Student Senate Candidate Statements

Elections are currently live for Student Senate, and will remain open until 9 p.m. Friday or until a 20-percent participation threshold is reached. Listed below, in alphabetical order, are the candidates for Student Senate this semester, including candidate statements and endorsements if submitted. Ballots can be cast here.

The Oberlin Review does not endorse any candidate in Student Senate elections.

Roman Broszkowski

My name is Roman Broszkowski (He/Him/His) and I am a 2nd-year politics major in the college as well as a current Student Senator. I’m a First Generation American and come from a mixed race and interfaith family. I’m deeply committed to immigration justice and have been involved with Obies for Undocumented Inclusion. If re-elected I want to increase the amount of student activism Oberlin Students can participate in as well as funding available to student activists.

Endorsed by Oberlin College Debate

Bella Conway

My name is Bella Conway (she/her/hers). I am second year Politics major and Middle Eastern Studies minor. I am running for Student Senate because I believe that Oberlin students need more power over the governance of this institution. I want to work with Student Senate on increasing communication between the students and the administration. Major administrative decisions, such as reinvesting in Gibson’s, should not be made while students aren’t present on campus. As a student senator I will work to increase transparency between students and the administration, most specifically with the board of trustees. We must become more involved and demand power in an institution we pay to attend.

Henry DuBeau

My name is Henry DuBeau (he/him/his), and I am a third-year student majoring in Theatre and Law & Society. I have previously served on Student Senate in numerous roles, including Associate Liaison, Treasurer, Communications Coordinator and Events Coordinator. Aside from Student Senate, I have also been involved with OCSA, WOBC, and OMTA.

As a student senator, one of my main goals is to bring student legal services to Oberlin, a resource that many peer institutions provide yet we are still lacking. As was indicated by the responses to the legal aid survey sent out by Student Senate, not only would students eagerly make use of such services, it would also increase financial accessibility to those who couldn’t normally afford legal representation. This work is especially important in light of ongoing political developments which threaten the security and well-being of students at this college. That said, I am also committed to making Oberlin College a sanctuary campus.

Being a student senator has been a rewarding experience that has certainly shaped my Oberlin experience for the better. I hope you will re-elect me so that I may continue to have the privilege of representing you.

Andrés González

My name is Andrés González (he/him/his), and I am a third year Politics and Comparative Literature student here at Oberlin. I am running to be a member of Oberlin’s Student Senate to amplify the voices of students in the management of our college. Too many decisions that affect our lives here at Oberlin are made without strong student voices present at the table. The Student Senate can be one of these voices, but only if it acts not just in response to the student body, but with it as well. I hope to work with the rest of Senate to address large and small issues alike, from dining, technology and student life, to fairness in financial aid and maintaining Oberlin’s commitment to its students, particularly those most vulnerable to harassment and unfair treatment both inside and outside of the college. However, Senate, and our student body can only be heard if we speak and act together, in solidarity with one another. This is why I am asking for your vote to be a Student Senator, to build a more self- determining and unified student body.

Lucy Haskell 

My name is Lucy Haskell (she/her/hers) and I am a first-year in the College. I have loved getting to know Oberlin over the past few months, and am excited to take a more active role in realizing our community values. We have an opportunity to set the tone with Oberlin’s new president, and now, more than ever, collaboration is vital. I want to help to represent the needs and desires of the Oberlin student body to both the town and administration to ensure Oberlin is safe for everyone. But safety and isolation are not the same, so I would also work to strengthen ties between Oberlin and the wider world. Most immediately, I would like to explore ways to increase options for transportation in and out of Oberlin to give students more opportunities for social, political, cultural, and professional engagement. Student Senate has done an excellent job communicating with the student body over the past semester, and I hope to continue that pattern. Student Senate a collective body, and can only operate with collective input, so above all I am open to listening, eager to consider, and ready to act.

Nimo Ismail

Hello everyone. My name is Nimo Ismail and I am a Politics major with an international studies concentration. I am a senior, and I am from Somaliland. I was a student senator during the spring of 2016, but I couldn’t serve my second semester because I was studying away in New York City. I enjoyed working with the other senators and representing Oberlin student’s interests. This semester also happens to be my easiest semester when it comes to course load, so I will have more time to fulfill my duties as a senator. I have also been very active on campus and have access to many different resources, and that would be to my advantage if you guys choose me as your senator. Due to what has been happening around and especially the US, I understand that times are difficult and it is a time that we need to let our voices heard. I have never been shy about doing that, and I will never be.

