After being delayed by two weeks, Wilf Campus student government elections took place this past week and not without fanfare. Most positions featured competitive races between candidates with strong campaigns, making for an interesting lead up to the elections themselves. Aside from private campaigns launched by each candidate, students judged potential student leaders by their performance at the presidential debate and their presentation in a questionnaire appearing this newspaper.
The winners of the elections were first released by The Commentator and then distributed in a ystud as well by Canvassing Committee Chairman Tzvi Solomon. Most noteworthy were the presidential victors: Menachem Goldstein for YSU, Adam Zimilover for YCSA, Jesse Nathanson for SSSBSC, and Isaac Attia for SOY. Also remarkable were the two write-in candidates, Alan Avitan and David Bodner, who took the positions of YSU Treasurer and Senior Class Secretary, respectively.
Mr. Solomon was satisfied with the election process, particularly in light of the decision his committee made in the past weeks. “Postponing the elections awakened several passionate students to declare their candidacy and ultimately enter into student council races, he said. “The Canvassing Committee is thankful for the outpouring support that we received from the student body, student councils, and the Office of Student Life.”
Wilf Campus Director of Student Life Hezzy Jesin was similarly pleased, saying “The student leaders and the Canvassing Committee quickly recognized an issue that would have had a serious impact on the student body” and that “because of the way they handled the situation, even those that stood to lose the most from extending the deadline (the candidates who were running unopposed) not only took no issue with the decision, but even publicly supported it. This was an example of great student leadership.”
Incoming SOY-JSC President Isaac Attia echoed that feeling too. “It’s a real honor and privilege to represent the student body,” he said. “It’s a much more gratifying and heartwarming win because I had to fight for it. Knowing that it wasn’t just handed to me but and that I earned it and that I have the support of the student body, makes it that much more enjoyable and gratifying.”
SYMS President Jesse Nathanson expressed his feelings about being reelected this year, which may be a first for his position. “I truly feel honored to be able to be involved with Student Government for another year. I think it takes a lot of time to get adjusted into the President position so I think it is positive that I know what to expect and hope to hit the ground running and waste no time transitioning into the job.”
The new class of student leaders will make for an interesting year. While Mr. Nathanson and Mr. Zimilover bring extensive experience to their school-wide boards and Mr. Goodman to his class representation, no other victors have experience in student government and some with little club leadership as well. But the outgoing student leaders do not seem worried.
“I do not think "experience" is the most important factor on the student boards because of the turnover that happens on the campus most years,” SOY-JSC President Gabi Weinberg noted. I do hope that this year's boards can have ample meeting time with the elected leaders to pass the baton effectively. I think learning from the past year's mistakes is the best thing that we can give to the coming boards and I think we are both equipped and ready to share that advice.”
Hoffman sounded a different note, suggesting that the experienced leaders would make up for any issues in other positions. “The lack of experience is somewhat of a disadvantage,” he said, “but I think Jesse and Adam, two very strong, involved student leaders, will be able to make up for the experience that the other presidents lack. Having a president in his second term will be especially beneficial, and Jesse will enable the councils to more easily continue where we left off.”
Adam Zimilover, outgoing VP and incoming President of YCSA who current president Adam Neuman claims is “constantly looking for ways to improve the Yeshiva College experience,” had the most positive outlook on the matter. "I'm very excited to have the opportunity to work with other members of student council to improve upon what we did this year and to implement new ideas to better student life on campus,” he said. “Most members of the student government are new to the councils and I'm looking forward to hearing the fresh perspective that they will bring to the table."