Vassar Student Association

Fall 2017 Candidates and Statements

The following students have filed for this election. The list will be updated on a rolling basis. Click on a candidate's name to read their candidate statement.

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VSA Executive Board

VSA Vice President

Allison Breeze


Hello! My name is Allison Breeze, and I hope to be your next VSA Vice President. This is a role that is integral to the function and maintenance of the VSA itself, because, among other things, the Vice President chairs the Board of Strategic Planning. It may seem like this has no effect on you as an individual student, but believe me, it does. The Board of Strategic Planning works to adapt the VSA structure in accordance with the needs of the student body, which means whoever you elect as Vice President must be willing to listen to your ideas. The entire VSA Executive Board works closely with the College's administration, and the Vice President specifically is a student liaison for the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid, the Priorities and Planning Committee, and the Alumni Association. If given the position, I would be committed to maintaining Vassar's generous financial aid policy, as well as requesting student input on the future plans of Vassar. It would be my mission as Vice President to make sure your individual concerns are addressed, and to encourage you to hold the VSA accountable in being transparent. The VSA exists to serve the students it represents, which means you should feel empowered to stand up for your beliefs. I want Vassar to be a place where every student feels safe, respected, and important. I want students of color, LGBTQ+ students, femme students, students with accessibility needs, ALL students, to feel their voices are heard by the VSA. I want to make sure that Vassar Administrators act in the best interests of students, and open themselves up to student feedback. I want students to know that they are in control of the VSA, and I want the VSA to act accordingly.

It would be my great honor to work for and with you to achieve these goals. Thank you.

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Bryan Fotino


Hiii I'm Bryan and I'm:
 
·from New Jersey
·vegan
·queer
·a poli-sci major
·a student fellow in Jewett
·a 1st grade tutor
·on student conduct board
·an intern for my town government
 
4 things I'll advocate for as VSA vice-president:
 
1. GO GREEN. The global crisis of climate change is quickly making our planet uninhabitable. Vassar must do its part by investing in energy efficiency and renewable power. 21% renewable is not enough! In addition, the VSA must take a stand against Vassar's annual deer slaughter.
 
2. LOWER TUITION. Vassar has the 2nd highest tuition of any private school, and while the administration claims to meet 100% of financial need, I and many other students struggle to fund our education. The VSA must pressure the administration to become more transparent about where our money goes.
 
3. A HEALTHY CAMPUS. Many Vassar students are overworked to the point that they've neglected their physical and mental health. The VSA must work to reconnect students with proper nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management. In particular, the new Deece should include healthy late-night food, natural spreads, more juice options, and calorie counts.
 
4. RENOVATE RAYMOND. Having lived in Raymond last year, I experienced the tremendous disparity among our residential houses. Not only is the living situation unfair, but some buildings are inaccessible to disabled students, with no ramps or working elevators.
 
Vassar is an amazing college, but it's far from perfect. Let's change that together <3

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Pietro S. Geraci


Hi everyone,

My name is Pietro, and I am running for Vice-President of the VSA. The VSA has a lot of goals and objectives this year, as they always do, and I want to help achieve these aims. Previous iterations of the VSA have faltered in their pursuit of a better Vassar for its constituents, for which I hold internal disorganization responsible. I know how to fix this. I hold leadership positions in the Vassar Conservative Libertarian Union, Vassar Catholic Community, Vassar Rotaract Toastmasters, and Vassar Mock Trial. I also hold leadership positions with two outside groups: Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty. My administrative ability allows me to successfully get stuff done and contribute to the success of these organizations.

If elected, I will demonstrate the same administrative ability. I will ask for and receive plans and objectives to make Vassar a better place from the other VSA Executive Board members, committees, and college administrators, and work with them as they progress towards these goals. I will ensure timelines are in place for progress, and that deadlines are met. I will also work with the Operations Committee and Board of Strategic Planning to set deadlines as necessary. 

The VSA is committed to helping its constituents, especially those of historically marginalized identities. The well-being of these students may very well depend on the VSA's efforts. We cannot afford hindrances due to incompetent or negligent officials, neither within the VSA nor the College administration. As your Vice-President, I will hold ALL VSA and administrative officials accountable, and I will see to it that they meet their responsibilities and work with rigor and enthusiasm to improve Vassar.

In addition, I am a staunch opponent of BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel). I believe it is hateful and anti-Semitic, and that it has no place at this fine institution. The 30th VSA Council, in charge two years ago, allocated excessive time and resources to helping pass a BDS resolution, which was overturned in a referendum in which less than half of the student body voted. It was a massive waste of everyone's time, and meaningful work the Council could have embarked on to help students of oppressed identities and improve the school was not done. As VP, I will use my influence on the executive board and on the Senate to prevent another such travesty. 

