AAS Senate and JC Candidate Statements 2017
Issue   |   Tue, 04/18/2017 - 23:47

On Thursday, April 20, the AAS will hold elections for Senate (classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020) and Judiciary Council (any class). Below are statements from candidates for these seats. All students who wish to be on the ballot must attend Speech Night on Wednesday, April 19, or send a proxy, for their name to appear on the ballot.

Class of 2018
Olivia Mastrangelo: Over my past two years as your class senator, I have seen firsthand both the progress that the AAS has made and the work that remains to be done. I have been an active member of Senate throughout my tenure, holding seats on the Transportation, Arts and Budgetary Committees and working to distribute cardboard boxes to the student body at the end of the school year. I am more dedicated than ever to ensuring that the AAS listens to its constituents and commits itself to positive change, and I would love the opportunity to represent our class one more time.

Alejandro Niño Quintero: As a Senator this year, my greatest accomplishment has been co-leading the mascot selection process. Looking forward, I hope to make the conversations and policy relevance of the faculty committees that AAS Senators sit on more accessible and transparent to the student body. The AAS can serve as a central source of power, but students have/can drive the change on campus. Finally, I plan to develop a more seamless way for students to request Safe Rides and/or accessibility transportation.

Class of 2019
Louis Briones: I am running for the privilege of going to long meetings every Monday as your Senator. Hopefully, I’ll have enough power to accomplish one of my main objectives: A drinking fountain on the Hill. That topic aside, I can’t possibly touch upon every problem concerning our school, but what I can do is listen to what the student body considers to be of primary concern. Vote for me Thursday, and I promise I’ll do my best to make life a bit easier here at Amherst.

Cornell Brooks: Having served on the Dining Services Committee and the Faculty Committee on Admission and Financial Aid, I have gained insight into the inner workings of this school and contributed to change on campus. By listening to feedback from the student body and working with Charlie Thompson, head of Dining Services, I was able to help get rid of the unpopular noodle bar dinner option. I’m excited to work with the new head of dining services next year to provide catering for Friday trivia nights at 8 p.m.

Madeline Bustos: In high school, I was extremely involved in student government. As an Amherst student I have continued this tradition by working closely with members of the AAS to create a more inclusive environment for all students. Some of my top priorities as senator would be to advocate for more direct communication between AAS and the student body and to continue working closely with Dining Services to keep Amherst cafés delicious and affordable.

Yannis Kalogiannis: Having represented the Class of 2019 this past year, I am convinced that the senate can effect meaningful change by focusing on specific short-term goals and eliminating wasteful spending. If elected, I intend to reform the chaotic storage system — a project I initiated this year — and seek election to the budgetary committee to encourage clubs to focus on the quality, not the quantity, of their events. As an international student, a member of the political union and a club athlete, I am confident I can represent all Amherst students.

Maeve McNamara: During my time as Senator, I served on the Committee for Educational Policy, where I advocated for the institution of minors and the diversification of the faculty. I also served on the Committee for Education and Athletics, where I contributed to thinking critically about the role of athletics at Amherst. Furthermore, I organized the second annual “Everybody Has a Story,” which brought together faculty, staff and students to share lunch and engage in below-the-surface conversations. I am a hardworking advocate who, if reelected, hopes to continue to build community and create policy changes. Vote for Maeve, she’s all the rave, again!

Joe Schneider: I believe that Amherst has many resources that can be better taken advantage of and I want to make sure that everyone is able to benefit from them. As your senator, I will focus my attention on uniting the student body and improving communication between all members of our community. All of this with the hopes of assisting in the successes of each and every member of our community to make your Amherst experience as enjoyable and rewarding as possible.

Kristian Sogaard: There are a number of issues on campus that I will work diligently to fix if elected. First and foremost, I will look to ease tensions between athletes and non-athletes to foster a more inclusive campus. I will also move to make the work in the senate more transparent and open to student input. Additionally, as a student athlete of color, I believe that I bring a unique perspective that is key in campus discussions. Thank you!

William Zaubler: For the past two years, I have been a very dedicated Senator: I serve on numerous committees and organized the AAS Town Hall on Campus Social Life. Next year, I plan on continuing to work with the administration to find solutions to the issues regarding campus social life. Additionally, I would like to propose changes to the structure of the AAS so that Senate can better address the issues and concerns of all members of the class of 2019.

Class of 2020
Maya Bhandari:I have loved being your senator for the past few months, and I believe my experience has provided me with the skills necessary to better serve as your representative next year. I am currently in the process of bringing games into first-year common rooms in order to foster a more dynamic living experience for first-years. If re-elected, I would continue to work towards improving the lives of our class by listening to and advocating for your ideas.

Michael Du: Over the course of the past year, I’ve joined many activities and met people from all types of backgrounds. Each and every one of the individuals is an intellectual, and talented in his or her own interests and passions. As a senator, I hope to bridge the gap between the student body and AAS by listening to the opinions of students to which the student government should be representing. If you elect me as your Senator for the class of 2020, I will support you as well as the general Amherst community. Thank you for your consideration.

