By: Avi Hirsch  | 

Student Court Dismisses Case, Affirms Greenberg as YSU President

On Wednesday, Jan. 29, the Wilf Student Court ruled that Yeshiva Student Union (YSU) Vice President of Clubs Zachary Greenberg (SSSB ‘21) will assume the role of YSU President, “effective immediately.”

The ruling dismissed the Yeshiva College Student Association (YCSA) and Student Organization of Yeshiva (SOY)’s petition to remove Greenberg as YSU president, finding that the case was moot following Greenberg’s resignation as Resident Advisor (RA). The opinion in the case of YCSA and SOY v. YSU was delivered by Chief Justice Phillip Dolitsky (YC ‘20) on behalf of a unanimous court and was sent in an email to undergraduate students of Yeshiva College and Sy Syms School of Business for Men shortly after 6 p.m. Wednesday evening.

According to the ruling, the petition issued by YCSA and SOY had argued that “emergency elections” should be held immediately, as Greenberg was ineligible to serve as YSU president due to his status as an RA. However, a “Suggestion for Mootness,” submitted to the court by Elimelekh Perl (YC ‘22), Greenberg’s legal counsel, claimed that “on January 28th, 2020, Mr. Greenberg submitted a letter of resignation to the Director of University Housing & Residence Life at the Wilf Campus,” and thus argued that “the case be dismissed with Respondent assuming the position of YSU President.” The petitioners declined to respond, and the court therefore dismissed the petitioners’ claim, affirming Greenberg’s position as YSU president.

“[W]e made the decision to sue in order to move the situation forward and either somehow make Zack officially YSU president or for there to be emergency elections,” said YCSA President Leib Wiener (YC ‘20), explaining his decision to submit the petition to the court. “Ultimately, Zack chose to give up being an RA to be YSU president. I commend him for deciding to step up and continue to be a voice for the students and for making a sacrifice which I know must have been extremely difficult.”

“I am thrilled to be working with Zack this semester,” said SOY President Yoni Broth (SSSB ‘20) regarding Zack’s appointment as YSU president. “He is a great addition to the team, and brings a lot of passion and energy to student council. I look forward to seeing how he will help the students as the official President of YSU.”

Upon being confirmed as YSU president, Greenberg appointed Jared Benjamin (YC ‘21) to take over for him as YSU VP of Clubs. “Jared is a highly regarded student in our school,” said Greenberg about his decision, “and I am confident he can prove to be helpful both in assisting me in running YSU and helping us organize Club Fair.” 

Although the court’s decision dismissed the case due to its mootness, the ruling itself lambasted a “bigger issue than a contested presidency; a poorly designed and outdated Constitution.” Not only is there “no updated version of the Constitution anywhere to be found,” argued the court, but even the outdated constitution contains numerous ambiguities and contradictions that “have helped contribute to this mess.” The court therefore called on “the Student Body and its elected leaders to update and revise the Constitution through the amendment process.”

“I think the decision was fair,” commented Greenberg, “and the court has done a great job at going about such a difficult case … The biggest takeaway of the case is definitely that the Constitution needs to be updated; there are a lot of missing amendments that need to be added.”

“The constitution definitely needs to be fixed,” said Weiner. “The first step would be having the Office of Student Life update the current document with the most recent amendments and then creating an Amendments Committee who will hold a constitutional amendments convention and then propose amendments. Those amendments will then be voted on in the next election.”

“The court is right,” added Broth about the flaws that the court found in the constitution. “There are a lot of ambiguities in the constitution … it is our responsibility as a student body to construct a better written document. I hope that our students step up and propose amendments, or group and write a better document that is found binding in (student) court. Leib [Weiner] and I are in discussion about how we can help facilitate this now, but it is a need for our campus.”

“I think Zack will do a great job,” said former YSU President Ariel Sacknovitz (SSSB ‘20), who stepped down from his role after the Fall 2019 semester. “He has been involved for a long time and this can be his opportunity to shine.”

Photo Caption: Zachary Greenberg has assumed the role of YSU president after having resigned as RA.
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University