How many of you have eaten in Sherman since Passover break?  I am right now.  I’ve been eating at Sherman a lot more since the latest round of improvements, and it’s become more crowed than it used to be since word has spread about the changes.  There are more options, more food cooked to order, and everything seems fresher and more appetizing.  All of a sudden, Sherman seems like less of a joke and more of a decent place to enjoy a meal.  And while credit should go to the Brandeis administration and Dining Services for their responsiveness to the community’s complaints, we should also remember what helped get the ball rolling on the path to large-scale dining reform: the advocacy and hard work of former Union President Andy Hogan.

I’m living in the Charles River apartments next year, as I’m sure many of you are.  If someone had told me before this semester that I’d wind up in Grad, I’d have been sorely disappointed; visions of leaky buildings and broken appliances would have crossed my mind.  However, I’m now excited for next year.  Grad is receiving a thorough renovation, and I’ll be one of the first to inhabit the fresh new living space.  Once again, I, along with the rest of the student body, owe a thank you to Andy Hogan for making this happen.

I feel that Andy often received an undeserved bad rap during his time in office.  He was censured by the Union Senate over the insignificant midyear senator amendment, and though he avoided the impeachment that Diana Aronin suffered, she at least got a public validation through her decisive reelection.  Despite the fact that he did everything he could to minimize the issue and keep it from becoming a distraction, he bore the brunt of the bad press the Union received in the wake of the impeachment fiasco.  The nadir came in the February 5th Hoot, which featured an editorial cartoon cruelly depicting the Student Union as a beheaded chicken.  The symbolism was tacky and completely uncalled for, particularly as the “head” of the Union continued succeeding in his advocacy projects and improving campus life.

Adding additional BranVan service during high traffic times?  Thanks, Andy.  Working to eliminate wasted energy by shutting off after-hours lights?  Thanks, Andy.  Expanding the awesome Clubs in Service project?  Thanks, Andy.  Getting a student voice on the powerful Presidential Search Committee?  Thanks, Andy.  The Union’s focus on student surveys this year allowed it to keep a finger on the pulse of the Brandeis community, and it used that knowledge for tangible results in many small but tangible ways, improving everything from our dining to our bathrooms.

Jason Gray definitely left some massive shoes to fill as Union President, and I can’t pretend I agree with every decision Andy has made over the past year.  But his term in office was punctuated with success on a number of levels, and I hope that the student body recognizes that.  Despite the manufactured controversy, a lot of us were looking only for results, and I think that Andy Hogan delivered.  I hope Andy knows that his hard work didn’t occur in a vacuum; I, at least, was watching, and I appreciate what he was able to do.

5 comments on “A Tribute to President Andy Hogan”

  1. Jason Hnery Simon-Bierenbaum Says:

    agreed. well said.

  2. Amanda Says:

    Go andy, i say!

  3. really? Says:

    Andy’s successes are more to be credited to his strong e-board than Andy himself.

    Sherman’s improvements? Due to MarketMatch, a program run by Aramark under Mark Collins, nothing to do with Andy.

    Charles River Renovations? A result of an amazing presentation and lobbying by Sofya Bronshvag.

    Additional Branvan hours? Jenna Brofsky spent hours working on this with Public Safety.

    Getting lights turned off? A result of a student survey requested by Jean Eddy. That’s due to US.

    Clubs in service expansion? Again, Jenna Brofsky and Nate Rosenblum’s hours of dedication to this project made it was it is today.

    A student on the Presidential Search Committee? Lobbying by Jon and Heddy (Reps to Trustees), Andy and some high up administrators.

    Andy did a fine job, but Adam you credit him with far too much. Andy’s biggest accomplishment this year was selecting some strong people to put in all the work that was necessary.

  4. Adam Hughes Says:

    really?,

    I understand and agree to a certain extent, and I’d say that my compliments are just as much to the administration that Andy ran as to the actual work he did himself. But being a successful leader is much more than just picking the right people and letting them go. The Union President sets the E-Board’s agenda, delegates tasks to the right people, and puts in hours of work on issues that may not catch the public’s eye. Without diminishing the achievements of his fellow E-Boarders, it’s very likely that some of their work could have been for naught if it weren’t for the way Andy worked with the administration and Board of Trustees in private, sometimes one on one, meetings.

    In addition, I think some of your facts are just plain wrong. Mark Collins started the MarketMatch program because Andy lobbied him to do so. After years of simply renewing Aramark’s contract without a second thought, something was different about this year, and I know that Andy made dining reform one of his priorities. As Director of Community Advocacy, Andy helped to launch the Clubs in Service program, so I think it’s ludicrous to assume that he simply abandoned it this year without providing important support to Jenna and Nate.

    If fact, I imagine that if you were to ask anyone on his E-Board, they would give Andy credit for helping them on their projects and prioritizing them on the Union agenda. The Union is a team, but it simply cannot succeed the same way without the continued involvement of its leader.

  5. Lev Says:

    As someone who was on Andy’s E-Board last semester – I agree with Adam on this one.

    Though it would be terribly wrong to give only Andy credit for all these projects – its also wrong to say that he didn’t have his hand in basically everything. He was very active in supporting all the E-Board projects and keeping them going and active and making sure they were all followed through. Maybe he didn’t always do the grunt work himself (though he often did), but he was certainly involved.