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Celebrity Student: Ethan Wasserman

Before Facebook, knowing the most basic details about a person consisted of remembering his or her birthday, hometown, and interests. However, that information no longer needs to occupy anyone’s mind. By logging into Facebook, typing in Ethan Wasserman, and clicking on his profile (assuming you know what he looks like), you would find that Ethan was born in Coral Springs, Florida, is pre-law, double majors in psychology and political science, and is a popular guy. If stalked more carefully, you would discover his employment history, his favorite basketball team, the Miami Heat, and a list of his favorite artists, movies, and novels.

However, you would probably overlook the quote taken from Batman Begins, “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” Though he admits “it’s a bit corny,” Ethan says the quote resonates with him; it motivates him to be as active as he can be. He comments, “I had a bad first semester because I spent a lot of time sitting on my butt playing games, watching movies, and doing nothing.”

Now Ethan is one of the busiest students on campus. He works eighteen hours a week in Productions; he is Head RA of lower Rubin Hall, on the mock trial team, Head of Props at YCDS, and President of YUPAC. What changed between his first semester on campus and now? “It’s simple,” he says, “I just got involved.”

Ethan credits his experiences through Quest, the CJF’s leadership training initiative, with sparking his drive. After dedicating countless hours toward a project raising money for underprivileged youths in Israel, he was blessed with the experience of going to Israel and seeing the effect of his hard work firsthand. From then on, he sought to gain experience outside of the classroom that would broaden his own cultural and intellectual horizons, and positively affect others, as well.

That summer, Ethan’s newfound energy landed him an internship at his congressman’s office. There, he further developed his passion for politics, drawing on his desire to impact a large group of constructively and positively. When Ethan came back to YU, he searched for a means through which he could channel his political activism. This led him to the biggest political club on campus, Yeshiva University’s Political Action Committee (YUPAC), a club that promotes Israel advocacy through the American political process.

Over the next year, Ethan moved up the ranks, eventually becoming President of YUPAC this past semester. Currently, YUPAC’s Lobby Mission occupies much of his time. The Mission plans on sending 200 YU students to lobby in Washington, D.C., on November 30, 2011. Around 200 students will meet with 40 persons of congress, acting as a voice for Israel, and will experience the power of politics. Ethan says, “One of the biggest problems on campus is apathy. People think because they have compassion for a cause, they can be passive.” The Lobby Mission is actively trying to change this mindset. As Ethan says, “Can you just imagine seeing four busses full of enthusiastic students diving up to DC? It’s a powerful thought.”

In order to ensure that the event is successful, he has spent the last few months marketing, registering participants, and fund raising. When asked what his proudest moment working with YUPAC was, Ethan responded, “I don’t think I have reached that moment yet. I think that moment will come when I stand in front of those 200 students and address them for the first time.”

While Facebook can tell you the basics about a person, you might be surprised to learn that there are certain things it cannot tell you. Ethan has a positive outlook on life that might just be unparalleled here. He is charismatic, engaging, well spoken, and if you can believe it, he also has time for a social life. Ethan says, “I can’t imagine not doing anything.”