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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Student Union works to improve outreach

Published: October 5, 2007
Section: News

The Brandeis Student Union is implementing a new outreach program this year in conjunction with the soon-to-be-unveiled Brandeis Citizenship Campaign.

The outreach campaign, which began at the beginning of the fall 2007 term, will be implemented by the newly created Outreach Team, facilitated by Student Union Director of Union Affairs Jason Gray, 10.

The Outreach Team will consist of seven Student Union senators who will meet to determine what can be done to get the student body at large more involved with the Student Union.

In recent weeks, the Outreach Team has created a website,, in order to make it easier for students to speak to Student Union members about the issues affecting them. The site, which will be officially debuted with the beginning of the Citizenship Campaign, includes links for contacting senators and commenting on issues.

Outreach this year has already included greater contact between Student Union Officers and the incoming freshman class, as well as attempts to reach out further to the Brandeis community as a whole.

Its about physical outreachgoing to club meetings, asking for feedback, Gray said.

He also explained that right now, the Student Union faces inward. We have very formal processes for interacting with each other and with administrators, but few for interacting with the student body at large.

My goal is to turn the Student Union outward, Gray stated.

I spoke to a majority of freshmen [at orientation and hall meetings], letting them know what their Student Union is, said Gray. This has not happened in previous years.

Gray added that the Union is also attempting to implement issue oriented Town Halls during which students can speak out about topics ranging from dining to the Hiatt Career Center.

The Outreach Team will also be starting a program of targeted outreach which will involve letting the right people know what were working on respecting different issues on campus, Gray said.

According to Gray, some executive board members will also begin attempting to make themselves more accessible to the student body at large by holding office hours downstairs in Shapiro Campus Center.

“I look forward to joining Gray and other team members in strategizing how the Union can further develop communication with its constituents, said Ziv Quad Senator Justin Sulsky 09 who is a member of the Outreach Team, in an email.

Sulsky also added that he hopes the Team will help the student body can learn more about what their Student Union is doing and how, every day, Student Union advocacy enhances the lives of undergrads on this campus.

Student Union President Shreeya Sinha 09 commented in an email to The Hoot, I am really excited about the outreach team because this is what your Student Union is supposed to be about. Our aim is to engage the student body in our initiatives, so that every student has a stake in what they want their community to be.

In the Student Union we have a lot of resources, but if we can't connect these resources to the students that we have essentially failed the constituents we serve. I am excited for a new change of culture in the Student Union., Sinha continued.

[Outreach] is going to be a mission and a theme of the Student Union [this year], commented Gray. Its something people always campaign on, [so] one of my main goals is to make it happen, he said.