Kai Joy

Kai Joy grew up in Chicago and Evanston Illinois. She is a mixed race trans girl. She is now a second year at Oberlin and a creative writing major. She eats in Third Wold Co-op and lives in A house. She is a Sagittarius with a Scorpio moon and a Gemini rising.  She is excited to be a part of a new wave of senators who will offer diverse viewpoints and advocate for radical action. She has a great deal of respect for many of the current senators and can’t wait to work with them.

Sadie Keller

My name is Sadie (she/her) and I’m a Second Year student probably studying Politics and Hispanic Studies. “Probably” meaning I have no idea. Last semester I worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and I’m glad to return to campus for the Spring. As a former senator, I advocated for students receiving Financial Aid, and helped create a support network for Obies who need legal representation. I hope to continue this work and expand Senate’s ability to listen to, work with, and serve the Oberlin community. If you have ideas about how Senate can better serve you, please email me: [email protected]. Thank you!

Emily Kelly

Hello fellow Obies! My name is Emily and I am a 2 nd year Politics and East Asian Studies double major, as well as a sprinter on the Oberlin Track and Field Team. My passions include social justice issues, wearing cool vests, and playing with my guinea pig, Mimsy. I hope to one day be an advocate for people all around the country through law, but I would love to start by being an advocate for Oberlin students! If you elect me to the Oberlin Senate, I plan to work to better the relationship between the Oberlin Student Senate and Oberlin students themselves. I want students to feel more connected and in the know about what the Student Senate is up to, and lend more voices to the decision-making process. I feel like increasing the amount of student opinions in big decisions that the Senate makes would benefit the Oberlin community as a whole. I also want to create more transparency in the relationship between Oberlin students and the College administration. I want to ensure that us students understand and can even lend a voice to the significant decisions that they make, which affect us. I’d really appreciate your vote!

Kennedy Kline

Hi, my name is Kennedy Kline and I am hoping to be one of your Student Senators. I am involved in multiple groups on campus including the field hockey team, PRSM and SAAC. I have also been involved in other student groups like ABUSUA in previous years. I feel that my experience in these groups has helped me develop the skills to be a very effective communicator as well as an active attentive listener, which I feel are essential to being a valuable representative.

Of the incumbents serving on Senate, only one is a POC. I want to make Senate more diverse and assure that the voices of all people are equally considered. I feel that everyone’s concerns are meaningful and I will hold that principle with me if voted to be your student representative. Thank You.

Lindsay Mahowald

Why elect me?

I have a great deal of experience with similar activities. I just finished a Winter Term internship with Senator Bernie Sanders and I’m the Vice President of the Debate Team, to name a few.

I am the hardest worker you’ll ever meet. Any person who knows me knows just how passionate I am about helping others. I will talk with you at any hour and bang on every desk in this institution if it means getting you what you want.

What are my positions/what will I do if elected?

I think there should be a more organized system of getting information out for both school-related and recreational activities.

I think we should have a larger political voice both on and off-campus.

I want to spend more time than is typical with students during office hours to hear their concerns, and get on the proper committees to deal with those concerns.

Questions? Email me at [email protected] and I’d love to chat!

Cole Mantell

My name is Cole Mantell (he/him/his) and my goals for the coming year are to ensure that Senate holds the administration accountable for its actions, or its inaction. This includes on local issues, such as the Gibson’s incident last semester, and larger issues such as establishing Oberlin as a sanctuary campus. In the future, Senate needs to continue this relatively new practice of actively taking stances on issues, and making sure the administration acts accordingly. This starts with transparency. Last semester Senate began writing weekly columns in TheOberlin Review, as a means of letting students know what Senate is doing about certain issues. If elected, I will continue this practice, but I plan to extend it to include when Senate fails to act, why it fails to act, and what senators are doing about any given issue. Likewise, I will create an open Google from that will encourage anonymous input from students that will allow Senate to garner consensus and further hold them accountable. Senate has the opportunity to truly work for the student body, and if elected I will make sure it does, and if it fails to do so, you will know exactly why.

