Trigger warning: One candidate statement contains mentions of eating disorders.
The Association of Amherst Students (AAS) will hold elections for AAS at-large Judiciary Council members and senators in each grade and transfer students on Thursday, April 28, 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. EDT. The students below have announced their candidacies for these elections. Students who are interested in hearing from these candidates, or are interested in running but were unable to submit a candidate statement, should attend Speech Night on Wednesday, April 27, at 8 p.m. EDT.
All candidates are listed by position then alphabetically by last name. If the statements end abruptly, it is because they have been cut off to fit the 100 word limit.
At-Large Judiciary Council Members
Maya Foster ’23
My name is Maya Foster and I am a student in the Class of 2023. I am running for re-appointment to Judiciary Council after being appointed last year, as I believe I have a unique background that makes me an effective member of JC. If re-elected, I will work to represent a diverse perspective within the council; my experiences as a member of BSU e-board, as well as director of the Office of Student Diversity, equip me with a knowledge of current campus culture. If elected, I will continue my commitment to holding AAS accountable to its Constitution in a
Taz Kim ’23
My name is Taz Kim and I am a student in the Class of 2023, and I would like to run for the Judiciary Council, as an at-large member. As an LJST major I have a passion for law, both in theory and practice, and after being appointed last semester for the case regarding the AAS Palestine Solidarity Letter, I felt a great sense of fulfillment and pride in serving the Amherst College community. On JC, I would like to continue serving on cases that affect the core of Amherst’s cultural climate, and maintain the legitimacy of the AAS Constitution.
Tylar Matsuo ’24
Judiciary Council constitutional and bylaw review must be, as the Constitution demands, continuous and material. I have the dedication and, as an LJST/physics double major and a member of several clubs (including Political Union, Bioethics Society, and the Equestrian Team), the institutional knowledge necessary to help drive such review. Additionally, should any controversies under the JC’s judicial or club recognition role arise during my tenure, I will hear them with equity, impartiality, and cultural sensitivity. I hope to use the concepts I have studied in courses on the JC to the benefit of the broader student body.
Aidan Orr ’24
My name is Aidan, and I am a sophomore running for Judiciary Council. In high school, I was student council vice president and designated community discussion leader, where I organized and mediated conversations around complex political problems and conflicts within the community. This role taught me to be open-minded and to put the well-being of the student body above my personal interests. Continuing into Amherst, this passion for justice and fairness has translated into pursuing an LJST major and my research interest in understanding the plight of America’s death row inmates and exposing the corruption and deceit surrounding American executions.
Class of 2023 Senators
Alana Bailey ’23
I am Alana Bailey, class of 2023, and I am running for Senate because I want to be able to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly footprint at Amherst. In high school, I started a volunteer-based organization called RaggiesforShaggies (http://raggiesforshaggies.org/) which repurposes otherwise discarded lost and found items such as towels by donating them to shelters in need. I would like to incorporate that into my platform by redistributing our otherwise discarded waste to local shelters or animal hospitals in the area! This form of giving back would be mutually beneficial and give back to the Amherst community.
Yvette Kiptoo ’23
From working on the legacy decision to implementing TYPO-R, I have enjoyed being your class senator for the past two years. As senator, I would like to bring back traditions such as Lipsync, a fun way for students to get priority during housing placement, and make sure new traditions continue in the future. Additionally, I want to push for a resource center that centers individuals with disabilities which has resources that Amherst currently lacks or is very hard to access for students. I am willing to collaborate with students so feel free to reach out to me: [email protected].
Chloe Metz ’23
I, Chloe Metz ’23, am running to continue the important work I started during my first term on Senate. Over the past months, I have been working with Gillian Quinto ’23, the Loeb Center, and IT to create an internship database for students. This would mitigate the stress of finding internships, lessen the wait time to see Loeb advisors, help students connect with others who have similar career aspirations, and make knowledge about internships more accessible. It would also raise awareness of what students can do and eliminate Amherst’s “whisper networks” where opportunities are presented to some and not others.
Lily Popoli ’23
I am focusing my senate campaign around mental health. Amherst as an administration does an awful job at addressing our mental health. I have a few ideas. First, working with the administration to give leniency on missed work and classes. I know BSU tried to do this and the administration ignored their request. Secondly, increasing the resources for the counseling center. Finally, imposing guidelines for departments so that students can’t have more than 2 exams and/or essays in a given week. I know this is a lofty promise but coordination within departments can achieve this goal.
Gillian Quinto ’23
Since being elected in February, I have started creating an internship database that would begin to address the concerns brought to light by the Better Amherst Initiative. With another term in AAS, I will be able to fully complete and roll out this project and hopefully alleviate the stresses of the internship search and reduce the strain on Loeb Center resources. In addition to this, I will continue to support the goals of the Office of Environmental Sustainability and advocate for disarming ACPD.
