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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Union creates communications task force

Published: February 13, 2009
Section: News

TASK FORCE: Kay Cook ‘11 takes notes durring the Town Hall on Academic Restructuring yesterday evening.  Cook is one of seven members of the new student union executive communications task force.<br /><i>PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot</i>

TASK FORCE: Kay Cook ‘11 takes notes durring the Town Hall on Academic Restructuring yesterday evening. Cook is one of seven members of the new student union executive communications task force.
PHOTO BY Max Shay/The Hoot

In an effort to make the Student Union more accessible, Union Executive Director of Communications Jamie Ansorge ‘09 has put together a communications task force in order to both increase the Union’s involvement in campus life and to make the Student Union more available to student involvement.

“Having a task force really increases the ability of the Union to fulfill the vision of an accessible Union that Jason Gray has laid out,” Ansorge said.

Ansorge said that the task force has already begun helping him with what, until this semester, was a one-man job.

“Last semester I sent out a total of three news briefs for the student body,” he explained. “Already this week, the team has drafted four.”

The seven members of the task force, Jake Yarmus ‘10, Ben Gorelick ‘11, Jamie Fleishman ‘11, Kay Cook ‘11, Sofya Bronshvayg ‘11, Cameron Welter ‘12 and Josh Agranat ‘12, have already been set to work dorm storming and flyering for various campus events, including the academic restructuring town halls.

The task force will also be responsible for writing letters to the editors for student publications, press briefings and campus-wide e-mails for both the Union Senate and Union President Jason Gray ‘10.

Ansorge is not however following in the footsteps of the university’s senior administration – which last week announced they had solicited the aid of the public relations firm Rasky Baerlien to help handle the media since the announcement of the closing of the Rose Art Museum – Ansorge said the task force was in the process of being formed when the announcement about the Rose was made.

“I was hoping they could help me out doing what I had been doing last semester,” Ansorge said. “We had the ball rolling on this before the budget crisis, but now I’m responsible for doing 10times as much work aslast semester. It works out nicely.”

While Ansorge may not have created the task force in response to the budget crisis, Gorelick said that he accepted the position because “of what’s going on on campus.”

“Having solid communications is always important,” he said, “but at this point in time, when people are just so desperate to know what’s going on, I thought it was particularly important to keep the student body well informed.”

Ansorge said he began “keeping an eye out” for potential members of the task force last semester. Once he had members in mind, he said, he sent them fliers and asked them to set up a meeting with him, at which point he invited them to be part of his team.

The team, Ansorge said, is comprised of seven individuals with different interests and capabilities.

“We all work together well, and the pieces all fall into place,” he said. “Everyone has different strengths, so they are able to work on what interests them the most.”

said that when Ansorge approached her she was impressed by his “clear, concise, informed and professional manner.”

While she said she has never worked for or with the Student Union before, she said that she has decided to “give it a chance” because she thought she could “learn a lot from Jamie.”

Ansorge added that part of the increased work load resulted from Gray’s increased work load due to the budget crisis.

“He’s been having to delegate more to me, so now I can delegate some of that to this force,” he said.

Ansorge, who will be graduating in the Spring, also mentioned that he hopes that his “potential successor” could rise from the communications task force, however, he said that “the idea is that these guys will be the future leaders on campus.”

“Yes, they will be leading the student union in particular,” he continued, “but they will also be learning skills that will help the campus community as a whole.”