I will also use my influence to push some of the objectives listed on my platform from when I ran for President last semester, which include:

  1. Film all VSA Senate meetings for transparency purposes,
  2. Enact a permanent ban on secret ballot voting in all Senate and committee meetings,
  3. Explore and enact programs and community service opportunities that would benefit downtown Poughkeepsie on behalf of Vassar College,
  4. Explore and enact programs and community service opportunities that can further engage Vassar College with Syrian refugees,
  5. Work with administration to create and implement a plan to install new elevators in Raymond, Josselyn, and Cushing Houses,
  6. Explore and enact strategies and actions that would press the administration to get to work straightaway on the renovation of Raymond House.
  7. Explore and enact strategies and actions that would press the administration to install ramps on at least one entrance to Strong, Lathrop, Raymond, and Noyes Houses (yes, I will build the ramps with my bare hands if I have to. I'm an Eagle Scout. I renovated a shed at an animal shelter so it could be used once again-I got this.),
  8. Work with administration to create and implement a plan to have solar panels installed on the roofs of all buildings, and
  9. Establish two rounds of Senatorial debates on two different days for elections: one for general Senate candidates and one for Senate executive board candidates.
In addition, since the Vice-President sits on the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid, I am promising to you that I will strive to ensure Vassar continues its need-blind admissions policy and fight for fair financial aid packages.

If you're ready for real leadership and real change, then make the right decision: 

Vote Piet for VP.

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Cody Harmon


Hey everyone! My name is Cody and I would like the honor of being your VSA Vice President for the 2017-2018 academic year. 

The position of Vice President is crucial as we are in the midst of many changes in our campus community. The Vice President is not only responsible for the overseeing the VSA, but has responsibilities with being available for you, serving on the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid, Alumna/i Association Board of Directors, providing a report to the Student Affairs Committee for the Board of Trustees, Chair the Operations Committee and Board of Strategic Planning, and other committees and assignments. In other words, the position is nonstop! It is nonstop for the betterment of you and for the future of Vassar students, policies and institutional behaviors that we can construct together. Some ideas that I am immediately considering and continuing advocate for are (in no particular order):

  • Increasing Vassar's financial aid to students through encouraging more scholarships from already generous alums, encouraging more grants and paid fellowships, and rethinking student employment. 
  • Encouraging workshops to understand what financial aid covers compared what Bursar charges.
  • Robust recruiting in communities that Vassar has & has not historically recruited.
  • Focus on quality of life aspects for ALL students.
  • Have regular forums (virtual/in person) with students and the Board of Trustees.

As a proud nontraditional, first generation, and low income student, we have much work to make our campus and community more inviting and attracting to those who have and have not heard of Vassar. We are great students and we have great faculty and staff. You have my pledge of commitment for accountability, transparency, and inclusiveness that you deserve and require! 

Together this year, I hope we can continue this nonstop work to better our campus and community. It would be in service that you elect me as your VSA Vice President for the 2017-2018 academic year. I truly appreciate your consideration.

Cody

coharmon@vassar.edu

 

 

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Senators

2021 Senator for Activities

Rachael Hahn


Hi there!
My name is Rachael Hahn and I’m from Lake Oswego, Oregon. I am a student athlete here at Vassar as a member of its women’s tennis team and my journey towards becoming a collegiate athlete has supplied me with skills that I believe are vital to coordinating and introducing activities meant to invigorate others. I’ve had the chance to learn that effective leadership requires vast imagination, but most of all, the intent to serve.
I’ve had my fair share of experiences. I was the previous captain of my high school tennis and mock trial teams as well as a volunteer coach at Portland Tennis & Education. In leading these respective activities, I was able to exercise my creativity and social skills for bigger causes than my own.
I want to serve you, Vassar. I want to bring inclusive, fun, and engaging ideas to the table for campus-wide events and I promise nothing but my best as your potential Senator for Activities

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Sara Shirodkar


Hello, my name is Sara Shirodkar and I’m an international student from Mumbai, India. From putting up Model UN conferences to arranging sporting events for the underprivileged kids, organizing events has played a big role in making me who I am today. While communication has always been my strength, scrounging up enough funds for welfare activities was a challenge, and so I learned to make the most of what I had. My goal here is simple: to give you a memorable Vassar experience. Furthermore, as an international student, I would focus on bridging any cultural gaps in Vassar activities and ensuring that everyone has equal access to them. Thank you for considering me and I hope to serve as your Senator for Activities!

