Very rarely am I ever as upset as I presently am. Just a few minutes ago, I received an introductory e-mail from Senator-At-Large Justin Sulsky. This e-mail was written to all the first-years on campus. After giving a two sentence introduction providing the reader with minimal information, he segways into reminding all first years to vote in the Vice Presidential election. Directly following the link to vote, Sulsky moves into a full endorsement – with bolded text! – of Andrew Brooks.

Anyone with common sense can see that this endorsement was intended to abuse the naivete of first years who are less than familiar with Brooks’ schemes for Senate seats. My favorite line of all:

I support Andrew because he will bring a badly needed fresh perspective to the Student Union.

Apart from being utterly false, the above quote has poor sentence structure. Go below the fold for the entire contents of the e-mail.

 

Hey first years!

 

My name is Justin Sulsky, and I’m your senator-at-large. I just wanted to drop you a quick line to introduce myself and let you know that I am available to help you resolve issues here at the University. E-mail me at jsulsky@brandeis.edu or dial x9-7863 and I’d be happy to help!

 

I also wanted to remind you that as Brandeis students you have an important obligation to vote in the current Student Union special election for Vice President! You’re not in high school anymore so remember this is not a popularity contest. Please take 10 seconds to vote starting at 12 am at http://union.brandeis.edu/elections/FA08-3/vp#

 

I’ve decided to take the unusual step of publicly supporting Andrew Brooks in this election. I support Andrew because he will bring a badly needed fresh perspective to the Student Union. He is deeply concerned about the internal bickering that has plagued our Union for too long and will ensure it focuses on improving quality-of-life.

 

Please vote! And please seriously consider supporting Andrew. He has what it takes to make Brandeis better for all of us! See http://people.brandeis.edu/~abrooks to see why.

 

Best,

Justin

Senator-at-Large

Student Union Government

13 comments on “Another Senate Seat Scheme”

  1. anon Says:

    What listserv did Justin use? If its an official spam list it may constitute some sort of elections violation. If its a self-compiled list of first-years, then it just means they have nothing better to do with their time than to collect everyone’s email address and mislead them.

    A “fresh perspective” indeed…a 3-year veteran who ran on “experience” last elections cycle is suddenly the agent of change.

  2. Loki Says:

    Though I would tend to agree, be wary of demonizing the man just because we didn’t like him.

    And his elections link is, by the way, almost certainly illegal – you cannot provide links to specific elections, only the general page.

  3. Adam Hughes Says:

    Loki — The link is perfectly legal. You can link to any address starting with union.brandeis.edu/elections.

  4. Gina Says:

    Get a grip, Carrie! If you are the most upset you’ve ever been over a stupid election e-mail than you probably have less of a life than Brooks/Sulsky who looked up everyone’s e-mail in the people directory.

    Since it’s your first year, you don’t know that these mass e-mails are a reality of Brandeis elections (and elections at virtually all Universities based on conversations I’ve had with friends at other schools.)

    It is what it is.

  5. Lev Says:

    The email is perfectly legal. All Brandeis email addresses are theoretically accessible by anyone who has a UNet id. Justin is most likely taking a shortcut… but since when is that not allowed.

    Last year Jason Gray massed phone-messaged a lot of students. Great campaign tactic, and totally legal.

  6. Andrew Brooks Says:

    Hello Carrie,

    I am saddened to see that you are being so hateful towards me on this website. You have never met with me before or even spoken with me about my past record of activism and public service at Brandeis.

    Buying into falsehoods and stereotypes about me and repeating them on this website is very immature and undermines the respectful political discourse we ought to be having. Adam Hughes and I both recognize the importance of raising awareness of important issues that matter to students on this campus, and posting about supposed “Senate Schemes” in an effort to somehow discredit the thousands of hours I’ve poured into working for change at this school is not helpful for promoting progressive change.

    I don’t need to defend my 3 years of extensive activism at this school, a record you clearly don’t know about because you just arrived on campus 3 weeks ago. Is spending many hours phone banking with the College Dems for Deval Patrick and working with STAND to combat genocide in Darfur not good enough for you? Is pushing for gender-neutral housing not good enough for you either?

    I hope we can meet at some point soon so you can actually get to know me. I hope you can reflect on your posts and really see how you might have gone a bit overboard in your character assassination. Even Adam Hughes himself agrees with me that these types of attacks are not at all appropriate on this campus.

    -Andrew

  7. Adam Hughes Says:

    Andrew

    I do disapprove of character attacks and similar election tactics, but I think you cross a line when you accuse my friend of being hateful and immature for writing posts supporting me. I just read over both of Carrie’s posts, and I can find nothing that comes close to hatefulness. All she said was that she personally feels that it’s an abuse of incumbency for Justin to cloak his endorsement of you in an introductory e-mail. There is legitimate debate to be had over that point, but I think your mocking response is not the way to handle it.