Maxim Matthee-O’Brien

My name is Maxim Matthee-O’Brien (he/him). I am a second year Politics Major. I grew up in Metuchen, New Jersey. I am a white, upper-middle class, cis-man and am very interested in utilizing the privileges afforded to me as a result of those intersecting identities to create change here in Oberlin. I am running for Oberlin’s Student Senate, along with several other very committed individuals, in order to work within the existing structures to increase the proportion of administrative power available to students. I firmly believe that maximizing student ability to exercise power will increase the transparency and accountability of both Student Senate and the administration at large. Using the power that is and will be granted to students I would like to ensure that this campus is accessible for all, and that marginalized communities in particular are made to feel safe and comfortable within the institution.

Thobeka Mnisi

I’m Thobeka Mnisi and I’m a third year Politics major. I initially joined Student Senate because I felt like I had a lot to offer: I was working for the President’s Office, the Office of Disability Services, ResEd, and involved with the town through civic engagement. On campus, I was also immersed in various extra curricular activities including, Project Unbound, ASA, OCF, ISC, ISO, and IYS. Last semester I had the honor of serving as liaison for senate. While it was a thrill to be bestowed with such an important responsibility, the position also humbled me. I realized that one person, even with a lot of experience leading in different capacities, can’t adequately represent the student body.

I’m running again because my work on senate isn’t done. Along with my colleagues, I want to continue to fight for student reps on the board, to improve student-alumni connections, to pressure administration to give us the honest and transparent communication we deserve, to enhance our collective voice and ultimately, to support student organizers in the resistance against injustices that are becoming more pronounced daily. And now, I know I can’t do it without your help.

Dani Mitri Pacheco

My name is Dani Miriti Pacheco (they/them). I am a second year, and as of yet have not declared a major. I am putting my name forth as a candidate for Oberlin College’s Student Senate because I have a strong commitment to making lasting change at this institution. I want to work with others to make this space more accessible, especially to queer and trans youth of color. I want to very much be a liaison between marginalized students and the Senate to better serve our needs. I want to work both within and without the existing system to accomplish my goals. I want to work to increase student power on campus, and increase the extent to which the administration and the board of trustees are accountable to the students of Oberlin College.

Andrew Patinkin

While I have never been on Student Senate, I have experience working for large political organizations as well as some experience working for student organizations.  In 2016, I interned at J Street’s Chicago office, as well as volunteered for the Hillary Clinton campaign and worked as the treasurer for J Street U Oberlin.  This winter term, I worked in the Washington, D.C. office of Senator Sherrod Brown, where I learned how to address the needs of constituents, a practice I hope to implement on a broader scale should you choose to elect me.  My main goals as a Student Senator would be:

  • Expand resources for POC students, LGBTQ students, Muslim and Jewish students, students with disabilities, and Undocumented students.
  • Work with the administration to help change policies that are detrimental to students or do not reflect the views of the student body.
  • Work to make Student Senate and Oberlin in general more involved in our local and regional political issues.

If you believe that Student Senate should help create the campus climate and foster the kind of involvement students really want, vote for Andrew Patinkin for Student Senate.

Duncan Reid

A vote for me is a vote for:

Calling out the hypocrisy of the Board of Trustees

Raising the pay of student workers.

Expanding Decafe hours.

Expanding support for student-athletes, and making athletic facilities something the whole campus can share, not just athletes.

Reformation of the current student government so that more Obies can be involved.

Expanding awareness and allyship to the disability community.

An investigation into how Oberlin’s main dining halls attained the highest food safety risk levels.

The bottom line is that a vote for me is a vote for a person who already knows the ins and outs of the administration and how to use them to make student life more enjoyable. It’s a vote for a person who isn’t afraid to make enemies with administrators and the Board of Trustees if it means that students will have more control of their education. Perhaps most importantly it’s a vote for a Senator who will fight for you until hell freezes over. And then who will fight for you on the ice. Thank you and feel free to email me with any questions at [email protected]

Elie Small

As your student senator, I will fight to better your overall student experience at Oberlin College. My role will be to advocate for your interests, and see to it that your voice is heard. Many of my classmates have expressed their interests in using meal swipes at DeCafé and getting better water fountains in the dorms. I will continue to listen to my fellow Obies’ concerns and raise them with the administration.

