2014-2015 Senate Election Candidates


Mikey Craighead

This is the first year that Drama has offered a BFA program. Recently, an MFA student, Kirya Traber, has reached out to the inaugural BFA class to join the senate. Most students don't know about this new program, and I believe the Senate could truly help change this. I would like to start spreading the good word of this fantastic new program, and finding ways for the school to perform or participate in school-wide events in a creative and performative nature. Drama is very secluded from the rest of the school, and it doesn't have to be that way. This new program can help create new opportunities for students to perform and be seen, and I would like to be a part of shaping that in any way possible. 



Nicolás Quaid Galván 

I'm surprised with even the rigorous, interdisciplinary Jazz/Lang program, and being a member of serval committees and advisory roles at administrative levels, being part of the USS is my favorite role that I hold at The New School. 

As a member of the Executive Board, it has been my privilege to serve the student body, and I've done everything in my power to better The New School experience: I've allocated over a hundred thousand dollars to student-led initiatives, been a cohesive force within the USS and the University, have served as the voice of the student body through USS meetings, individual meetings with my Dean and overall administration, and with meetings with President Van Zant, and have lead USS initiatives such as the plight for student representation on the Board of Trustees, and building a political body of a coalition of students been the three divisions of the Performing Arts schools. 

I believe with my experience, work ethic, and dedication to my constituents and the University, I will greatly benefit the USS, if re-elected. With these skills, I will continue my leadership role and run for Co-Chair of the University Student Senate. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at uss@newschool.edu, or at galvn681@newschool.edu



Javon Lang

I am a duel degree student at Eugene Lang and Parson. I clearly see disconnection between divisions at The New School. The smooth functionally of The New School makes it easy to understand there is a community that threads through the entire institution but being apart of The University Student Senate will give me the opportunity to make that truth into a reality for all students. 

Charles Lyons Franchino III

Before coming to Lang, I read every review of the school I could find. I read reviews from crazy sites like Urban Dictionary to Yelp. I noticed that there were two consistent characteristics of the school mentioned regularly. They were that the school is full of some of the most brilliant, passionate and driven individuals, and that there is a significant lack of community amongst the student body. I thought this was ridiculous because Lang is full of relatively like-minded individuals, so how there could be a lack of community is surprising.
When I eventually came to the school, I was elected president of my hall council at 20th street. I also became a member of the first year organization, The Inter Residence Hall Coalition. I decided to get as involved as I could. Being a transfer from a college where I was very active and helped promote a welcoming community for everyone, I felt obligated to do the same here.
I know this school has its issues. Why have they stopped serving hot food at Lang? Why is there still a smoking ban in the courtyard? Why is our tuition going up when we cut back on dorming? Why is there not a student on the board of trustees? There are issues with The New School as a whole that need to be addressed and there are issues with Lang individually that need to be addressed, but as intellectual as we are, we will never be able to address any of these significant pending issues if we do not develop a sense of community to come together over. That is exactly what I plan on helping to create. I want to help create a sense of community because we deserve it. 

Storm Hurwitz

My name is Storm Hurwitz; I am a rising junior at Eugene Lang College for Liberal Arts. I am a BA Liberal Arts major pursuing a self-designed program in Entertainment Management and Legal Studies. My dedication, passion and interest in the New School University community, paired with my intense concentration in the worlds of politics and law, means that I will do a great job at representing the Eugene Lang community in the University Student Senate.
I am currently a first semester transfer student and have been welcomed into the community with open arms. My untainted vision of the school, administration and student body will aid me in representing the population in an unbiased and, from the start, neutral perspective. As I learn of the concerns of my fellow student body, I will work to address the concerns and suggestions in a pragmatic fashion. I am a firm believer that it is as important to listen and voice opinion, as it is to focus on taking an active and positive approach towards reaching resolution and compromise on the issues that matter most to our community.
If you elect me, I will work to make sure that I am aware of what is occurring within the Eugene Lang community to the best of my ability. I should clarify that this means understanding not only the students’ views, but the administration and faculty’s’ as well. I hope to work as a liaison that is truly respected and listened to by the faculty and administration by consistently striving to sense and listen to the consensus and concerns of the community as a whole.
I hope that you will give me the opportunity give back to our community by working to improve The New School University. 



