Amidst all of the back-to-school stress, new friendships, and F-board marathon disasters, another school-time tradition is coming up: Elections to the Student Union!! In the next few days, I hope to add to that timeless tradition by asking that you endorse and/or vote for a good friend of mine.
Elly Kalfus is running for Senator of Rosenthal Quad this coming Sunday. If you don’t know her yet, you should, because I know I speak for those of us who do know her when I say that she’s one of the nicest, funniest, and most caring people on campus. She’s an engaged activist, a passionate blogger for Innermost Parts, a hilarious comedy writer, and if she adds the title of Senator to that list, she will dutifully serve the position with an adjective of equal distinction and honor.
Even though we’ve worked closely in the last few months while blogging and helping to plan Campus Camp Wellstone, I’ve known her since last year when we met at a Brandeis Democrats club meeting, and if she had any say about what I write in this part of the post, she would probably yell at me about how cliché this opening sentence is. And that’s what always strikes me about her: She tells it like it is, no matter what. When you speak to her, you’re going to get her full and honest opinion. Sometimes I find myself thinking that it’s a quality that our campus lacks; we’re always so afraid of awkwardness and future awkward encounters around here that the students don’t challenge each other as individuals. If elected to the Senate, I know that Elly will stand firm by her views, and challenge anyone who tries to do less.
She’ll do the work that’s asked of her by her fellow residents and her community because she’s not running to build a resume; this is an example of a candidate taking massive amounts of interest and experience and applying those qualities toward her living environment, Rosie and beyond. She wants to work with the Eco Reps to make the quad more sustainable. She wants to make transportation around Brandeis and Waltham an everyday convenience, not just a luxury for people who have time to wait at the bus stop for long stretches of time. She already serves on the board of the Brandeis Pluralism Alliance, and as the Waltham Group coordinator for the YMCA Kids Connection program. She’s also the leader of the newest Improvisational Comedy group on campus, and the only one to practice a policy of non-exclusivity, drawing in members from every area on campus. These are just Brandeis related activities she does on campus, but she’s also living in the Alternative Spring Break community service suite. How many of us can say that we care so deeply about the world around us that we’re willing to sacrifice one of our few school-year breaks toward a higher cause?
In short: If you live in a Rosie suite, when you log on to the union website on Sunday to vote (which you should all do anyway because it’s a civic duty Dammit), you should vote for Elly. She’s got all of the passion and the drive, and will work hard to keep the Union honest, transparent, and good humored.