AAS Candidate Statements for 2024-2025 Senators

The Association of Amherst Students (AAS) will hold elections for eight senators for the class of 2024, 2025, and 2026, four at-large members of the Judiciary Council, and two at-large members of Budgetary Committee on Friday, April 26, from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.

The students below have announced their candidacies for these elections. All candidates are listed by position then alphabetically by last name. If the statements end in ellipses, it is because they have been cut off to fit the 100 word limit.

Class of 2025 (9 candidates, 8 seats):

Laith Bahlouli

Serving as a Senator this academic year, I was involved with the Transportation Committee as well as the Community Standards Review Board. As a FLI immigrant student, I will lead an initiative to restore the Peer Mentorship program which supported incoming students as well as to design comprehensive, FLI-guides-to-STEM-at-Amherst pamphlets. As a Treasurer of the Muslim Student Association, I am intimately aware of the budgeting process’s pitfalls. My focus will be on joining the Budgetary Committee and leading efforts to more wisely allocate resources to clubs. In particular, I want to clean up the ambiguous policy regarding “hallmark events”.

Zane Khiry

Hi everyone, I'm Zane Khiry, and I'm running for Class of 2025 Senate! As a Senator, I've worked to foster a better sense of community, working this year to bring back the Lip Sync Room Draw Battle! I've also been working to ensure students are supported both academically and extracurricularly. I serve on the Budgetary Committee, the Committee on Education Policy, and the Committee on Admission and Financial Aid, working to help Amherst better fulfill its mission. I hope to continue this work by advocating for student’s needs in committees, and working to center community on campus. Vote Zane Khiry!

Francis Lalley

My name is Francis Lalley, and I am a Junior majoring in History. Generally, I have a keen interest in things that have already happened, but I also have an appreciation for those things that could happen in the future. One thing I could see happening in the future is that Amherst College becomes a less inherently divided campus. Among other things, I believe that fostering a stronger social life on campus would lead us down a path of more community and less isolation. As a member of AAS, I would aim to incentivize students to commit to social gatherings [...]

Isabella Malmqvist

I’m proud to have served as your senator for the past two years. In my position, I have represented you on the Community Standards Review Board, the Appointment Board, and as your sole class representative on the College Council– where I helped draft the Honor Code. I also created the Reproductive & Sexual Health Resource Guide after noticing a general lack of understanding of this topic on campus. Next year, I hope to further improve student social life and plan more campus-wide events. I look forward to the opportunity to make our senior year the best yet!

Henry Pallesen

I’ve been proud to serve as your senator for the past two years, and I hope you’ll grant me the opportunity to do so for one more. I’ve served on several committees and worked to get free snacks and drinks in Frost during Reading Period. AAS EBoard’s recent attention has been on increasing Senator participation and accountability—Senate is better as a result.  However, it’s now time for Senate to hold the EBoard to higher standards of accountability by enforcing attendance policy and requiring the EBoard to publish short summaries of all EBoard meetings and their meetings with administrators.

Jesús Ramírez Tapia

Hello, my name is Jesús Ramírez Tapia, and I’m running for re-election. This past year, I was one of many new Senators on AAS and have dedicated myself to enhancing the Amherst experience for you! I have participated in five committees, including the Budgetary, the Arts, and the Dreamer’s Committee. I hope to continue my work in these positions and make them more accessible and representative of our class! As your FLI and Latinx Voice in the Senate, I am also committed to ensuring that our concerns are heard and addressed by both the administration and student body

Zakaria Shenwari

In my year as senator, I focused on enhancing the transparency of AAS and Senate activities to the student body by assisting in installing the AAS bulletin board in Keefe. Looking ahead, I plan to revitalize the mental health committee, make the counseling center more accessible, and provide guidance on common mental health challenges students face. As a Muslim international student, I've facilitated collaborative educational and community-building events between MSA, CISE, MENAA, and SASA communities. Strengthening intergroup relationships is critical for Amherst students' learning and social experience. Additionally, I plan to explore digitizing student identification and access for campus efficiency.

