University News

UCS elects eight to new posts

Senior Staff Writer
Thursday, September 22, 2011

Correction appended.

The walls of the Petteruti Lounge echoed with the deliberations of Undergraduate Council of Students members late into last night and this morning as they determined the path of this year’s council in their first general body meeting of the semester. UCS President Ralanda Nelson ’12 led the group in electing eight new internal positions and appointing three representatives in a record-long meeting that had passed the five-hour mark as of press time and showed no signs of ending.

Among the positions elected were council secretary, five new University Finance Board at-large representatives, the appointments chair and a communications chair. The competitions ranged in intensity from Bonnie Kim’s ’12 unopposed bid for Ivy Council policy chair to the 10-candidate battle to fill the five open UFB spots.

Newly elected UFB representatives Spencer Jaffe ’14, David Chanin ’12, Abeba Cherinet ’15, Oye Odewunmi ’14 and Stephanie Hennings ’15 promised great reforms to UFB. Chanin, who has served on the board the past two years, said he wants to see online budgets fully launched in the coming year.

Though Alex Drechsler ’15 was unopposed in his run for appointments chair, Nelson emphasized the importance of this position and that of the Corporation liaison position in the coming year. Both students will be responsible for providing student feedback in the search for a new University president for what one candidate deemed “the post-Simmons era.”

Sam Gilman ’15 was elected the new communications chair over two upperclassmen, since the council felt his fresh ideas outweighed his inexperience. “My job is to really convey your messages,” he said.

Though Nelson tried to convince the group that class year does not determine passion or skill, the majority of the deliberation for Corporation liaison dwelled on the candidates’ class years and the trade-off between a senior’s experience and a first-year’s greater personal stake in the Corporation’s decisions.

“Once you’re a Brown student, you’re always a Brown student,” said one UCS member, adding that even an alum would have interest in the selection of a new University president. The council largely seemed to agree, finally electing Jennifer Bloom ’12, a deputy managing editor of BlogDailyHerald, after one of the night’s longest deliberations.

Alex Friedland ’15 was elected alumni liaison after reminding the council that UCS alums were responsible for the adoption of the Open Curriculum and “really contributed to everything we’re experiencing now.”

The position of the UCS/UFB liaison went to Daniel Pipkin ’14, who served on the Student Activities Committee last year and professed an interest in focusing on the activities endowment.

Gregory Chatzinoff ’15 was named the parliamentarian pro tempore in an unopposed contest. Gaurav Nakhare ’15 won the webmaster position, also unopposed, in the final election, giving a speech that began after midnight with, “Good morning, everyone.”

An unusually large number of the evening’s candidates were recent transfers. “This is a phenomenon,” Anthony White ’13, a UCS member, told The Herald, remarking that transfer students typically do not participate in UCS.

The meeting was interspersed with frequent stretch and dance breaks during vote tallying. Nelson began the meeting with stern admonitions to her fellow board members to maintain professional composure, but she eventually joined in the fun, singing popular songs with the crowd during breaks.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated Alex Quoyeser ’15 was elected as appointments chair. In fact, Alex Drechsler ’15 was elected to the position. The Herald regrets the error.