Matthew Stewart

I, Matthew Stewart, am a Masters student in Instrumental Performance. A musician first and a trombonist second, I am dedicated to elevating classical music and finding more ways to get musicians involved in the community through innovative performance and audience engagement.

As a Student Senator for Mannes, I will encourage innovative ways to use our skills as musicians. Through entrepreneurial programs and cross-divisional collaboration, I hope to embrace the progressive ideology of The New School, while maintaining the quality of training provided by the conservatory model. I want to establish a forum for students so they may voice their interests, concerns and questions surrounding their education here at Mannes, as well as the career path after graduation. It is important to build a visible platform for ideas to build interest, enabling students to build projects of their own.

Utilizing the resources of the New School, it is in my interests to bring in visual artists, designers and other disciplines to find ways to enhance our musical product and the how we as musicians engage audiences. Advocating for more outside exposure, I will pursue ways in which classical musicians reach out to the greater community, bringing exposure to our field and encourage independent entrepreneurship among students. 

I recognize the talent level that exists at Mannes and I wish to challenge students to express their music in ways they could never imagine before. Creativity is important to music in general, but in order to be successful on the business end we must find creative solutions for our music to be heard.

Jovan Bursac

With 9,825 New School students paying $12-per-year in University Student Senate fees, where is approximately $118,000 going, when most Mannes students have no idea the senate even exists? In top universities across the nation, student senates budget memorable events such as concerts, dances, and trips. The senate at The New School has all the potential in the world to offer a great social experience, and as a candidate for Mannes student senator, I want to realize this potential.

If elected, I will:
• Inform all students of current senate activities through monthly emails
• Maintain a blog, http://mannessenator.com, through which Mannes students can communicate to future senators ideas or concerns for years to come
• Assist the Mannes community in the integration with performing arts divisions, Jazz and Drama
• Promote interaction between the Mannes and New School communities through senate-funded events at premier Manhattan venues

If you vote for me, I will make sure that we have exciting events you will want to participate in. I am currently an executive member of the Performing Arts Collective and am pushing to have Mannes students perform to broader audiences downtown. As Mannes is moving downtown and forming The New School for Performing Arts, senate reform is vitally important.

Thank you for considering me as a candidate for Mannes student senator. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through email, phone, or in-person. Make sure to vote for me at the end of April, and together I hope we have a great 2014-2015 academic school year!



Emma Stamm

I’d be a great candidate for senate because I have a deep understanding of the uniqueness and vibrancy that attracts students to NSPE along with the challenges many students face here. I have a strong background in communication that would bolster my ability to bridge the gap between my peers and the administration, representing grievances tactfully and effectively to make NSPE work better for its students and faculty alike. 

Issues I would address include: communicative cohesion within NSPE (particularly in the arena of digital outreach and dialogue), the quality of dialogue about course offerings, NSPE sustainability initiatives, the relationship between major and specialization categorization and course material, and alliances between majors within NSPE. 

I am particularly interested in building NSPE identity—exploring what it means to be formally involved here before and after graduation and how this common experience binds our brilliantly heterogeneous faculty and student base. I’d like to see a greater sense of community develop within NSPE, particularly at the graduate level. This would be as a means to a more fulfilling experience here as well as a way to develop lasting social and professional networks. As an event organizer, I’d see to it that we offer fun, enriching and purposeful events throughout the semester. 

NSPE’s strength is in its diversity: its majors and course offerings span a wide gamut, as do the interests, ambitions, and backgrounds of its community members. With respect for the singularity of every facet of NSPE, I believe I could help to unify  us as a network of scholars and professionals. NSPE has a rich history as the founding division of the New School. As a senate member, I’d do my best to work toward our development as an inspiring community that is changing the world every day.

Samantha Plesser

As a former securities attorney, I believe that I know how to get things done and to treat all types of people with respect. Working at a securities firm, I am an efficient and effective candidate, while at the same time I work respectfully with many different types of people. I left my position at a high-profile law firm because I felt that there was no social justice component, however the skills I learned at my law firm are definitely translatable to a Senate Position. Lastly, I am not scared to speak my mind, but at the same time, will promise to listen to others and make my voice the voice of others as well.

