By Samip Delhiwala
Published: March 28th, 2018
With elections for Brooklyn College’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) student government just a few weeks away, CLAS assembly members Eytan Galanter and Elizabeth Jefimova announced their candidacies for president and vice president (VP), respectively, on Friday, March 23 for the 2018-2019 academic year.
Galanter, a pre-med junior and English major who currently serves as the chair of student affairs, and Jefimova, a pre-med junior double-majoring in chemistry and history who currently serves as a chief marketing officer, posted the announcement in the “Brooklyn College: In The Know 2” Facebook group.
“We have been considering this for the past year and have decided that we truly believe we are the best people for the job!” they said in the Facebook post. “We will make it our mission to make each and every Brooklyn College student proud of their duly-elected student government.”
The two also made a Facebook page titled “Eytan and Liza for CLAS 2018” in order to provide updates on their platform and ideas, and to answer any questions that voters may have.
“Vote for us so we can work for you,” the description for the page says. “We are the team with the experience, dedication, ambition and ideas to Build a Better BC.”
According to Galanter, both he and Jefimova have known each other for a long time, and their trust in each other is what makes them an excellent team.
“We are the sort of team that sees each other as equals, and we can both provide a point of view that is different but mutually respected,” Galanter said. “There will be no petty squabbles between us.”
Galanter claims his work as an assembly member has been twofold, and believes his experiences with the assembly have shaped him to be the most qualified candidate for president.
“As part of the assembly, I wanted to bring about as much positive change to student government as I can,” he said, “as well as learn every little bit of knowledge that I need to be a successful president.”
Galanter’s primary goal is to make sure the student government represents the student body, something he thinks past student governments have not as well as they could have. One of his planned initiatives to accomplish this goal is called CLAS Librarians.
“We would post a general post every weekend asking for any and all questions that people might have that are Brooklyn College-related onto all the major Facebook pages, and respond to them either through prior knowledge or research,” he said.
He also believes CLAS could do a better job with advocacy, and he especially wants to use his potential presidency to advocate for City University of New York (CUNY) funding.
“I think that petitioning Governor Cuomo to fund the school…is a top priority,” Galanter said. By creating large public condemnation of the totally subpar way in which Cuomo has funded CUNY, I think we can force him into increasing funding just to appear more liberal to his target demographic.”
The pair of Galanter and Jefimova has tapped assembly members and chief executive officers Anita Kamal and Shokhina Badrieva to complete its executive slate. If elected, Kamal and Badrieva will fill in the positions of director of campus events and executive treasurer, respectively.
The director of campus events “takes care of being the point person for all the events student government runs,” according to Galanter. Kamal also currently serves as the co-chair of the participatory budgeting committee, and has “helped spearhead a campaign that collected over 400 separate proposals on how to spend the $30,000 CLAS made available for the project,” which is why Galanter and Jefimova believe she is best suited to organize events. Badreiva’s experience as the deputy of the budget and finance committee helped her earn her spot on the slate for treasurer.
“Anita Kamal and Shokhina Badrieva are two of the most hardworking and determined people anyone could ask for in a student government,” Galanter and Jefimova said.
When asked about how he differs from former CLAS presidents Tim Donnelly and Florencia Salinas, as well as current president Nissim Said, Galanter cited his overall executive slate instead of his personal characteristics.
“Tim Donnelly…has been a mentor, Florencia Salinas taught me the merit of research and advocacy, and Nissim Said has taught me an incredible amount about how the operations at CUNY and BC work,” he said. “But what sets me apart is that I have assembled a team that is perhaps better suited than any other team to bringing the kind of change that we need in student government.”
The petitioning process for CLAS elections began last week, and will continue this week until the April 2 deadline. According to the CLAS website, campaigning will begin the week after spring break and will last a total of three weeks. Elections will be held from April 23 to April 30 on BC WebCentral.