Two Tickets in the Running for USG Prez

 Two tickets have jumped into the race for the executive branch of Brooklyn’s Undergraduate Student Government so far, with current President Ethan Milich’s term running out at the end of the semester. 

   Although there are still two full days left to declare, one ticket sees current USG Chief of Staff Aharon Grama making a bid for the highest office on Bedford Avenue, with USG Press Director Iqura Naheed as his running mate. However, Grama and Naheed are considering a split ticket, meaning they would swap positions at the end of the fall semester. 

   Running against Grama and Naheed are two outsider candidates: Tanger Hillel member David Tawil, and his running mate Yitzchak Mavashev, an e-board member of the Russian Jewish Club. 

   Grama, who was appointed by Ethan Milich as Chief of Staff last year and also serves on the USS steering committee, is studying computer science at Brooklyn College. He was born in Brooklyn, but also spent some of his life in Israel, serving in the Isreali Defense Forces, before working as a salesman in Texas and finally making his way back to Brooklyn. 

   “In student government I’ve seen how student activism is important,” he told the Vanguard, “You need people to get involved.” 

    While serving as Chief of Staff, Grama helped push the continuation of the credit/no credit grading policy and stop the use of the testing program Proctortrack. “The track record that we have had here this year should prove why students should vote for us,” he said. Grama and Naheed are considering switching positions half way through their term, partially so Grama can lead the Senate, which is under the purview of the VP. 

   “The president and vice president do similar work,” Naheed said, “We’re sort of just a team.” Naheed, who was also born in Brooklyn is a member of the Macaulay Honors Program as an anthropology major. Naheed previously served in the USG Senate. “I wanted to get more involved on campus,” she said of her choice to join USG. 

   Grama and Naheed say they wish to extend and expand upon the initiatives of Ethan Milich’s administration. “His goals were good at that time and they are still good now,” Grama said. 

   The other ticket will be headed by pre-medical student David Tawil, another lifelong Brooklynite, who is involved with the Tanger Hillel on campus.

   “I’m really interested in helping people,” said Tawil, who is also working to start an EMT club at the college. 

   Tawil, who has only had one on-campus semester due to COVID, hopes to focus on helping freshmen and transfers as they ease their transition into the school. “There isn’t enough guidance,” he told the Vanguard, expressing a desire to focus on “creating a community of students on campus.” 

   Tawil also wants to combat the yearly tuition hikes at CUNY, hoping to hold marches to bring awareness to the issue. Tawil and Mavashev do believe they may come to the race as outsiders from USG, but see it as a benefit, bringing new ideas and new perspectives to the table. 

   “That can be an element that makes us seem more approachable,” Mavashev said, “And that’s what we want to be.”

   Students will be able to vote Mar. 22 through Mar. 25 via BCwebcentral.