AAS Candidate Statements for 2023-2024 Senators
The Association of Amherst Students (AAS) will hold elections for eight senators for the class of 2024, 2025, and 2026, and four at-large members of the Judiciary Council on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. The students listed have announced their candidacies for these elections.
Class of 2026:
Hello everyone! My name is Claire Beougher, and I am running to be one of your AAS senators! I hail from the great state of Michigan, and I am a proud rower, baker, and sea shanty enthusiast! As a senator, I would work to improve the transparency and accountability of the senate, ensuring that the senate responds to all student concerns and addresses issues affecting our community in a timely manner. I would also seek to support all student groups in their endeavors so that the Amherst community can continue to grow and thrive!
My name is Simon Burnham. I am running for AAS senate. A vote for me is a vote for you. The future is bright.
I’m Phuong Doan, a current senator, and I’m running for reelection. Look, we all know this year has been crazy for AAS, so I would help reshape AAS. That is why I will work to change the inner functions of AAS. I introduced an amendment to create a stricter policy for committee participation. As a member of the Transportation Committee, I’ve seen how unorganized certain parts of AAS can be, and I hope to change that. I also have been working alongside Senator Chloe with the Health Education Department to bring sustainable menstrual products to campus.
My name is Nathan Lee, and I’m a first-year student from Montvale, New Jersey. My main goal is to boost community engagement. It’s rare events such as last Sunday’s City Streets that remind us of what potential the Amherst community has—events that are too few and far between due to budget and logistical issues. Sure, I’m humanities-minded and a high school debate alum like other senators. But at heart, I’m a math major, graphic designer, and ex-robotics team captain. I’ll bring a practical, calculated, yet personal mind that’s lacking in AAS but needed to solve this issue.
I am running for Amherst senate for the class of 2026. During my first year at Amherst, I have seen all that Amherst has to offer; however, I have also seen the problems in the Amherst experience. As your class senator, I pledge to bring meaningful collaboration between different groups to better our class’s future. Amherst is a historically excellent institution, but we must take the required steps to continue our tradition of excellence. I look forward to working with different members of the Amherst class of 2026 community to better our experience moving forward.
I am Thomas O'Connor. I believe that with the right people, AAS can be a force for good. I am the right person. Vote for me. Thank you all.
My name is Martha Achieng Odhiambo, but let’s stick to Martha for now. I am back as promised and hoping to gain your trust once again. I am running for senate not because I have figured out some magical concoction to make your college experience a utopia one, but because having spent the little time I have with y’all has made me realize the awesomeness we hold as a class and how much I want to help us stay stronger moving forward. I want to be able to create an environment where everyone feels free to explore their individuality.
My name is Griffin Postley. I have a vision for the future. I want to change the world. I want to be your senator. Vote for me.
Hi everyone, my name is Ayres! Serving on senate this year, I worked with Dr. Jones and Mr. Garner on the accessibility and hours of Keefe Health Center and Frost respectively. Post-pandemic it’s really important that all our spaces adapt to student needs and I’d like to use my time in senate to prioritize this aspect of student life. This past year has strengthened many of my connections with administration and I look forward to continuing this relationship to get things done! I’d be honored as your representative and can’t wait to see what more we can accomplish together!
Hi, my name is Chloe Yim, a current class of ’26 senator. Over the course of this year I have gained experience in improving senate to better suit student needs, whether it be through contributing to the new weekly AAS newsletter in the PR committee or working with new funding policies in Budgetary Committee. I will continue to fight for accessibility on campus through my senate project with Phuong Doan ’26 focusing on increasing menstrual products on campus. If elected I hope to focus on helping students navigate what feel like dramatic changes across the school by improving administration-to-student communication.
Class of 2025:
Hi everyone! I’m Zane Khiry & I’m running for AAS. Over the past year, I’ve worked really hard to advocate for equity and justice on campus, and I’ve sat on numerous different committees. If re-elected, I’d like to continue this work and fight to make Amherst live up to its promise. Vote Zane Khiry to get the job done.
