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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Aronin reclaims post

Published: February 12, 2010
Section: Front Page

PHOTO BY Robbie Hammer/The Hoot

In an ironic Student Union turnaround, Diana Aronin ’11 won reelection as Secretary Thursday with 483 out of 640 votes in a race with unprecedented voter turnout.

Aronin, who was not originally running to reclaim the seat from which the Union Judiciary (UJ) removed her last Sunday, made it into the final elections through a write-in campaign organized by her supporters via Facebook. The campaign was a success and delivered her the majority of votes both in the primary round Tuesday and Thursday’s final election.

The Senate unanimously impeached Aronin on Dec. 6 and she was subsequently ordered removed from office late last month by all the justices of the Union Judiciary.

“It is crazy,” Aronin, who had no part in the Facebook write-in, wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot. “I was not expecting 44 percent of the vote [in the primary]. I would assume that [winning via write-in] is rare, but I cannot say for sure.”

Deena Glucksman ’11, who was Aronin’s defense counsel in the UJ trial, is an administrator of the Facebook event-group and worked to see Aronin reelected. Glucksman considered Aronin’s success a direct disagreement with the Union’s treatment of her.

“We realized from talking to people around campus that students thought the impeachment was ridiculous,” Glucksman said.

When asked why she volunteered for the Facebook group, “WRITE IN DIANA ARONIN AND SAY SCREW THE STUDENT UNION!,” she said, “when the Senate said she violated the Constitution, that was not the case at all, and we knew [the UJ] would support her if they could,” she said.

The group’s creator, Jennie Shapiro, agreed, and said she started the group because of her “disappointment with the Student Union.” Calling Aronin’s trial a waste of time, “the Student Union consists of students who volunteer their time to improve Brandeis. Diana is one of those students,” Shapiro wrote in an e-mail to The Hoot.

Tuesday’s special election primary, which positioned Aronin for the win, had a record level of student involvement with 499 votes–almost double the last week’s Associate Justice election, which received 290 votes and had the most student participation of the five special elections held that day.

“This campaign did finally get people involved in the voting process, because students felt like they were actually making a difference,” Shapiro wrote.

“The UJ and Senate think too highly of themselves, and that needed to change. People felt that they could make a difference, and they voted specifically to make a statement against the Student Union,” Glucksman said,

Aronin’s main opponent, Brahm Wachter ’12, acknowledged the probable outcome of the race beforehand. “I [had] spoken to Diana about it, and I liked to think, ‘She will win,’” Wachter said. “If I [had] to lose to anyone, it’d be her. Students know she did great at the position.”

Aronin also attributed her surprising comeback to the fact that the Union is out of touch with their constituents, who directly overruled their wishes Thursday.

“It’s quite obvious how the student body feels about the Union now. They think they and their decisions are ridiculous,” Aronin wrote. “It’s too bad the Senate found impeaching me to be of the utmost importance. They should focus on other things, and that is clearly what the student body wants.”

Though Aronin wrote she would “absolutely not” consider Union involvement after this term, she did write, “Win or lose, I was vindicated by the write-ins and the constant flow of support that I got from friends and strangers.”