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Ivy Teng


Heyyy! This is Ivy!

a Strong woman
a proud Vassar Women’s Choir Alto
a prospective/still-struggling philosophy major
a late-night library owl
a self-hyping piano/guzheng/guitar/vocal dilettante
a BJ Horseman fan
a somehow perfectionist?

3 days before my Vassar life started, I wrapped up a liberal-arts- education summer camp on the other side of the Earth, along with professors from UChicago, Swarthmore, and Davidson, US Master students as teaching assistants and 50 Chinese high school students.

Just when I thought nothing could possibly be more difficult to handle than to function as the organizer/treasurer/logistics/residential assistant/tourist guide/translator/2am-flight- pick-uper/homesick-and- break-ups- comforter/etc., I found the real challenge here at Vassar. In this energetic campus, millions of exciting activities take place at the same time. As a person who enjoys every moment of handling details and solving last minute problems, “senator of activities” is where I belong.

From high school clubs, city-wide debate festivals to nation-wide academic camp, predecessors handed over their responsibility to me, knowing that I would never let them down. Activities expanded in scale and refined in details with my arrangement.
But ultimately, what drives me here isn’t the hope to show off my capability. It is my desire to engage at Vassar in a bigger way, to make this place even more lovable. Being the Senator of Activities will allow me to do so, to not just enjoy its good times, but also create its prime times.

Now it’s your turn to place trust in me— if you’re willing to have confidence in those amazing people who have counted on me before. To whoever that is reading my words right this moment, let me represent you, work for your benefit, and bring the most exciting activities to this campus.

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2021 Senator for Strategic Planning

Diego Betancourt


Hi! I’m Diego Betancourt and I’m from Keene, New Hampshire.  I’m running for VSA Senator for Strategic Planning because I want to represent you and be involved in the direction Vassar is heading in the future.  Growing up in a bicultural household with a Mexican father and an American mother has allowed me to see the world from different perspectives.  Perspective and understanding is paramount in working with others, and with these qualities I feel I can best represent your interests and get things done.  I firmly believe the Vassar Class of 2021 is a diverse group of individuals who all deserve to have their voices heard whatever their background may be.    

 

I have worked for my hometown’s Planning and Code Enforcement department at City Hall and with this knowledge I hope to provide an informed perspective to this part of the VSA.  As president of my high school’s Model United Nations club and Quiz Bowl team I know what it takes to lead and ensure a positive atmosphere for all no matter what their background.  As an active member of my high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, I helped in making my school a better and more inclusive atmosphere for the LGBTQ+ community.  I was also a student representative of my high school class and worked to improve school events and policies, as well as serve the interests of my fellow students.  With this experience, I’m someone who knows what it takes to express and communicate ideas, set goals, and get the job done.

 

If you have any suggestions or questions feel free to send me an email or stop by room 331 in Davison.  I am always open to hearing what you have to say, and I hope to get your vote and be your Senator for Strategic Planning for the Class of 2021!

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Mira Michels-Gualtieri


Hi everyone!

My name is Mira Michels-Gualtieri and I’m running for VSA Senator for Strategic Planning because I believe that Vassar is a place where people unite to make things happen, no matter how big or small.

I’m from Washington, D.C., but lived in Baltimore for the last two years when I transferred to a boarding school (let me tell you, the Deece is a big step up!). I had the honor of serving as President of the School and I feel confident in my ability to lead and work collaboratively—with peers and the administration—to convey what our class wants and needs. I was able to enact tangible change there and want to do the same here.

I have two older siblings, 4 cats, and a corgi. I’m also a Wilderness EMT, so if anything bad ever happens during a meeting, you can count on me to help!

Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity!

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Juliana Milani


Hi! I'm Juliana, an international student from Sao Paulo, Brazil. I'm running for VSA Senator for Strategic Planning this Fall because I already have experience in management and planning, and was hoping I could contribute to those areas here at Vassar. I ran my school's art club for a year and a half, planned classes, gave a few lectures, made presentations, and was the liaison among students, teachers and staff, and so on. My acting in this project got me the opportunity to lecture in a graduate school, Sao Paulo University, and also a full time job later on, which I'm happy to have worked in for the past six months. This means I'm the candidate who's not only good at managing but also actually enjoys a lot doing so, so if you want to be heard and get things done, you know for whom to vote!

If you have any questions about my candidacy, suggestions of how should I proceed and which proposals you're more interested in presenting the Senate with, feel free to shoot me an e-mail! Thank you for the attention, and I'm hoping to represent you guys soon ;)

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2021 Senator for Student Affairs

Carlos Espina


Howdy! My name is Carlos Espina, and although I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, I moved to College Station, Texas when I was 5 and have been living there ever since. My interests include reading, playing soccer, being politically active, meeting new people, and playing with my dogs (which I was not allowed to bring to Vassar).