Jonathan Leonard

As a student senator for the Public Engagement school, I plan to take the radical and innovative route of….. engaging the public, something which NSPE students don’t seem to do often enough.  I will promote the college’s participation in both local and global discourses, and make its student body more available to collaborative efforts with extra-curricular organizations.
Not enough focus has been spent on securing the bridge between the academic world and the post-graduate career world.  As student senator I aim to promote innovative platforms, dialogues, and outsourcing methodologies to embed our students into the working world before their graduation date.

In essence, I aim to reinforce NSPE’s practice component of its theory/practice rhetoric, because it is currently not living up to the hype that is presented to its perspective students.  Many connections to the career world exist at The New School through individual professors, and are pursued in an ad-hoc fashion.  I will support student-led initiatives to streamline the availability and volume of these valuable opportunities.

Thomas Shippy

I am a student in the MA TESOL program at NSPE. TESOL as a field is the very essence of internationalism, and I would bring a unique perspective to the USS. The New School's TESOL MA program is one of the best in the world of its kind and I hope to work with other programs to initiate forward-thinking ideas on behalf of our renowned student body. 

Tyler Bird

I am running for Student Senate because I believe that I am in a unique position to influence the allocation of The New School's monetary resources and support in a productive, inclusive and creative way.  I am the president of the student group SOMOS OLA, I work in the Milano Dean's office and I am also part of the Student Advisory Committee.  These positions have put me in touch with students, faculty, and the dean of Milano.  I have seen a lot of collaboration between these university demographics but I would like to see more and I am sure that if I secure a position with the Student Senate, then I will be able to enhance the collaboration, cooperation and advocacy needed to push forward many progressive and innovative ideas, projects and events.

Ben Homer

Did you know that staplers exist capable of stapling more than 5 pages at a time? If elected my primary mission will be to replace the 1980s-era staplers on campus in the computer labs and libraries. Yes, they will be sustainably manufactured in the US (probably, just go with it. Regardless, we will have staplers that actually work, possibly for the first time in New School history.)

About Ben: Ben Homer has more than a decade of experience in video production, media and technology. His career includes operational roles with Major League Baseball, CBS Interactive, and as a production coordinator on the Emmy-nominated documentary A Year on Earth. Most recently he served in a senior leadership role at Livestream.com. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in International Affairs with a focus on the role of media and technology in politics. He has jammed several staplers while at the New School.

Nadia Ormsby

My name is Nadia Ormsby. I am a graduate student in the Urban Policy, Analysis and Management program in the Milano school. I am running for Univeristy Senate becuase I want to ensure that all students actively particitape and benefit from the New School community. If elected, I want to make sure that all of our voices are heard and that we all feel a sense of belonging. In addition, I am dedicated to making positive contributions to the University and the student body. My platform for enhancing both undergraduate and graduate students' experiences would be displayed by supporting current organziations and expanding opportunities to cultivate a inclusive environment. Through small actions, I beleive I can make both an immediate and long-term impact for current and furture students. 

Mildred Ferrer

I am a 3rd semester Graduate Program in International Affairs student, who hails from Venezuela. I am currently the Vice-President for Somos OLA, a student led organization that brings together all New Schoolers interested in Latin American issues, and I also work as the International Studies Association Program Chair's Assistant for the 2015 convention.

I am consistently thinking of how things could be better, more efficient, and more beneficial to others, which I believe makes this an excellent opportunity to use that intrinsic drive and put it to productive use.  I understand the importance of feeling represented, of having your voice heard and echoed.  Being elected as a senator to represent NSPE's student body would give me a chance to both hear the voice of the students and more importantly, echo it by constantly persevering to put forth the completion of small steps towards bigger goals.

I think myself to be an influential person, as well as someone who works hard to reach goals.  The influential side of me engages in conversations with different individuals and groups to learn about their motivations, their needs.  The hard worker in me will consistently analyze and propel the voiced demands of the student body and push to make them tangible.

I am an enthusiastic and approachable individual, which I think are invaluable in a role such as this.  I also think that my creativity and tendency to think outside the box along with that of the students I would represent would be a great combination to put forth ideas that will better both the New School's environment as well as the overall university experience.



