, Sung Lo Yoon, and Rajiv Ramakrishnan.

Jessica Blumberg: I am Jessica Blumberg and I am running for Senator-at-Large. I am currently the Senator for East Quad and the Senate Chair of the Services Committee this semester. As a Senator I have advocated for my constituents, which including getting 35 parking spots in East Quad Parking Lot. As Senate Chair, I have organized and run the Spring Shuttle to New York City and Logan Airport, and am currently in the process of planning this semester's Midnight Buffet. I hope to accomplish several things if elected as Senator-at-Large. The three main things I would like to see happen are Health Center reform, a guide to off-campus housing, and facilitated dialogue between different segments of the Brandeis dialogue.

Sung Lo Yoon: My name is Sung Lo Yoon, the current Senator of the Class of 2009, and I am running for one of the two positions for Senator-at-Large. Having had the privilege and honor of serving the Brandeis community for the past year, and I hope to again be of service to our university as a Senator-at-Large. Firstly, I have the experience on senate to undertake the responsibilities of this particular position. Secondly, I know that I have the social and leadership skills to serve on senate. Lastly, I understand that there are certain issues that need to be addressed on this campus.

The candidates for the Racial Minority position are James Lee and Arnel Blake Batoon. None of these candidates offered a statement to The Hoot.

The race for the Union Judiciary position features eight candidates campaigning for five seats: Jamie Ansorge 09, Bryan Deutsch 08, Zach Handler 09, Jared Hirsh 10, Rachel Kagan 09, Cindy Kaplan 08, Joshua Koppel 08, and Robert Schwartz 08.
Jamie Ansorge: My name is Jamie Ansorge and I would be honored to serve you as a Justice of the Union Judiciary. I am a dedicated campus activist looking to take the next step as a member of the Student Union. My work as an activist has taken me in, out, and all around the functions of the Union, F-Board, and all of its subsidiaries. I have worked with countless students on an array of projects and issues. My wide breadth of on-campus experience and knowledge of school processes makes me an ideal candidate for this position.

As a Justice of the UJ, I promise to commit every needed moment of my time to each case, and review those cases with the utmost sincerity and sensitivity. I promise to learn the processes of the UJ and articulate them in a simplified manor to the average student. I promise that I will be an impartial and responsible Justice.

Jared Hirsh: As a member of the Student Union Judiciary I will use my extensive legal knowledge and experience to successfully mediate disagreements between members of the Student Union government, Union Organizations, and Individuals in an impartial manner and in full compliance with the rules of the Brandeis Student Union Constitution. I, Jared A. Hirsh, have the experience necessary to grant Brandeis University the highest level of judicial service.

I have worked as a leading intern for the prominent Washington DC based Law Firm, Wani and Associates, gaining valuable real world legal experience. I have acquired a strong base in civil and criminal legal code, antitrust litigation, economic regulation law, and immigration law. I will use my real world experience mediating between hostile parties and in the financial sector to insure that the Brandeis Judiciary runs effectively and reaches outcomes which are both constitutional and favorable for the Brandeis student body. In addition to my mediation duties, I will serve as an effective monitor of the Student Union government determining the constitutionality of all legislation, decisions, and actions of the government. The Brandeis Student body can count on me to be their enthusiastic, dedicated, and knowledgeable representative in the Student Union Judiciary.

Cindy Kaplan: I will be running for a spot on the Union Judiciary. I am a rising senior, and am currently the Director of Social Affairs. I love the Student Union and would like to continue being an active member of this organization. I am interested in the UJ because in my Brandeis experience they have been inactive, and I'd like to give them more of a voice on campus. I am interested in seeing the Union through the lens of its the judicial system.

Joshua Koppel: I am Josh Koppel, a junior majoring in Politics and History and minoring in Legal Studies and Economics. I am running for Union Judiciary. I am running on a platform of bringing accountability and openness to the Student Union system. I have experience in leadership roles on campus in Hillel, helping during orientation for the past two years, as the leader of the Brandeis Israel Public Affairs Committee, and elsewhere. I have a good idea of the legal system and have studied its role in a democracy as part of my Legal Studies minor and my work on a thesis relating to constitutional law. I hope to ensure a fair Student Union system so that we can have good dialogue about issues on our campus.