After looking into the student government at Vassar and seeing all the important work they do, I have decided that it would be an honor to be a part of the VSA. That being said, I am running to be the class of 2021 senator for student affairs. I chose to run for this position because I feel like it would be a great way for me to bring positive change to the campus and create a even better environment for learning, having fun, and personal growth. Given that I love interacting with others and hearing about their concerns and ideas, I feel as if this position would allow me to truly connect with my fellow classmates to assure them fair representation on the student senate.

Given that I have dedicated hundreds of hours to volunteering and community building work back in Texas, I feel like I have acquired a substantial amount of experience working with others to address the issues facing different communities. At Vassar, with the help of my classmates, I will identify the issues facing the students here, and I will do everything that I can to fix them.

If elected, I would be very open to dialogue and would work to truly represent the general student body as best as possible. I feel that the class of 2021 has the potential to bring about a lot of positive change over the next 4 years, so I can not wait to start working towards creating a better campus

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Miles "Milo" Mitchell


Hi all, I’m Milo Mitchell (he/him/his)! I was born in New York City but have lived in Pasadena, California nearly all my life. I’m interested in the humanities, particularly Political Science, History, and English. I play trumpet and piano and am also interested in further exploring music. I’m a member of Ultimate Frisbee and hope to become involved with student organizations focused on music or politics, such as WVKR, VICE, and The Underground.
 
While we’ve only been here at Vassar for about four weeks now, I know that I have found a community unlike any other in this “highly selective, residential, coeducational liberal arts college.” Although the scenery throughout campus is truly something, it is the people that I have already begun to love. People from all across the world who are always willing to introduce you to someone from their fellow group, share some mozzarella sticks with, or just check in to see how you’re doing with a paper in the wee hours of the morning. This is the kind of community I was searching for when I first applied to Vassar: one of acceptance and compassion. This is the kind of community I want to continue to foster with all of you over the next four years.
 
It is often said that all politics is local. And while I’m almost sure that whoever coined that phrase never foresaw a Trump-Pence ticket, the sentiment that change begins at home still rings true; and that is precisely the reason I am running for Senator for Student Affairs: to gather with you to further our campus as a safe learning and living environment for all. As a first-generation American, I've had instilled in me a level of awareness and empathy that is instrumental in understanding and thus representing others.
 
In the VSA’s bylaws, the Board of Student Affairs is tasked with “work[ing] together to address issues of student life in an intersectional manner across committees.” I’ve been involved in student government since the second grade, worked on a school board campaign in my hometown, and interned in a criminal defense attorney’s office. I’ve learned first-hand what works and what doesn’t in representing your peers, and I understand the role that any elected official has as an active listener, a mouthpiece, and a leader. Collaboration and communication are key, and as your Senator for Student Affairs, I will use my eleven years of experience to work towards the Class of 2021’s vision for a better Vassar.
 
Public service has been passion of mine from a young age and it would be both an absolute honor and privilege to continue that journey representing you in our Senate. If you have any questions or suggestions about me or my candidacy, feel free to reach out to me at mmitchell@vassar.edu, or in Davison 400B. Regardless of the outcome of this election, I look forward to meeting you all and working towards a brighter future together, starting here in “the scenic Hudson Valley.”

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Stella Royo


Hey! I'm Stella. I’m from New York but I grew up in LA. I live in Main House. I'm interested in sociology as well as film and photography. I’m also involved in VRDT, Vassar’s dance company.

I'm running for Senator for Student Affairs because I want to be an active member of the Vassar community and the Class of 2021.

I want to help create an environment that allows us all to express ourselves and our ideas, that encourages us to connect with one another, and that inspires us to grow academically, artistically, and personally.

I have lots of work and volunteer experience. I’ve worked with students and adults, individually and collaboratively, both locally and abroad.

This year, I hope to strengthen our class’s relationship with upperclassmen as well as faculty and administrators. I also hope to create and support opportunities for POC, LGBT+, first generation, and international students on campus.

I’m excited to meet and get to know you all. I’d love to represent you and I hope you’ll consider voting for me for senator. Thank you!

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Cushing House

Cushing First Year Representative

Yorkiris Marmol


My name is Yorkiris Marmol and I want to make sure your "fresh" voices are heard ;)

If you want to know more about me like my major or areas of interest or how I plan to manage find me in room 260 and we can chit chat! ? 

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Prashit Parikh


What's Up Cush Crew!

      My name is Prashit Parikh, and I live in 1 West. A little bit about myself: Although an Indian immigrant, I have lived in New Jersey for the majority of my life. Some of my hobbies include tennis and playing in Vassar's Jazz Band. In the future, I hope to be performing music for large audiences and diagnosing patients at a forefront medical facility. The reason for my diverse passions is that they both entail helping others to think positively and making a change.

