The Votes Are In! Wilf Election Results Announced
Josh Nagel. Noam Safier. Tuvy Miller. Josh Teller. These four YU students will be the presidents of the Wilf Campus student councils next year.
As the spring semester is winding down, students have been busy finishing up classes and preparing for final examinations. Those running for student government positions that would begin in the following academic year, on the other hand, had an extra task: winning over the votes of their peers. The candidates were running for various positions in one of four student government councils: SOY (Student Organization of Yeshiva), YSU (Yeshiva Student Union), YCSA (Yeshiva College Student Association), and SYMSSC (Syms Student Council).
Before even being able to become a candidate, students were required to receive a select number of signatures from their colleagues; the number of signatures and status of colleagues from whom the signatures could originate were dependent upon the specific positions.
Once this requirement was fulfilled, candidates used various techniques to promote their cause. While the most common of them was creating flyers and posting them on walls throughout the campus, some were more creative. Certain candidates, for example, used social media to gain approval of the voters, while Safier even used the texting platform, WhatsApp, to throw around ideas with his campaigning team. Safier, who will begin his term as president of YSU in the fall, explained that “the whole week of campaigning was planned out and executed as methodically and strategically as I possibly could.” He acknowledged that the process “was exhausting but it seemed to have paid off.”
Nagel, who won the election for president of YSCA, used his previous experience as secretary/treasurer of the same council in order to prove he is capable of handling a bigger role. After his victory, Nagel stated that he plans on continuing the great work of this past year’s president, Shai Berman, while also adding in his own ideas. His goal is also to “respond and represent the academic needs of the student body.”
While Nagel’s prior experience in the student government will likely aid him in his new role, other election winners are hoping that they can take the skills they gained from their involvement in other university affairs and carry them over to be used in their new jobs. Teller, for instance, who will be the new SYMSC president, has been a member of the volleyball team, co-founder and president of the consulting club, and has been associated with other clubs. Teller’s main goal is to “give all students, no matter their majors, a better understanding of their future profession and additional opportunities to network.”
Chairman of the Canvassing Committee Benjamin Segal released the results shortly after polls closed. YSU’s council would consist of Safier, VP of Classes Jacob Herenstein, VP of Clubs Zev Rosenbaum, Senior Class Representative Yoni Pfeiffer, and Junior Class Representative Aryeh Minsky. SOY’s new members include Miller, VP Shua Brick, MYP VP Jonah Sieger, SBMP VP Michael Levy, IBC VP Gavriel Rudansky and JSS VP Ben Barel, while YCSA, to be led by Nagel, also includes Tzvi Levitin as VP and Daniel Gofine as Secretary/Treasurer. Finally, SYMSSC will feature Teller as President, Judah Dobrinsky as VP, and Michael Lehman as Secretary/Treasurer.
Nissan Holzer, who also ran for SOY President, said that the elections “allow people to meet, begin new friendships, and learn valuable lessons from those around them.” Regarding his own campaign, he asserted that it “allowed [him] time to reflect on [his] experience at YU and think of ways to enhance the YU experience.”
Avishai Cohen, a candidate for SBMP VP, added that “those of us who lost still have solace in knowing that we have contributed to the broader conversation about our lives as students on the Wilf campus.”
Harel Kopelman, a senior in Yeshiva College who voted in the elections, had a positive review as well, pointing out that “deciding who to vote for was not easy because there were so many candidates who made compelling arguments as to why he should be my choice.”
Granted, despite all the positive feedback, it was not perfect. Sources have told The Commentator that there was indeed a tie after the elections for one of the positions, and had to be resolved by a smaller meeting and vote by current student government officials, as official policy dictates. The position in question, in addition to the margin of victory within the smaller vote, could not be released. One candidate, who asked for anonymity, was disappointed that the university faculty was unwilling to share the final vote count due to university policy.
At this point in time, it is difficult to know what types of events or changes will be implemented next year due to the election results. But for now, it is reassuring to know that the student body has placed its trust in various student leaders who will be responsible for making sure everyone’s voice is heard. It will soon be up to the student leaders themselves to hold up their end of the bargain.