Kate Redmond ’23
How can Amherst celebrate its diversity, flaunting my fellow FLI students (as well as students of color and international students), yet not provide any true support? It’s time we start prioritizing student well-being and as a senator, I will push the administration to do so. Amherst drastically needs a change in how we approach student mental health, but that will not happen overnight. I’ll listen to my peers, represent them in our weekly meetings, and fight daily to get the help we deserve. If we want change, it’ll take time and dedication — and I’m ready to commit.
Lani Uyeno ’23
I believe in leaving things better than how I found them. As I approach my senior year, it is important to me that the experiences and qualities that make Amherst special are upheld and improved through my graduation and beyond. I will work hard to address the areas on campus that need improvement such as increased transparency in the housing lottery, access to mental health resources, and efficiency in the dining hall through self-serve meals. I want to hear your opinions and be your voice in working with Amherst administration to make Amherst the college experience that we all want!
Class of 2024 Senators
Taha Ahmed ’24
Over the past year, I have worked to organize shuttles with the Transportation Committee, adjudicated violations of the Student Code of Conduct as a member of the Community Standards Review Board, and advocated for student perspectives as a member of the Covid-19 Student Task Force. Next year, if elected, I want to continue to conduct meaningful work, as I have done previously, to address significant problems in our community. I know, as a leader of an affinity group on campus (MSA), the solidarity and space that marginalized groups on campus require, but fundamentally lack.
Lori Alarcon ’24
Hello, my name is Lorett (Lori) Alarcon and I have served as a senator for the Class of 2024 for the past two years. I have been part of various committees, from Financial Aid and Admission to the Judiciary Council. I created the Summer Bridge Gala, led an underclassmen dinner, and formed the new immigration alliance committee in AAS called the Dreamer Committee. As a FLI, Latina student, I am working hard to make Amherst a more inclusive space, and I want to keep making an impact by being part of student government for a third term. I hope I
Leandra Depina ’24
My name is Leandra Depina, class of ’24, and I will be running in the 2022 AAS Senate election. In my two years at Amherst College, I’ve always felt a disconnect between me and the general populous here; the “community.” To be frank, at this point I’ve forgotten what it means to be part of a community all together. You would expect that a school of this size would naturally yield to feelings of membership and school spirit, but it is so easy to find yourself detached from everything. That is why I am running. I not only want to
Calvin Gelernt ’24
It would be an honor to represent the Class of 2024 again next year. As a member of the Transportation Committee this year, I personally ensured that we had return shuttles for spring break, arranging a deal with a new shuttle company when our usual options weren’t available. I am also currently working on providing sports equipment like spikeball sets by the Greenways for all students to use for free. With a full year of experience, next semester I hope to work on larger projects, such as finding an equitable way to ensure all students have access to AC dollars.
Sophie Laurence ’24
As a queer Asian American student, my priority is for all student voices to be heard and recognized by the administration and its representatives. AAS senators have the responsibility to represent students inclusive of all identities, and to amplify student concerns, issues, and priority topics to the college — regardless of personal agreement or disagreement. As a former JC member, I plan to heavily work with JC to amend the Constitution, make it more accessible, and to clearly outline senator and student body rights.
Jackson Lee ’24
Hello! My name is Jackson Lee, and I am running for re-election on the Amherst Senate representing the Class of 2024. This past year, I helped organize the shuttles running to New York, Boston, and the Bradley Airport for the Fall and Spring breaks. Additionally, I am currently working on a project to provide free recreational sports equipment for use in the courts and field spaces around the Greenway dorms. My goal for this upcoming year is to work to ensure that the services that the Senate provides are as accessible and organized as possible, as well as making sure
Anna Penner ’24
I hope to continue to work on projects to improve student life by uniting the student body, such as the AAS Prom, my Senate project this year. I also hope to continue my appointment on the Sexual Respect Task Force to help make the school safer, and to ensure student voices are centered in the conversation. I know there is a lack of trust in the administration, so I hope to continue to serve as an advocate for the student body to make Amherst a school we can be proud to attend.
Ankit Sayed ’24
Hi, my name’s Ankit. Remember being a freshman in those first few days of college when everything seemed so new and fresh? I want to recreate that feeling and allow us to discover people, places, and ideas within this campus that so often seems too small for its own good. In my two years here, I have realized that there is always something new to discover here, and I want to foster a sense of beauty and exploration here on campus, while also recognizing and responding to the disconnect between people of different backgrounds on campus.
Class of 2025 Senators
Atheek Azmi ’25
Heyy! I’m Atheek Azmi, class of 2025, a FLI international student from Sri Lanka. Our campaign is based on “building bridges” and improving student ease. Whether that includes enhancing solidarity between our international and domestic communities, rejuvenating our course selection process, or simply increasing the frequency of free massages, we’re here for you, eager for your voice and feedback. My late grandfather, a tea plucker back home, told me to “make every leaf count.” As we embark on this journey together, I’m excited to see how the leaves of our diverse community coalesce to create an even more beautiful Amherst!