Jordan Edwards: As an AAS senator, I serve on the Budgetary Committee and I plan on working with our treasurer in the upcoming year to create more equitable funding guidelines, especially related to food so that large clubs and affinity groups are not penalized simply for having a large amount of members. I also plan on addressing issues related to the campus community especially regarding the student-athlete divide. If re-elected, I would strive to make Amherst College a more unified place.

Hannah Fox: I have met faculty from many academic departments due to the open curriculum and athletic staff because I am a two-sport athlete. My goal is to strengthen relationships amongst students, faculty, and staff. It would be beneficial to host events within the grade, to facilitate the formation of a tight-knit class. I will help ensure that everyone has a voice. I am approachable and hardworking, which are essential qualities for this role. If I am elected, I will do my best to unite everyone, work to change policies, and represent our class.

Gregory Franklin: The reason why I want to be a part of student council for another year is because I enjoy being in the part of the school that helps build a strong community. Through being a part of student council, I have learned what the role that student council plays in our school and I enjoy trying to improve that. Through being a senator, I will try to bring what I think is the opinion that the student body would want most. I will do this by listening to students and seeing what works and what doesn’t.

Sade Green: When I ran for Senate, I promised to make sure that your voices would be heard. I can gladly say that I have kept my promise. In March, I held Amherst College’s very first State of the College Address, an event that aims to enhance communication and transparency. I visited dorms and asked for your opinions regarding the admissions process because I am on the Faculty Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid. I also attended some of your tea times to hear about your concerns. If you re-elect me as your Senator, I will continue to fight alongside you.

William Jang (Billy): Senate touches on all aspects of student life, meaning I’ve learned about various committees and clubs. This past year in senate, I’ve been generally learning and helping out. I’m running because I’m trying to shift more conversation towards vocational opportunities in STEM. Our STEM departments are extremely busy, and could use a lot of support from us. I want to incentivize and publicize the job fairs and workshops that Amherst brings in, as well as the competitions and networking that can be done within the Five Colleges.

Natalia Khoudian: I’ve served on both the Mascot and Budgetary Committees, seeing the importance of transparency and clear communication with the student body, and believe I can continue to foster this through Senate moving forward. I am currently working on my Senate Project to bring large-scale games to first-year common rooms to foster bonding and inclusivity for future first-years. Next year, I hope to join the Committee on Educational Policy to increase diversity in our academics, starting with the professors hired. I want to continue serving the dynamic Amherst student body if reelected!

Lauren Knight: I have worked with the College Council and Powerhouse Committees to create new student programming, update the Honor Code, and make sure my classmates’ voices are heard. For my Senate Project, I have dedicated months to planning First-Year Summer Bash, an event to bring the first-year class together in celebration and to raffle off a dinner at Biddy’s house and experience at Lewis-Sebring Commons. Next year, I hope to create more unique student experiences keeping my classmates’ perspectives in mind.

Cole Vissicchio: If you want to improve the food, I’m your guy. #REVAMPVAL2017

Ranko Vranic: What’s up, Class of 2020? The platform that I am running on is outreach and collaboration. The AAS and the Amherst administration have a responsibility to promote good governance by listening to the student body and being transparent about decisions made. Furthermore, people in positions of power at Amherst must be able to communicate with the student body on daily basis. I want to be a senator who listens to his electorate, who supports the initiatives of the student body, and who governs fairly.

Judiciary Council
Patrick Friend ’20: I believe that, as a member of the Judiciary Council, I will be able to accurately judge the nature and severity of apparent breaches of the honor code. While this has been the central focus of the Judiciary Council in recent times, the group has an additional duty to maintain both the Student Government Constitution and the Student Code of Conduct. If elected, I will lead the charge to have the Judiciary Council take a more active role in modernizing and streamlining those two documents to create a more efficient Student Government.

Nicole Frontero ’20: I am running due to my desire to uphold the integrity of the AAS constitution. As a member of a team, I value the importance of responsibility and fairness, and will bring this understanding to the Council as we discuss difficult topics regarding equality on campus. I will work to ensure election fairness and voting accessibility, and will have an open mind as to additional roles that the JC may serve in order to increase its presence.

Logan Seymour ’19E: At Amherst, I have persistently sought to bring attention to disability on campus, working closely with administration and students to pursue policies which would better accommodate students who identify as disabled. Additionally, I have sat on the Student Advisory Board for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, where I have engaged with students to stimulate productive conversations and create a more inclusive campus. As a member of the JC, I will advocate for the student body and will tirelessly support the principles of equality and justice.

Henry Walker ’20: During the chaotic AAS presidential election, candidates were reported for violating an AAS campaign rule preventing the hanging of posters within reasonable view of a public computer. In times when voting was done on public computers, this rule was logical, but at this point, it is outdated and unnecessary. Although the complaints were invalid, the publicity greatly affected opinions of the candidates. If elected to the Judiciary Council, I will work to remove archaic rules like this from the AAS constitution and make sure that our elected officials are elected on merit and not drama-fueled backlash.

David Wilson ’20: I am a member of the Amherst Symphony Orchestra and the sailing team. I find it very heartening that an institution of our caliber has a judicial structure to match. After witnessing the controversy surrounding the AAS presidential election, I was emboldened to run. I was astonished at how fairly and competently the complaint was handled by our current Judiciary Council. If elected I would make a great addition and will approach every issue brought forth even-handedly and with a clear head.