In the end, my initial opposition to Brooks/Sulsky came down to this: It seems that they believe that their mission in the Senate is to improve the material quality of life of students, to bring lox to Einsteins, to organize Midnight Buffets, etc. I believe a Student Union senator has a much greater mission than that. A Senator must fight for Brandeis values. A Senator must fight for student safety – no arming campus police. A Senator must try to heal the very real divisions on campus. A Senator must try to hold Brandeis’ actions to its rhetoric.
Now, though, I’ve found another reason to be very critical of the two. To them, this election is about more than the issues. They take it as a personal affront, to themselves and everything they stand for, that anyone would dare run against them. What we’ve seen with this campaign is an unrelenting assault on Reason and Democracy. They have painted Noam with the colors of a serial slanderer and clothed themselves in a mantle of pure, innocent, lambskin. I’ve seen numerous reports and examples either Brooks or Sulsky complaining about being wrongfully attacked: a challenge to their incumbency makes them victims of some sort.
Justin Sulsky’s sign says it all – “because hard work should be rewarded”. Brooks/Sulsky consider this position a reward. I consider the position an opportunity. A position in the Senate is an opportunity to stand up for Brandeis values, an opportunity to shape the dialogue and heal the rifts on campus, an opportunity to pro-actively bring about big changes, like Endowment Transparency, or Gender-Neutral Housing, an opportunity to prevent another Mamoon from being disowned by Brandeis without due process or reasonable cause. A position in the Senate should not be a trophy for badgering Einsteins into carrying Lox; it should be a promise to the student body that you will advocate for their concerns, but also present them with a more perfect Union.