    As candidates for an office, it is our job to prove our credentials to our constituents, not the other way around. I expect no one to assume that I am supremely qualified for the office for vice president, and I welcome the opportunity to prove that I am. I understand that you have dealt with unfair attacks in the past, and as I have told you multiple times, I condemn any attempts to introduce those tactics into this or any other election. But I feel that by labeling an honest supporter of mine as hateful and ignorant, you come perilously close to playing the character assassination game I know we both want to avoid.

  8. Andrew Brooks Says:

    Adam,

    I have not crossed any such line. How is this post in support of you? You aren’t mentioned once. Rather, it is an attack on the legitimacy of my campaign and the intelligence of first years. Here’s the part I’m referring to:

    “Anyone with common sense can see that this endorsement was intended to abuse the naivete of first years who are less than familiar with Brooks’ schemes for Senate seats.”

    Saying I have “Schemes for Senate seats” is very hateful to me, Adam. I don’t understand how you can say that it is okay to make such a demeaning coment about my participation in past elections. I have integrity. Characterizing something as “schemes” is questioning my integrity, a fundamental part of who I am. I feel it is hateful, and I think it’s inappropriate for you to tell me how I should feel.

    Here’s another attack from another post from Carrie:

    “I am forced to question the validity of a man’s words when this man disregarded activism in one election and then made it one of his main platform components in another.”

    It’s fine to have doubts, but it’s false to say somehow I disregarded activism and activist values in my past elections. I have always been and will continue to be an activist, and just because I did a poor job at articulating my activist credentials in the last election doesn’t discount my 3 years of activism at this school.

    It’s one thing to write in support of a candidate, but it’s another to attack the integrity of your favored candidate’s opponent. I hope you can see the distinction between the two.

    -Andrew

  9. Adam Hughes Says:

    Andrew,

    I don’t think Carrie was attacking your integrity, just this specific campaign tactic, one which a lot of people seem to have trouble with. That’s a discussion I believe we can have without demeaning your personal integrity, which I hope you have seen that we at Innermost Parts, myself included, have a very high regard for (re: Lev’s post).

    I would not presume to tell you how to feel, and in light of what you had to go through in the last election, I can definitely understand why you feel the way you do. I am merely trying to stand up for a friend of mine who I feel is being unfairly characterized.

    Notice that Carrie never said that you had no activist history. She only said that you disregarded it in your last election, something you admit to yourself in your comment (“I did a poor job at articulating my activist credentials in the last election”). That is the reason that some people are skeptical about your credentials as an activist (notice how Carrie described herself as a “Brooks skeptic”, not a “Brooks hater”). I’m glad that this campaign has been focused on your history as an activist, a history I greatly respect, but you should understand that it is your job as a candidate to prove your activist credentials to the Brandeis community (just as it is my job as well). Let’s welcome the opportunity to this debate, one that is very important to the future of Brandeis, rather than try to stifle it by accusing those who bring it up as “hateful” and “immature”.

  10. Daniel Ortner Says:

    The whole argument above rests on an absurd premise: First years are easily susceptible and moldable to the whims and opinions of those in power. Does anyone really believe such an absurdity? First years are no more likely to vote merely on the advice of an e-mail they received, than anyone else is.

    I think we have all seen in this general election (2008 presidential), that the line between personal attacks and criticism on positions is often thin and stepped over regularly. It is fine to take offense at comments, but it is also just part of the political process. When one is a candidate, one puts himself out there in order to have his record and personal history examined for better or worse. On the other hand, campus elections are not presidential…The stakes are not nearly as high and the level of personal scrutiny should be therefore much lower.

  11. Lev Says:

    Ultimately Carrie’s post runs into the same problem that posts at innermostparts.org often have; unnecessary language. Carrie’s post makes an important observation that Justin’s email does give give Brooks a large leg-up in the election. The most easily swayed voting bloc in this election is the class of 2012; while many upperclassmen and sophomores are familiar with Brooks and his record, very few freshmen have had the opportunity to meet him. Justin’s email poses as a friendly email, for the purpose of offering a service to the freshman, yet really is an endorsement of Andrew. Clever!

    Such a move is worth questioning, especially when you consider his ability to easily email the entire freshman class, while it would presumably take supporters of Adam far longer to accomplish such a task.

    The only problem with Carrie’s post is the harsh language, the words ‘scheme,’ ‘abuse’ and ‘naivete.’ Not a terrible offense. Certainly no worse than supports of Brooks alluding to Adam Hughes’ ‘awkwardness.’

    Andrew, you must understand that supporters of Adam are upset by Justin’s email because it ultimately hurts Adam’s chances. When you engage in campaign tactics that your opponent is unable to match, expect his supporters to get mad. Don’t be self-righteous.

  12. Carrie Says:

    I was not aware that freedom of speech had such stringent limitations.

    And as far as “senate seat scheme” is concerned, I am a proponent of alliterations.

    Let there be no confusion – I stand by every word that I have written on this blog.

  13. Avi Says:

    Has everyone forgotten that there are three other candidates running for V.P who have not mentioned a word about progressive ideals and change. So I suggest that rather than continual mud slinging the campaigns should work together, because all this fighting just paves the way for machine candidates to win in the end.