      I want to be Freshman Representative because I enjoy being part of that change. I want to work to make Cushing and Vassar a better place to learn and thrive. My goal is to make sure all members of Cushing have a say in their house, and are informed about the progress we will make utilizing your ideas. Thank you so much and I look forward to speaking with all of you!

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Brett Rabine


Hi Cushing House!

My name is Brett Rabine, I use he/him/his, and I live in 2 East. I'll likely be studying political science on a pre-law track here at Vassar. I plan to be involved in the Vassar Dems, Democracy Matters, and Vassar Debate Society. What initially drew me to Vassar was its diverse and politically active campus. In high school, I was involved in student government all four years, and just this past election season I volunteered on my local Democratic congressional candidate's campaign.

Being a first-generation college student, my first day at such a prestigious and well known school was a little scary, but Vassar has quickly turned into a second home to me. If elected, I'll make sure to voice the opinions of my peers and make sure they're all considered, as well as aim to build a more inclusive community where every student in Cushing feels like they belong.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at brabine@vassar.edu or stop by room 208 :)

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Davison House

Davison First Year Representative

Natalie Kim


Hello everyone! 
My name is Natalie Kim, and I'm running to be Davison's First Year Representative. I'm super excited about the chance to represent my fellow first years of the BEST HOUSE ON CAMPUS. Ever since coming to Vassar, I've been floored by how awesome this school and its students are, and if you elect me as your representative, I'll do everything I can to make our experience here even better.

A little about me: I'm from Pennsylvania, tacos are my favorite food, and I still type out "All Campus Dining Center" just to annoy my student fellow. I love Vassar College, and I'm passionate about getting to know all of the first years here in Davi (and the other classes too!) and working with them and our lovely House Team to make Davi feel as much like a home to everyone as it does to me. 

Thanks for your time, and if you see me around Davi or at the All Campus Dining Center, feel free to say hi!

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Marissa Steinberg


Hi Davi first-years!! My name is Marissa Steinberg and I'd love to be your First Year Representative for Davi. I will do whatever it takes to make everyone's first year at Vassar a fantastic and memorable one.

I plan on being there for support, actively communicating between you and Davi's upperclassmen, and listening to your ideas and allowing your voices to be heard. I am EXTREMELY organized (it is a little obsession of mine), responsible, and goal-oriented. In high school I was a part of the National Honor Society and captain of the dance team. I also received the highest, most prestigious award in Girl Scouting, the Gold Award. My goal is for everyone to feel loved, accepted, and valued as a member of the Davi family.

I am really excited for this opportunity. Thank you for your consideration!!

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Jewett House

Jewett First Year Representative

Cameron Asharian


Hi, I'm Cameron, and I live on 4 East! I'm from NJ, and I'm interested in singing, journalism, and debate.

I was secretary of my highschool's executive board, and I really like living in Jewett because it's the nicest dorm and we have an almost perfect basement.

In my free time I love waiting for the 2 laundry machines to be free so I can wash my clothes. I look forward to working with house team :D

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Milind Joshi


Hey! My name is Milind Joshi and I’m an international student from Pune, India. One of the many reasons I love Vassar is because of its incredible house teams. They really have created a safe space for us on campus and the events they planned for all freshman helped me transition into college life with ease. I have met so many interesting and incredible people here and I thank you for taking the time out of your day to have a conversation with me.

I really love interacting with you guys and, if I get the opportunity to be the Freshman Representative of Jewett House, I WILL take your ideas, concerns and opinions into full consideration. My goal is to make sure each and every freshman’s voice is heard, no matter the urgency or size of the issue at hand.

Also, get ready for the best Study-Breaks on campus!!! Here are some of the ideas I have in mind:

Intra-House Sports events, DIY activities, movie nights, cultural food events, informal talent shows, Comedy and Improv nights and any other study break ideas are welcome!

Thank you so much for reading this and do let me know if you have any more questions/suggestions/concerns. I would be honored to serve as your Jewett House Freshman Representative.

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Erik "Spang" Spangenberg


Dear First-years of Jewett House,

Congratulations on being a part of the best dorm on campus ;)! By now I hope y’all have found your daily rhythm, either by walking x amount of stairs or waiting for the elevator, or perhaps by instituting a semi-professional zip line for immediate access to all your deece needs (looking at you, 9th floor.)

