Association of Amherst Students Executive Board Candidate Statements
Issue   |   Tue, 03/29/2016 - 22:58

Candidates for President

Karen Blake ’17: I am running for President to restructure and redefine the role of the Senate and its relationship with the student body. The AAS needs to work with students to help them create their ideal campus. Unfortunately, in its current state, much of the initiative is placed on students to reach out, often difficult with a busy schedule, resulting in a governing body that is out of touch and reactionary. I want to create a proactive body that seeks out and works closely with campus leaders on a regular basis to ensure that student voice guides the direction of the AAS.

Heru Craig ’17: I appreciate all of you who have endorsed my candidacy. My goal is to remain answerable to you as I work in my own way to improve our campus community. This is true whether or not I secure the presidency. For my full platform, please search for either my Facebook group or Google Drive folder with your account authorized. They are both called “Heru Craig for President 2016-2017.” Cheers, Heru.

Olivia Pinney ’17: I am running for AAS president because I am a dedicated advocate for campus change. My top priorities for next semester include: (1) Increasing mentorship and community across class years – examples include continuation of Branches, better departmental study spaces, and increased support for dorm sponsored events. (2) Re-evaluating our party reservation policy to combat changes in campus social spaces, specifically giving students greater freedom to inhabit public spaces on campus. (3) Creating a position on the President’s Cabinet to coordinate between activist, affinity and political groups to more effectively make demands of the administration. See my full platform at

Anton Zykov ’17: My Fellow Students, after attending Amherst for three years, one thing has become apparent. Amherst needs a leader. As president, I'd like to tackle issues of social injustice as well as practical issues the college faces. Support from the college is imperative for success after graduation, and I would see to it that students receive the help needed. If elected, I would bring a strong work ethic and leadership skills that are necessary for a president to be successful. People of the student body, I guarantee that change will come. Thank you, Tony 2016. #Tony2016

Candidates for Vice President

Paul Gramieri ’17: The AAS has much potential for student advocacy and improving student life at Amherst. As Treasurer this year, I’ve seen what the AAS can do with funding, from supporting The Amherst Student during its restructuring to reviving the Musical to expanding TYPO. Now it’s time for the AAS to become more than just a funding source. As Vice President, I’ll ensure that Senators regularly hold office hours and will work to make the Senate advocate for students by making AAS meetings a true forum where students can share ideas, express opinions, and find solutions that enhance our shared collegiate experiences.

Rashid (Chico) Kosber ’17: Hello, Amherst community! I am writing to you to request your support for my candidacy for vice president. Throughout my three years as your senator I have seen the importance of a representative and accountable senate. As vice president I will have three main priorities: improve the accountability senate has to the student body by regularly inviting groups to speak at senate, facilitate direct student feedback for representatives serving on policy making committees, and make senate a place where advocacy happens. Please vote for Chico!

Candidates for Treasurer

Aditi Krishnamurthy ’18: Having served on the Budgetary Committee for the past two semesters, I am well versed in its funding and reimbursement policies, behind-the-scenes clerical systems, and the expectations the administration has of the Treasurer. All this, and my experience as an AAS senator, would allow me to hit the ground running so that we can start addressing the concerns students have brought up this past year immediately. Some of the goals I hope to achieve this year include increasing students’ knowledge of policies and increasing the equitability of funding allocations. Thank you!

Siqing (Alex) Liu ’19: For a year, I have worked as a clerk for the AAS Budgetary Office, processing requests, updating the website, and meeting with students to administer the AAS credit card. Through the dozens of hours I’ve put in, I’ve come to recognize how crucial a role the AAS plays in student life, and how any problem can cause great frustration for students. With your vote, I will eliminate these frustrations and ensure that every student and club receive the funding they need. You can bank on me to make funding cent-sible!

Candidates for Secretary

Silvia Sotolongo ’19: As an AAS Senator this year, and having served as head of the Transportation Committee which organizes the free shuttles for fall and spring break, I am experienced in the sort of work necessary to be a great Secretary of AAS. In this position I plan to revise the van policies to find the most equitable solutions for both clubs and individuals on campus, and I want to make the work that senators are accomplishing through committees and senate projects more transparent to the student body. I aim to make the executive branch more accessible to our student body. Thanks!

Phillip Yan ’18: Hi! My name is Phillip Yan, and I want your vote. Amherst College is an amazing second home for me, made possible by all the amazing students here. I want to give back to it by helping the community. I want to hear from you, through email or face-to-face conversations, on how to make Amherst College a better place. That’s why I’m running for Secretary – the liaison between student government and you. Two years of Senate experience, two years of being an active part of campus extracurriculars have taught me the importance of quick -precise- communication. Vote Phillip Yan for Secretary!

Candidates for Judiciary Council Chair

Felix Edwards ’18: Dear Amherst, after spending last semester as part of the Judiciary Council and finding myself constantly frustrated by the lack of transparency in the AAS and a student bureaucracy that makes it difficult for dissatisfied students to submit complaints, I have decided to run for Judiciary Chair. As chair, I want to make the actions of the JC (and the complaint process in particular) more transparent, including an online forum to submit complaints and releasing majority opinions to explain the rationale to any JC decision. I want an AAS that is more accessible and responsive to the student body at large.