For the past 2 years, I’ve served our community through AAS as your senator — and I am excited to continue to do so. Last year, I stated three goals in my candidate statement: bridge the gap between students and the senate, foster stronger companionship in the senate, and host an annual Major Fair. I worked towards these goals by reviving the AAS Instagram, discussing and hosting four major AAS community events, and hosting the Major Fair this March. I am excited to continue nurturing a collective effort towards these goals and to continue to better AAS to better serve our community.
I am an empathetic and experienced leader. Coming from a multicultural and multilingual background, I embody diverse perspectives and lead with empathy. At Amherst, I’m the founder and president of the Amherst College Chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA, secretary of the Reproductive Justice Alliance, and president of the French House. As your senator this past year, my perspective and leadership experience has motivated me to contribute with compassion and create projects with you in mind — like my reproductive & sexual health resource guide. I would be excited to further this mission as your senator next year!
At its best, AAS is an organization that harmonizes student perspectives, creating campus initiatives all students feel invested in. At its worst, AAS is a petty bureaucracy that does little visible good for the student body. If reelected, I’d strive for the former. I’d continue working on the Public Relations Committee, increasing transparency and the visibility of AAS initiatives. Students often bemoan a lack of campus community/traditions. AAS is a great vehicle to change that. School-wide game of assassin? Lip-Sync Battle? Mammoth Day — the Admin’s downplayed this, but come on. Anything Williams can do, we can do better.
Class of 2024:
For two years, I have organized shuttles with the transportation committee, met with the administration to revise the honor code, and adjudicated violations of the Student Code of Conduct as a member of the CSRB. Next year, if elected, I want to kickstart my new committee on Volunteerism and Social Impact by connecting student organizations with each other and with resources to ensure their long-term survival and expansion. As the President of the most active affinity group on campus [MSA], and of a new volunteer club, Habitat-for-Humanity, I have demonstrated skills in leadership, teamwork, and activism.
As a senator, I’ve been inspired by the passion of Amherst students for improving campus life. Alongside my fellow senators, we took action by organizing meetings with Val and surveying students on their dietary preferences and thoughts on the current rice options. This resulted in valuable feedback from nearly 400 students, informing Val’s purchasing decisions and leading to better rice options. Next year, I’m committed to continuing my role as a liaison between students and staff, working towards positive changes to campus. I look forward to using senate office hours to directly hear from students about their vision for campus.
My name is Stephanie Choi, and I am interested in representing the Class of 2024. Continuing my work as a senator would allow me to further fulfill students’ needs and celebrate our last year at Amherst. Advocating for better rice on the lighter side and securing funding for services like Grammarly Premium are just a few small ways to ensure that the Class of 2024 feels represented and supported by AAS. As a FLI Asian American, it would be an honor to be a part of the AAS senate and represent the Class of 2024.
I am passionate about increasing communication between the Association of Amherst Students and the student body as well as enhancing social activities on campus. Communication is essential to ensure that the student voice is heard and that our needs are met. Furthermore, by increasing the number of activities on campus, we can create a more vibrant and engaging community. I am committed to creating more social events such as the rave from the fall of 2019. If elected, I promise to work tirelessly to improve our college experience and make our campus a more enjoyable and inclusive place.
Hi, I’m Ankit, the current VP of AAS. When I joined the senate, it was a chaotic time, but I collaborated with other senators and the e-board to increase transparency and accountability in the bylaws. If elected, I’ll work to improve campus safety, promote public service, and beautify campus with study spaces and murals. While I have ambitious goals, I’m aware of external constraints. As others in senate can attest, I’m open to communication and always willing to listen to feedback. With a deep love for Amherst, I hope to earn your vote and continue serving our community through AAS.
Hello, I’m Jeffrey. You may know me as the previous secretary of the AAS. While I am no longer serving on the e-board of the AAS, I am still eager to serve the student body in other ways. I’m a doer and fixer — if you have issues or concerns, you can count on me.
Samuel Etienne ’26
My name is Samuel Etienne. As a prospective LJST and Philosophy double major, I find it fitting that I concern myself with matters of impartiality and justice here at Amherst.
My experience working under a civil rights attorney is one that influences me to this day. It instilled in me the imperative of pursuing fairness, equality, and justice wherever I can. This drive combined with a strong work ethic is what I will bring to the Judiciary Council.
If you give me your vote, I’ll do my part to foster a fair and transparent council. Thank you.