Stanford’s Jewish Student Association recently endorsed seven candidates for the ASSU Senate. They are as follows:
– Jason Lupatkin ‘13
– Percia Safar ‘13
– Carolyn Simmons ‘13
– Rebecca Sachs ‘13
– Bennett Siegel ‘13
– Noemi Walzebuck ‘13
– Nikola Milanović ‘11
The application process for an endorsement from the JSA involved two steps. First, applicants submitted brief responses to the application questions that were made available to all candidates (the specific questions can be found online at http://elections.stanford.edu/endorsements/). The second step was an interview with the JSA Executive Board, which lasted around 20 minutes. Interviews were extended to every candidate who submitted an application.
Of all the student groups on campus, only ten offered Senate endorsements this year. As for why the JSA decided to endorse candidates, Executive Board Member, Ruthie Arbeiter ’12, commented: “The JSA feels that it is important that each year’s Senate consists of the most knowledgeable, focused, and overall well-qualified candidates. We support those who we feel will most improve campus life and benefit the general student body – regardless of what each candidate chooses as their top issues.”
Earning endorsements is undoubtedly an important component of the campaigns of prospective Senators. The JSA endorsement, however, is particularly distinct in a few ways. As Arbeiter stated, “we hope that voters see the JSA endorsement as a fairly objective endorsement, as we do not have any specific issues that we value over others.”
Furthermore, Arbeiter maintained that, “[the JSA’s] only specific priority is that candidates focus on campus life and issues that directly affect the student body, rather than on controversial political issues. The JSA strives to judge candidates on the quality of their ideas and their knowledge on how to feasibly implement them.”
Arbeiter also noted the strength of this year’s applicants: “The applicants were extremely involved and well-connected; many had experience as ASSU Senate Associates, ASSU Exec Fellows, and Frosh Council reps, and were active in other cultural groups. Many also demonstrated a thorough knowledge of how the ASSU works – as well as its areas for improvement.”
[the JSA’s] only specific priority is that candidates focus on campus life and issues that directly affect the student body, rather than on controversial political issues
And inevitably, with such a strong applicant pool, the decision of which candidates to endorse was tough. However, Arbeiter stated that, “in many cases, [the JSA’s] decision ultimately came down to separating those who had broad—albeit admirable—goals for their Senate term, from those who had specific, tangible, and well thought-out ideas. [The JSA] favored those with specific, thoughtful ideas.”
Voting for the ASSU Undergraduate Senate will begin on Thursday, April 8th.