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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Feinberg elected Union President

Published: March 25, 2005
Section: News

Jennifer Feinberg 07 was elected as Union President in the final phase of Round I elections on Thursday. Turnout for this election was 1660 students, or 53 percent of the student population, the largest number of students voting in recent memory. Feinberg beat her rival Alana Hamlett 06 by 87 votes (see complete election results on pg. 6).

Before yesterdays election the largest voter turnout on record was 1549 students in fall 2002. That year a ballot referendum asked students to choose whether Aramark should stop selling Kraft products on campus in protest of Kraft owner Philip Morriss record on social justice. The referendum that year failed by a tiny margin just 21 votes.

Outgoing Union President Mark Schlangel 05 attributed the high voter turnout this cycle to two hot issues on the ballot. A proposed amendment by BTV would have increased that organizations funding by over 150 percent (see related article, this page) but was defeated by a large margin. Additionally, a poll asking students if they would be willing to pay an extra 20 cents per cup of coffee in order to secure Fair Trade coffee was also on the ballot. The Fair Trade Brigade, a newly chartered club which sponsored the poll, has not yet released the results.

A diverse selection of students were attracted to the ballots by the different issues being voted upon, Schlangel told the Hoot. So once students logged in to vote on the issue important to them they also voted for everything else as well.

Feinberg said she felt, excited to realize that all of my hypothetical goals could turn into realistic plans for the future.

In describing the effort that went into the campaign, Feinberg said, I think most of my campaign was set up for me before the election started;

in the relationships I have fostered and with the people I have worked with.

Throughout my campaign, I didnt need to tell people that I cared about them because Ive already shown that I do, through all my efforts as a Senator for the past two years and as the Club Resource Coordinator, she said.

Feinberg and Hamlett made the final round of the presidential race by defeating outgoing Treasurer Aaron Gaynor 07 and Senator-at-Large Ezra Stark 06 by large margins in Round 1.

Tae Yaun Jacob Kim 06 was elected as Union Vice President. This will be Kims first stint as an elected official. The other two executive board positions were uncontested with the incumbent Aaron Braver 06 being re-elected as Union Secretary and Nick Freeman 07 being elected as Union Treasurer.

The closest race of the election was between Albert Cahn 06 and Mark Samburg 07 to fill the position of junior representative to the Board of Trustees. That race was decided in Cahns favor by a mere seven votes.

I am humbled by the number of people who were willing to support my campaign and amazed at how close the results were, Cahn told The Hoot. I dont get sworn in until the fall, so it will give me a couple of months to formulate my agenda.

Before picking an agenda I need to get a feel for the office and position and how to best serve Brandeis students, he said.

Representatives to the Alumni Association, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, and Union Finance Board were also elected. Round II elections, which begin next week, will determine who will serve as members of the Union Senate and Union Judiciary next year.