My name is Erik Spangenberg (HE - HIM - HIS). I was raised around the South Bay of Los Angeles, California. I’m a hopeful Cognitive Science/Science, Technology, and Society double major. Most importantly, I’m also one of you. I walk those same flights of stairs. I wait in those same food lines after class, begging the staff to fill my plate to the very edges. I writhe in the same turmoil when all but two of our functional dryers are accessible, and they’re both being used.

I’m applying for this position with no intention of future VSA involvement or senatorship, yet I strongly aspire to be a Student Fellow. My only prerogative is to bridge the gap of communication between First Year students and our house team. After meeting my wonderful StuFel and her peers, I’ve gained a serious appreciation for what the house team does.

With your support, I’d love to : Subside disjointedness; organization, cleanliness, and maintenance will always be a standard. Promote community, with unity; having all-floor activities would help everyone get to know their neighbors a bit better. Events!: we could have a movie night, and y’all could mark tallies on the post board for what night would work best. Lastly, I will try my hardest to stop. Those. Fire alarms.

Any issues will be heard, and I will personally go out of my way to make sure every first-year feels at home during their time here in Jewett.

All of us at Vassar are truly special. With no great stadium to fill or greek row to follow, it's important that we find our own places to express school pride. If you’re anything like me, it’s for those same reasons you also chose Vassar. I’m so happy to be a part of this community, and if you feel the same, I think you’d have no problem being on team #spang. Thank you for reading.

 

Sincerely,

Erik “Spang” Spangenberg

Brewer, Class of 2021

 

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Jonas Trostle


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Josselyn House

Joss First Year Representative

Samantha Steeves


What ultimately drew me to Vassar, more than any other school, was community. Upon touring VC only twice, I discovered a close-knit, thriving group of students- a group that I wanted to be apart of. As the Class of 2021, we had built our community before we even stepped foot on campus. From solidarity statements, to GroupMes, to Facebook pages, we demonstrated that our class cares not only about each other, but also the world around us. This is the reason why I am seeking a position as a First Year Representative; I want to help facilitate the ideas and wishes within this community that we have created. I am excited to work alongside Vassar students from all areas of campus and explore what Vassar has to offer. 

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Lathrop House

Lathrop First Year Representative

Andrew Luo


Hello everyone, my name is Andrew (he/him/his). I'd love to become your First Year Rep because I love the Lathrop Community and I want us honey badgers to be even closer!
As First-Year Rep, I want to organize events to bond all the first-years with upperclassmen. I have a couple of ideas such as hosting a scavenger hunt around Lathrop (floor vs. floor), holding our own Brewer Games on the quad (North vs. South), or maybe putting together some piano/open mic nights if anyone is up to singing (Sydney, I’m looking at you).
You can come by any time if you feel bored, want someone to talk to, or need a quiet place to stay (My roommate is never around… so please come talk to me whenever you want; my door’s always open for you. Sorry Yuan). I also have some fire dancing skills, so we can also jam anytime.
Let’s make this first year special together.

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Melanie Susman


Hey all, I'm Mel and I'd love to be your first year representative! I would be honored to be the voice for the first years on the House Team, and to be here to listen if any of you need to talk about anything (dorm related or not). We're a huge part of the Lath community so it's really important that there's a bridge between first years and the House Team. I want everyone to know they can speak up and be in the know about what's been happening at the meetings because this is our home.

About me: So I'm from Poughkeepsie...yes I know it was quite the journey to get here on move in day. What that means is that I know Vassar like the back of my hand and I know what there is to do off campus as well. I'm hoping that our study breaks can be the best they've ever been and that we can take Lathrop field trips to a whole new level this year. Lathrop has the most intense house spirit that I've seen and I think we can do the impossible and make it even stronger.

(For those of you in Lath who don't know me, I'm living up in 4 South, stop by whenever!)

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Main House

Main First Year Representative

Joshua Lacoste


Hello, my name is Joshua Lacoste and I am running for the position of Main House First Year Representative.  During these first several weeks I have been fortunate enough to meet so many new friends from all across the globe. Together, our house has already achieved so much: from having the best music video, coming together to create awesome t-shirts, and even winning the Brewer Games.  I'm so proud of all that our house has accomplished and I would love to continue building upon these successes as your house representative.  After having the opportunity to get to know so many of the first years in our house, I believe it's critical that we come together so that our interests are met.  As a representative, I will ensure that a dialogue is created so that our voices are heard by the upperclassmen.  Furthermore, I will work closely with the house team members to resolve any conflicts that may arise throughout the course of the year. I will promote a safe space in our house, where all students can feel accepted. Above everything else, it is imperative for us to know and remember that we are here at this school for a reason, and that we all belong at Vassar.

Thank you.