Rachel Skoler

Hi everyone, my name is Rachel Skoler and I am from New York City. I am currently on the e-board of Intersections Dance Company, a member of DASAC, and working as an Artist in Residence for the Theater and Dance department. I am passionate about increasing the presence of the arts on campus, and have a ton of ideas on community events that would support artistic expression. I have previously served on the senate, and was active on the Sexual Respect Committee. I am driven to create structural and social change in the handling of sexual misconduct on campus.

Class of 2026 (10 candidates, 8 seats):

Shane Dillon

Hey Class of 2026! After having just been on E-Board for a year, I have built relationships that get things done. I ensured the Mascot Costume team had funding to complete the project this year, I got us a cash option for AC dollars, and I originally brought picnic tables to the FYQ. I want to institutionalize senate projects, continue to push for a permanent tent/space for outside events, and more partnerships with businesses in the Amherst Community. I look forward to continuing being a voice for the FLI community, Queer community, and anyone else who thinks we need [...]

Phuong Doan

Hello, my name is Phuong, and I am running for reelection as your senator for the class of 2026! As a FLI student, I am dedicated to centering those experiences in my work. I want to work with the administration to address economic inequities, including shuttle costs and how club funding is allocated. I also want to increase transparency about the student body's powers in the constitution to bring up their concerns to AAS and how the student body can have more input in the priorities and projects that AAS pursues.

Shreya Hegde

As an international student, my path from being the first in my school in India to apply abroad to teaching in Indian villages and creating an AR education app showcases my dedication to accessible education. Majoring in CS and English and active in entrepreneurship, theatre, and poetry, I offer a diversity of experiences. My goals include simplifying resource access, bridging the gap between international and domestic students, and reducing isolation. Currently, I’m developing a comprehensive ‘Being not Rich’/‘Access Amherst’ guide and planning to initiate a platform to understand and act on student needs, demonstrating my commitment to a responsive [...]

Nife Joshua

Hello, I’m Nife Joshua, and I'm excited about the chance to join the Senate. As a rising junior, I’ve gained a better sense of school life and what students enjoy. The transition from underclassman to upperclassman is tough, but I believe I can help make this transition easier by being in the Senate. With my energy and commitment, I'll advocate for our student body.

One of my first initiatives is to improve communication between the AAS and the students, going beyond the newsletter and directly reporting administration updates to students. Let's create a more connected campus where everyone feels empowered!

Alex Kupersmith

Hi everyone! My name is Alex Kupersmith, and I’m hoping to serve as a senator for the Class of 2026. As someone who did not understand the far-reaching impact of AAS until this year, I intend to improve communication and outreach so everyone on campus is aware of everything AAS does. The more awareness we foster, the better our collective decisions will reflect the desires and needs of the study body. I also plan to advocate for more community and social events like the semesterly rave and increase the number of reservable SHEP spaces on campus.

Nathan Lee

I've been a highly active member of AAS this past year. I'm a member of six committees, including the budgetary committee and arts committee. I started an art competition to display more student art on campus. I created a share program for RSOs to get access to Canva Pro. I helped plan logistics for the Pink Out Rave. Overall, I've helped to make existing systems run more smoothly and to start new events to promote student life—I plan to continue this work if I am reelected.

However, I've also come to realize that much of the important work we do [...]

Amaya Martinez

“The only thing better than finding something you're looking for is finding something you weren't looking for at a great bargain (Uncle Iroh).”

I love y’all class of 2026 and I’m excited to represent you guys in AAS. As a senator I will serve as an instrument for whatever the student body requests of me. Trust, AAS is getting one step closer to drama-free and productive.

Vote Amaya!

Tom Nash

I Tom Nash would like to run for Senate for the class of 2026. I had a wonderful and successful experience last year and am looking forward to continued success. Thank you so much for reading my brief statement.

