AAS Senate Candidate Statements 2019-2020

The Association of Amherst Students (AAS) will hold elections on April 24 for next year’s senators. Amherst students will receive an email on April 24 with the link to cast votes. The following candidates will be on the ballot for the position of senator for the classes of 2022, 2021 and 2020. There are eight senators elected per class. Speech Night will be held on Wednesday, April 23 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Lipton Lecture Hall in the Science Center.

Class of 2020 John Ballard: In the past year, I have served as both an AAS senator and the AAS treasurer. I firmly believe that I’m a good candidate for the position because I have regularly dedicated my time to improve the experiences of students here at Amherst. For AAS to suitably serve, its members must be selfless with their time and approachable to their peers. If elected to serve you as senator, I promise to continue to commit that time and effort needed to make AAS work. Thanks!

Hannah Fox: I have been a senator for the past two years. I have met faculty from many academic departments due to the open curriculum and being a double major and athletic staff because I am a two-sport athlete. My goal has been and will continue to be to strengthen relationships amongst students, faculty and staff. This year I will facilitate the formation of a tight-knit class and community in general. I will continue to ensure that everyone has a voice. I am approachable and hardworking, which are essential qualities for this role. If I am elected I will do my best to unite everyone, work to change policies and represent our class.

Meg Parker: I served as senator for the first time this semester, and feel that I have learned how to best represent my class through this busy time. If elected I promise to approach every Senate meeting and project with transparency, efficiency and fairness in mind. I believe that by utilizing these qualities in my actions and decisions, I can serve the Amherst community well. Thanks for your civic engagement!

Class of 2021 Ben Gilsdorf: Hello Class of 2021! I’m running for re-election as one of your AAS senators. For my Senate projects this year, I helped organize for the ACVotes project in the fall, and in the spring I got Information Technology to put the printer in Valentine Dining Hall. I’m proud of the work we have done in AAS over the last year, and I hope to work with next year’s executive board and Senate to keep pushing Amherst College to be better. Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have, and make sure to vote!

Rafael Gonzalez: Over the past two years as a senator, I’ve worked to improve the student experience by organizing shuttles to nearby cities and airports, serving on the budgetary committee, working to provide boxes for end-of-school move-out, administering the class of 2022 Facebook page and more. If elected, I will continue to work for a better student experience. If you have ideas for what Senate can do to better this campus, feel free to reach out to me on Facebook, over email or in person. Go Mammoths!

Julia Ralph: I have served as a senator for the past two years, and during my time with AAS, I have been a member of the First Year Life Committee, Appointments Committee and the Committee on Educational Policy. I also have helped to implement projects around campus that ignite unification of our community, such as creating a mentoring program for incoming first-years and current Amherst students and funding merchandise for the Together We Are Amherst campaign. As a member of many different groups on campus, I believe that I can well represent the interests of the class of 2021 in the upcoming school year!

Class of 2022: Basma Azzamok: My first year here at Amherst has taught me quite a few things, foremost among them that, despite students belonging to different class years, we are all Amherst. I believe that being a senator goes beyond being a representative for your class. It means being a voice for the greater Amherst community, recognizing what needs improvement, understanding what needs implementation and looking towards the future. Different classes don’t mean different concerns or needs; we are all one community. As a senator, my goal is to help craft an Amherst experience inspired by suggestions and ideas from all classes.

Gabriel Echarte: Round two! I am running to serve as your class senator. Judiciary Council sure put me through the wringer this past month, but I am back for more! There are issues I care about that regardless of whether I am an executive board member or senator I wish to continue pursuing. Thank you, and vote Gabriel Echarte.

Ilyssa Forman: I’m a QuestBridge scholar and Meiklejohn fellow from Long Island, New York. On campus, I’m a student health educator and am involved with the Amherst LGBTQ+ and Jewish communities. As a senator, I will: 1) advocate for marginalized communities on campus, 2) seek to foster more robust intra-campus dialogue and 3) help to ensure the visibility of AAS initiatives and resources for students. Vote for me this Thursday!

Lexy Garcia: I’m a political science major from Miami, Florida. My platform centers on accessibility: AAS vehicle rentals, enhancing shuttle services during academic vacations, a regularly-scheduled AAS town hall and representing affinity groups amid talks of a new campus center. Naturally, I also plan to improve campus party policy and food scarcity concerns in efforts of improving campus life. Feel free to reach out with any questions, and I hope to earn your vote!

Cole Graber-Mitchell: The Association of Amherst Students is supposed to be a student government that represents all of our interests, but it isn’t right now. Funding is available only with insider knowledge, and the “Getting Involved” page of the website has fewer words than this statement. This is a shame, because AAS can do so much more. It’s time to have AAS office hours. It’s time to know our senators and how to contact them. I’m Cole Graber-Mitchell, and as a senator for the class of 2022, I intend to make our student government more involved with the student experience.

Jae Yun Ham: When I first ran last fall, I promised to implement free printing and cheaper laundry. As a senator, I have KEPT those promises by creating a printing credit program and working with Student Services to implement a single-pay, free-use laundry program. Next year, I will work on increasing the printing credit to $10 (200 FREE pages) and implement reforms that will increase the transparency of the AAS to the student body. Thank you for your support, and I humbly ask for your vote this upcoming election.

Angelina Han: When I ran last year, my platform focused on community and sustainability. I kept those promises. I am a founding member of the Sustainability and Climate Task Force lobbying for the Climate Action Plan. My Senate projects are reviving the peer-mentoring program and a project with Valentine Dining Hall to address food waste. Next year, I want to also look at improving party culture and the AAS Constitution. I promise to bring my drive and experience to best advocate for your needs. Vote Angelina Han for AAS Senate!