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Noyes House

Noyes First Year Representative

Emily Chong


Hi everyone! I am Emily from Noyes 4 West, you may know me as the girl always wanting to bake pie or looking to watch football games. If you do not know me I would love to meet you because I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. After just three weeks at Vassar I am so grateful to be a part of such an inclusive and open minded community. I love being a part of a community that is so welcoming and always offering a smile to others. 

I would love to be the Noyes representative so I can have the chance to help better Vassar and help anyone out who may have a concern on campus. I also love the idea of representing the best house on campus! Thank you for giving me a chance! 

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Merrick Rubinstein


I am a curious, determined and friendly student intent on being the ideal and hard-working representative that Noyes House needs. I have vast experience in 4 H, Boy Scouts of America, school-run organizations and theater programs, which have led me to become an Eagle Scout, strong leader and comfortable public speaking and interacting with people. I have already taken a great deal of interest in the structural integrity of our school system, and hope to stand for my fellow Noysians as best as I possibly can. Furthermore, I have already dove in to ultimate frisbee and a cappella while exploring many different clubs on campus, and intend to show the same level of interest in the representation and kindness I would give to my housemates. Thank you for this opportunity. Also, "The Chinchilla Man" in my name is due to the fact that I have brought my pet chinchilla to campus, just so you are aware.

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Raymond House

Raymond First Year Representative

Daniel Doyon


Professors, Alums, and Fellow Students,

      It is with great pride and determination that I enter this election season with all of you in mind. As we face the trials of the first year, attempting to avoid the first-year fifteen, we take solace in the fact that we never have to face these troubles alone. As your Raymond house representative, I will strive to put forward the ideas and ideals of every single one of you as we attempt to make our history in the Raymond Dorms. Thank you for considering me for this position and I wish you all the best in this first year of classes!!

 

P.S. New Stall Doors

P.S.S Michael Drucker lives in Raymond

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Nicholas Gorman


Hi! My name is Nick Gorman, I’m from Buffalo, NY, I’m a prospective Biochemistry and Chinese double major, I live in Raymond 4 North, and I am running for Raymond House First-Year Representative. In addition to serving as a voice for First-Year students on the House Team, I have a few goals I aspire towards in this position:

 

  • The first is Input. I plan to establish a system of feedback, which first-year students can use to talk to me about the programming the House Team does, like Study Breaks, and to ask for certain types of programming they would like to see in Raymond.

  • The second is Inclusion. As a First-Year Representative, I will be asked to serve on a VSA Committee of my choice, and the one I would elect is the VSA Equality and Inclusion Committee. I would use ideas from this committee to reinforce an atmosphere of inclusion and free speech in Raymond, to make it the most comfortable and accommodating place on campus for First-Year students.

  • Finally, I will focus on Ideas. I have many different sources of experience in leadership roles, and in programming similar to what the House Team puts together, and I believe my outside experiences will be valuable to the House Team, and I will have many novel and interesting ideas as to how to make the First-Year Experience in Raymond a perfect one.

 

Through these three I-deals, I hope to showcase Raymond the way we see it: as the best dorm on campus! Thank you, and I look forward to representing you on the House Team.

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Strong House

Strong First Year Representative

Emily Frank


I didn't choose the Strong life; it chose me.

I'm serious! While filling out the ResLife application, I had a very "wherever the wind blows me" attitude when it came to my housing assignment. The wind in this case just happened to be the Vassar ResLife matching algorithms, but I trusted that I would be satisfied with where I ended up. When I found out I had been placed in Strong, I became a little nervous. I knew the house was considered quiet, and I thrive in social environments. As soon as I arrived on campus though, I knew that the algorithms had done their best job. Between the warm welcome the house team gave us and the continual flow of incredible people I met in Strong, it became evident that it was marvelous. Now, when someone asks, I can confidently tell them that Strong is the BEST house on campus!

A little info about me! I go by FRANK, I use she/her/hers pronouns, and I'm a Leo. I'm from Oklahoma, and I have the two cutest dachshunds back home. I'm interested in studying Astronomy, Physics, and Film at Vassar, but I don't really know where I'll end up. If you gave me the honor of representing the class of 2021 in Strong, I would love to her ideas about how to keep Strong as the best house on campus. So f you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, my email is efrank@vassar.edu.

Thank you and vote FRANK!

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Melissa Hoffmann


Hello fellow Strong friends! I am so excited to be living in the best house on campus with all of you and I would love to share my enthusiasm for our house with the VSA! I have been overwhelmed with love and gratitude for the people I have met in Strong. It means so much to me to live in a place where I feel supported and welcomed in. If selected as your first year representative, I hope to work closely with all of you. My goal is to help you feel acknowledged, validated, and welcome in the Vassar community. I would love to hear your ideas, thoughts, and perspectives at anytime (I live in 319 <3) to get to know you better. Aside from that, here is a little bit about me: I plan on pursuing Environmental Studies and Psychology (I'm so excited) and have served in student government all four years of high school! 
My experience as a student representative has taught me to recognize when I should speak up and when it is best to listen to the voices of others, skills I believe are so important for healthy communication and group cooperation. 
 