Thomas O’Connor

Hello! My name is Thomas O'Connor. I'm a current senator running for reelection. In the past year, I have seen the good that AAS can do for Amherst, and it has been an honor serving the student body as a senator. I look forward to continuing to serve next year. Once again, I am humbly asking for your vote. Thank you all.‌‌

Ayres Warren

As your senator, I stay committed to my Vice Presidential goals. I will create a student liaison for the Board of Trustees, re-vamp the AAS website to make it a more accessible resource for senate business, and extend the connection between non-senate students and senators. In my previous senate work, I've collaborated with administrators to extend hours of access to the Health Center and Frost Library. This year, I've organized the fall and spring raves and institutionalized them by amending the Social Engagement Committee (SEC) into the AAS Constitution. I look forward to creating more initiatives that serve you!

Class of 2027 (10 candidates, 8 seats):

Prakhar Agrawal

Having been in the senate for a year, I have worked to organize campus-wide events like the Pink Rave, TAP party, and Amherst’s got talent which has been really fun, and I would love to continue to make such events better. Additionally, I have served in the PR committee to restart the AAS newsletter- increasing transparency, and the Admissions committee- contributing to constructive discussions about Amherst admissions. We have also started a Life-skills Workshop Series- currently organizing a sewing workshop, and for next year, I have projects like graphic-designing workshop planned and, in the pipeline, which I’m excited to undertake!

Jeb Allen

During my first year, I served as a senator, wrote six articles for the student newspaper (so far), secured funding for a mammoth mascot, and participated in numerous political discussions and initiatives on campus. Those who have I have had the pleasure of meeting know that I have grand visions for the AAS and for reducing political apathy in general. Whether reelected or not, I promise to continue promoting healthy political discourse on campus, fostering inclusivity, and encouraging a deeper understanding of how our unique upbringings shape our political identities.

Siani Ammons

Hello, Class of 2027! I am running for senator with the main focus on building community. I commit to diversity, explicitly and implicitly encouraging all groups' integration. As a senate member, I hope to echo the results of my secretaryship with the NC State NAACP by allowing better budget allocation to affinity and FLI groups and community-building activities, including, but not limited to formals/raves. I strive to encourage the tending of all voices. I hope to be best represented by the tagline of  Culture Innovation Trust Yogic, or Gag C.I.T.Y.

Rizwan Ayub

Hey folks, I’m Riz!  When I ran for Senate last Semester, I told you, “Riz can handle the Biz!” Let's look at what that meant:

  • I turned Amherst Got Talent from a shower thought to the AAS’ inaugural talent show with ~200 Attendees this March!
  • I have a perfect BC and AAS Attendance record.
  • I oversee the weekly AAS Newsletter, so you know what AAS does.

What I’ll do if re-elected!

  • Host Amherst Got Talent every Semester!
  • Continue working on my new project, a Disability Access Resource Center.

All you need to remember is that Riz handles the Biz!

GeorgeDaniel Dixon

I am re-running to be your class of 2027 senator to continue making positive changes on campus that improve our day-to-day interactions and campus experience. This year my senate project was to bring back the picnic chairs and tables so that we can fully enjoy the  warmer weather In this upcoming year, I plan to revamp the AC Bucks so that we can use our swipes in more places, as well as looking at how we can improve our Mobile Credentials so that our college ID can be on our phones. I’m looking forward to serving as your 2024-2025 Senator.

Angelina Flores

Hello! I’m Angelina Flores, and I would love to represent you in the AAS Senate again. I am eager to foster greater relationships with Dining Services to improve dining as I served on the hiring committee for our new dining director. I want to bring more life skills workshops to campus, including the sewing one I led and others like budgeting as an adult. Most importantly, I want to elevate your time on campus and bring you more events like the upcoming Freshmen Field Day and Amherst Got Talent, which I helped plan. Vote Angelina Flores for continued change!

Oscar Gosling

"Oscar Gosling pledges to end government for government’s sake.”  My impeachment is testament to AAS’s past as such.  Yet, I am back with faith in the new administration to focus on what matters.

I’m here for your community life and club needs.  I am invested in arts, sports, our diversity and internationalism, and above all, freedom of speech.  I know what it is like to have this taken.