Isaiah Doble ’25
Hi everyone! Last year, I ran on the platform of promoting the social and academic support that all of us, as students, deserve. Since then, I was the first advocate for, and helped establish, a sexual violence response committee in solidarity with accounts shared “Amherst Share Your Story,” co-ran the Major Fair Senate project, which provided our class with the opportunity to discuss academic aspirations with upperclassmen in their fields of interest, and voiced student concerns in the Faculty Committee of Educational Policy. If re-elected, I intend to continue advocating for our class’s well-being incessantly. Thank you!
Zane Khiry ’25
Hello everyone! My name is Zane Khiry and I am running for AAS for the Class of 2025. As a member of the men’s track and field team, I hope to use my position to bridge the student-athlete divide. I’d also like to use my position to further the interests of, and advocate for, the employees at the college. In short, there’s a great deal of work to be done, and, if elected, I will be committed to doing the work as best I can. Vote Zane Khiry!
Hannah Kim ’25
Having served as a senator in the 2021-2022 academic year, I’ve seen there is room for growth in the student community. In the upcoming year, I strive to: 1) bridge the gap between students and Senate, 2) foster stronger companionship in Senate, and 3) host an annual Major Fair. Each of these goals share a commonality: further enriching the student community. I want to change the way our present student body feels segregated, and ensure we can feel the strength of our individual and collective voices.
Min Ji Kim ’25
Hi! My name is Min Ji Kim and I am running to be a senator for the Class of 2025! During my past year as senator, I was able to plan and initiate a Major Fair with my fellow senators that allow fellow freshmen to talk to seniors and juniors about the majors they want to go into and bridge the gap between upperclassmen and underclassmen. If re-elected, I would love to be able to plan this fair again with my fellow senators and become another bridge to connect students to Senate by actively taking in suggestions and implementing them.
Isabella Malmqvist ’25
There are few things in this world more intimate and profound than speaking someone’s language. Having grown up in a multilingual household of English, Spanish, Swedish, and French, I appreciate languages as an ultimate manifestation of empathy. They inspire me to immerse myself in different identities and expose me to diverse perspectives and ways of understanding the world around me. As your senator, I will demonstrate this genuine interest in understanding you and your needs — ensuring that you feel heard and supported in every facet of your life here at Amherst. I want to translate your aspirations into action.
Gent Malushaga ’25
This past year, I worked to address the issues facing the Amherst community by participating on the Sexual Respect/Title IX Committee, the Sustainability and Climate Committee, and the Committee on Education and Athletics. In Amherst’s first “normal” year since the pandemic began, fostering a sense of community was more important than ever. Through my work on projects like the Marriage Pact and Amherst SuperFan (my Senate project), I helped do just that. Next year, I plan to focus on increasing engagement and transparency between the student body, the AAS, and the Amherst administration, specifically regarding housing and campus safety.
Shreya Mathew ’25
I am Shreya Susan Mathew, class of 2025. My tenure as a senator helped me understand the expectations of our community. My Grammarly Premium project and providing free coffee during reading period are a testimony of my commitment to implementing projects that are meaningful. Next semester, I look forward to focusing on the theme of career development. The focal point of my project will be to create an “Internship Bank” which would seamlessly connect interested students with current interning students. I have been and will continue to be a representative that can understand the unique needs of our community and
Henry Pallesen ’25
Hi, my name is Henry Pallesen and I’m running to be a senator for the Class of 2025. First, as 178 of us rising sophomores rudely found out, the housing selection process needs to be reformed — I hope to work with OSA to initiate those reforms. Secondly, as someone who suffers from an eating disorder, I know the toll that poor mental health can take — and that Amherst can do a lot more to support students’ mental health. Specifically, regarding eating disorders, I’d like to see the SHEs and the administration partner for programming during National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
Rachel Skoler ’25
Hi, my name is Rachel Skoler and I’m a first-year running for the Senate. I’m from New York City and a potential SWAGS and anthropology double major. On campus, I am most involved with Intersections, the contemporary dance group. I am passionate about expanding the arts at Amherst. In addition, I want to create Amherst-sponsored events to get more involved with the other colleges and local community. On a more serious note, I want to support survivors of sexual assault, helping expand the school’s outreach programs and advocate for the accountability of other students and the administration.
Chris Tun ’25
A core element of student life at Amherst is the arts. As a member of the e-boards for WAMH 89.3 and the Amherst College Film Society, I know what it means to run a club, knowing the importance of organizing campus-wide events. Slowly approaching a post-pandemic campus, we need to ensure that there is the infrastructure to support an increase in events, especially in the arts. As senator, I will work tirelessly to make sure that this foundation exists, in order to allow students to create and share their art and build a more inspired, engaged, and connected community.
Transfer Student Senator
Mia Griffin ’24
My work in the Senate includes securing AAS funding for the Black Arts Matter festival through the Arts Committee, writing emails containing action plans for racial equality, or planning a school-wide prom focused on inclusivity and accessibility. As a senator, I strove to help make this school one where people feel included, safe, and where students could simply enjoy their time here, and will strive to do this again if elected as a senator next year. I look forward to using my experiences to continue creating a learning environment made for everyone.