Thank you so much for taking your time to read this. Whomever you choose to vote for, just know that you are amazing. :)

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Joint Committees

Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid 2021 Representative

Sicily McLaughlin


As a First generation, Low Income (FLI) student and a Questbridge scholar, I've done countless applications for colleges, financial aid offices, and outside scholarships. With these experiences, I've learned that financial aid and admissions processes are often flawed or extremely extensive, leaving everyone involved more stress than when they started. While these applications are necessary to keep a college like Vassar running with an ideal community, changes should be made to keep up with our changing world. While our financial aid policy meets 100% of demonstrated need now, political and socioeconomic changes in our country may change how we deal with giving new students access to Vassar's top tier education. That being said, I want to keep all lines of communication open from our financial aid and admissions offices to the students. It is my firm belief that education should empower students from all backgrounds and I want to help Vassar in empowering students whether they come from an upper middle class background or are part of the FLI community like me. I want to be your representative on the Financial Aid and Admissions Committee and give the class of 2021 a voice in the process that brought us together.

Feel free to contact me with questions via email at smclaughlin@vassar.edu.

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Committee on College Life 2021 Representative

Ella Johnson


I love to meet people, learn new ideas, and interact with the Vassar community. I do this by getting involved in all that I can, and keeping an open mind. I want to represent my class on this committee to make sure that every student has a place, niche, and fit for their freshman year. I am approachable and friendly, and hope my fellow classmates will voice their ideas, concerns, and opinions,  I may have only been here for three weeks, but I already know that I love the people I'm surrounded by. I'm ready to serve them, and ask for their support as I run for this position.

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Sanaya Shikari


 It is easy to get lost in the plethora of organisations, clubs, classes and events that we fervidly signed up for the first weekend at college. Our schedules may seem daunting right now, but this is the time we get to grow, learn, reflect, and mould ourselves into the best possible versions of us. As the editor and head of finance of my yearbook in high school, I had the opportunity to be a part of almost every event on campus. Whether I was writing articles about the Shakespeare festival or taking photographs at the Annual Sports Meet, I gained an understanding on how important it is for an institution to provide more than just an academic education. These are supposed to be the 'best four years of our lives.' And I hope that as a first-year representative on the committee on college life, I can help provide that.

 

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Judicial Board

Judicial Board 2021 Representatives

(Four Representatives)

Audrey Godwin


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Ali Sadek


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Mohamad Mounir Safadieh


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Josephine Schermerhorn


Hi, my name is Josie Schermerhorn and I am running for the position of Judicial Board 2021 Representative. If elected, I will focus on accountability and fairness. The VSA will be the most effective at serving the student body when members are held accountable for their actions and when the VSA Constitution and Bylaws are adhered to. I will also ensure that all cases brought to the Academic, College Regulations, and Student Conduct Panels are taken seriously and that penalties are consistent with previous decisions. 

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Board of Elections and Appointments

Board of Elections and Appointments 2021 Representative

Jordan Chin


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Ivan Gong


My fellow first year students,

I am Ivan and it is my great honor be declaring my candidacy for a seat on the Board of Elections and Appointments as the representative of the class of 2021.

As secretary of my high school's student council, I reformed my high school's electoral system, developed a fair absentee balloting system, and oversaw my high school's student council election process, which was conducted smoothly. As a student, I have conducted extensive researches on electoral processes and electoral systems. I spoke against gerrymandering and malapportionment in both the Malaysian context and the American context. I wrote articles investigating Trump’s false claim of voter fraud, and analyzed how Malaysia could have taken steps to restore a fair electoral system. My obsession with electioral fairness is the best assurance that in electing me as your representative, your right in elections will be ensured. 

If elected, I'll use everything in my power to ensure all elections and referendums at Vassar are conducted freely and fairly, in accordance with the VSA constitution and VSA bylaws. In addition, my most profound duty would be to guarantee that every eligible voter has every opportunity to cast their secret ballot to elect their candidate of choice. I'll try my best to secure that the results of elections are counted fairly and published in an expedited and honest manner.

I have the experience to contribute positively to the Board of Elections and Appointments, and I hope to be elected to this seat to further ensure that everyone's right to free and fair elections are ensured and respected. 

Sincerely yours,

Ivan Gong

 

 

 

 

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