I also believe it is important for us to emphasize conversation and empathy at Oberlin. As your student senator, I will fight to close the divide between North and South campus and give all Obies from every background a sense of comfort when voicing their ideas and opinions.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and feel free to email me at [email protected] with any issues you want brought to attention. I would be honored to serve as your student senator.

Think big, vote Small.

Sanam Tiffany

Linh Tran

My name is Clover Linh Tran, she/her/hers. I’m an international student from Hanoi, Vietnam. I’m a third year, studying Interdisciplinary Approaches to Communications (individual major) and Sociology (minor). At Oberlin, I have served as Co-Chair of the Vietnamese Student Association (2015-2016) and an active member in International Student Organization (2015-2016). For freshman year Winter Term, I founded Finding Asia in America–a photography project that explores the narratives of Asians and Asian Americans in the U.S.–with the end result of 2 exhibitions in Oberlin that spring. Last summer, I was awarded the Shansi in Asia Grant to carry out When The Birds Fly Home–a photo-storytelling project that sheds lights on the reverse culture shock, identity crisis and prejudices that are burdening the Vietnamese students who studied abroad then returned home. The project’s exhibition and symposium attracted over 1000 visitors and participants in the course of 2 weeks. With this background and experience, I really hope I can join Student Senate in advocating for the interests of the student body, especially the international students that are highly underrepresented on campus. I hope to become a bridge that can strengthen the friendships and cultural exchange between domestic and international students.

Cecilia Wallace

I’ve spent a lot of my two years at Oberlin trying to learn how improvement is possible. This has been through [Students for Energy Justice] (fighting NEXUS/learning how protests work), Responsible Investing Org (researching the endowment, wrangling trustees to divest from fossil fuels & private prisons) and with Ohio Students Association/Dems. Here’s what I’ve been thinking about lately — what I want to work on, and why I’m asking for your support this semester:

  1. Senate is a good body to coordinate direct action, power-building, and , protest-safety workshops for campus. There are experienced activists with practical advice to offer on the “How do we get out of the dystopian swamp?” question, and it is *super important* that the student body have access to that training for the coming year.
  2. There’s a new trustees chair + president coming in! Which a) shakes up road blocks for things like divestment, and b) means we can create new precedents for more student input in institutional decision-making.
  3. How do we help people doing overlapping activist work find each other, so they can team up? Senate can play a huge role here as friendly info gatherer/repository—I want this to happen, and want to help.

Endorsed by Students for Energy Justice

Samuel Waranch

Hello, my name is Sam Waranch and I am a second year politics major (he/him/his). Throughout my two years at Oberlin, I have been an active participant in various student organizations like ultimate frisbee and chess club.  I love the community that Oberlin creates though oftentimes I have been disappointed in the ways that the administration and faculty fall short in helping students. One of the biggest problems seems to be a continual feeling that administrators and faculty members are not listening to the concerns of the student body and are rather acting in their best financial interests or the interests of alumni who are far removed from the campus environment and concerns. This has to change. If elected to Senate, I will strive to act as an intermediary between the students and the administration and faculty with the concerns of the students chiefly in mind. I humbly ask for your support.

Hanne Williams-Baronne

Hey y’all! I’m Hanne, a college sophomore, and I use she/her/hers. “Why vote?” you may ask. “After all, I’m just a kid and life is a nightmare.” I know the feeling. Our country is on fire and many of us feel like chickens with our heads chopped off.  Senate is in a unique position to elevate marginalized voices, direct trustee attention to student demands, and broadcast values of care and fortitude to the rest of the country. We can push for community accountability and become a model for what a radical student government can accomplish. As an HIV Peer Tester, an OSLAM poet, a Cat in the Cream manager, and former Conservatory musician, I’ve seen the best of what our community has to offer. If elected to Senate, I will co-chair the Sexualized Violence Working Group, push to secure our sanctuary status, work to fund necessary legal aid for Oberlin students, and speak up to protect the rights of those directly harmed by the new presidency. This semester is going to require intentional tenderness and unyielding resistance. A vote for Hanne is “the bright thing to do.” So let’s be bright together. Have a swell day!