I bring pragmatism to decision-making with experience in local and central governance; my track-record of advocacy never deterred by opposition. As said before, “Let’s MOM.”  Let us Make Our Move.

Sofia Salazar

Hey everyone! My name is Sofia Salazar, and after serving in Senate this past year, I have seen the real and powerful change that can be made. I am eager to continue improving the student experience for all, like by continuing to help plan the semesterly Raves to improve social life, or by working with Val to have beans as a constant in Lighter Side for vegetarian and vegan individuals. I want to advocate for YOU, so please reach out with any questions, concerns, or comments about what’s happening on campus. VOTE SOF!

Jaedyn Toman

I aim to increase transparency between AAS, faculty, staff, and the student body. As a senator, my initial actions will be to 1) create more opportunities for students to learn about a variety of possible careers, 2) create a helpful guideline for students to refer to on topics such as grad school and career development, and 3) try to create a more sustainable Amherst. Additionally, I want students to feel comfortable coming to me with concerns so that I can help you address them. I am responsible, passionate, and dedicated. Vote Jaedyn Toman for Senator!

Mikka Wolff

I know how to spread a dollar. I’ve organized free dinners that pay back double. Leading my high school's Black Student Union, I rolled a profit for a non-profit. Too many of us have haggled with Financial Aid for weeks only to get $150. Too long have we seen every ethnic food turn out bland because there is not a single person of color on Val’s executive staff. Yet, some e-Boards go on camping trips that cost hundreds of dollars without taking any members. I will pass a policy to disincentivize budgetary waste. I fund the underfunded. I will kill [...]

Budgetary Committee at-Large (3 candidates, 2 seats):

Jayden Kang ’27

Hello, my name is Jayden Kang. I was part of the Budgetary Committee in Spring 2024.

The most significant factor in making me run for BC at-large member is that I get to be involved in the school’s activities one more time. I would like every student to enjoy their time at Amherst, and I believe the activities funded by BC is a major contributor to that mission. Because of my previous experience, I saw the troubles we went through. I want BC’s budget spending to be allocated more carefully so every club’s activities can be funded properly. Thank you.

Nolan Park ’27

I write here about my desire to be an at-large member for BC. To begin, I have minimal student government or budgetary experience. Yet, I think some of the most interesting discussions on campus happen in BC– discussions I wish to join. The decisions made by BC also have a substantial bearing on student life. To know that I could contribute to BC’s tangible impact excites me. In sum, my desire to join BC is rooted in the opportunity to join stimulating, exciting, and challenging discussions that translate into meaningful effects on the student experience at Amherst.

Ahmad Ziada ’26

I am committed to promoting a vibrant and inclusive student life through equitable and efficient funds management. My main principles revolve around accessibility, non-discrimination, and total transparency about my work. In addition, I am excited to collaborate with other students on the Budgetary Committee, benefit from their experiences, and concentrate our efforts towards ensuring that our student body enjoys sustainable policies that ensure that the resources Amherst offers for us are correctly and responsibly managed. I’m also aiming to raise awareness on how new club treasurers can get used to the process of fund requests from AAS.

Judiciary Council at-Large (2 candidates, 4 seats):

Kyren Khairah ’26

My name is Kyren Khairah and I am a first-year student running for an at-large position on the judiciary council! As a prospective Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought major, I am deeply interested in the institutional judicial process at every level, so I would love to start taking part with Amherst. Specifically, I aim to fairly evaluate future student organizations and help address complaints in a transparent and timely manner. I look forward to contributing to an equitable, just, and cohesive community!

Parker Smith ’26

My name is Parker Smith and I hope to serve on the AAS Judiciary Council. I am experienced and interested in both politics and law. Before Amherst, I participated in a year-long project studying the water law in Hawai’i and supporting recently passed bill SB1066. At Amherst, I have studied and interpreted Supreme Court cases and legal theory in many of my classes. I will apply these skills and experiences to efficiently and effectively review the AAS constitution and bylaws, consider complaints, and check the executive and legislative branches. A strong, knowledgeable, and considerate judiciary is crucial for the well-being [...]