Lucas Ballestin

My name is Lucas Ballestín, I am a first-year philosophy student, and I want to represent you in the USS. My platform can be distilled into correcting the underrepresentation from which we have suffered. The NSSR lacks an appropriate voice in the USS. This unnecessarily puts us in the risky position of losing some of the funding we are able to get when the amount of funding available, which would in turn puts us in a more difficult position that we need to be in order to conduct our research, bring in interesting speakers, and host opportunities for us to gain experience and exposure presenting our own work. Most recently, we had a vacancy (!) for an entire semester. (We only had one representative in the place of two) When our remaining representative asked to have an emergency election the USS dragged its feet and when we were finally able to cast ballots, nobody took the opportunity to run. I want to do my part to rectify the current situation. My platform consists in:

- Working to reshape the USS as an institution so that the NSSR has the influence it needs to flourish.

- Work to develop closer ties between the NSSR and the higher administrative officers of the university.

The NSSR has been privileged in receiving a good amount of support in recent years, though it has been noted that our voice is not always taken as seriously as it could be. We require officers who will address this issue and ensure sustained financial support, as well as open dialogue concerning student issues and grievances. I have a few years of experience being involved with student government as an undergraduate and in the past year at NSSR, and I would like to put that experience to work by helping to maintain and enrich our position, so that we may all have the voice and support we need and require during our time together.

Mohammad M Hamad

If you’re not frustrated with the lack of urgency and progress that issues within your department at NSSR experience from the administration, I urge you – read no further.  I have been an active member of the SSA (Sociology Student Association) for this entire academic year and such a platform has allowed me to listen to and advocate for a great variety of issues, ranging from first-year MA students to PhD students at the dissertation level. To this day, these concerns have only been repeated to, rather than resolved with, the administration – issues such as funding, the distribution of resources, tuition waivers, course selection (or lack thereof), etc. Furthermore, my communication with students beyond the Sociology department has suggested to me that the issues are systemic, within NSSR as a whole, rather than particular departments. 

As a member of Senate, I will not only relay information and concerns to/from the student body and appropriate administrators of the New School bureaucracy, but also demand interventions and timelines for change. Many of us sacrifice so much in order to attend the New School and my first project would be to produce a report demonstrating those facts and figures to the administration.  I will include in this report how the NSSR model (of funding, healthcare, course selection, etc.) compares to our “sister schools.” I believe this can be achieved through my facilitation with representatives of every department of NSSR. 

Although working with the college administration will be challenging, I can ensure that your voices will be heard and that my expectations and efforts will remain consistent.  I hope that together, we can unite as one unit in order to pressure the administration to follow through with our needs; meanwhile, reinforce a positive social dynamic within our respective departments and cohorts. 

Jesse Posl Rhinehart

I am a second year masters student who would like an opportunity to work towards stitching together the constituent communities of the NSSR. This has been a rough year for all our departments, especially Economics, and we need a student senate that can be a proactive aid to the administration so that we can once more return to a place where our work is our primary concern and not departmental survival logistics. I think I could help make this happen in bringing both leadership experience and strong willingness to work.

Michael Isaacson

The New School is currently in a state of academic austerity. Every department in every division is hemorrhaging faculty, hemmorhaging funding, hemmorhaging student services, all at the expense of a bloated administration. The only ranking on which The New School breaks into the top 50 is private university presidential compensation. This situation is absolutely intolerable and unjustifiable - particularly to a PhD student in the economics department like me. As a representative on the USS, I vow to fight tooth and nail to reverse the administrative bloat in the interest of all students and departments within NSSR and The New School as a whole.

Bryce Geyer

As a USS representative, I will work to inform the GFSS, NSSR department unions, and NSSR students of USS affairs.  I will also bring matters of concern from NSSR students, NSSR department unions and the GFSS to the general University.

Current issues:    

I would like to work closely with the GFSS to peruse TA, RA, TF, fellowships, scholarships and grants for existing students at NSSR.

Transparency in funding

Universal healthcare for all NSSR students

Funding for NSSR student conferences

Previously I have served as a GFSS representative from the Economics Student Union.  I have a MS in Economics from The New School and am currently working on my PhD. Email me at my New School email address if you have a question.  

Shawn Carrié

The New School has this reputation of progressive vision, social consciousness, and radical thought. So why does it so often feel like an empty promise?

Whether it's an opaque Board of Trustees, an administration that doesn't listen to us, rising prices on just about everything, or the caked-on layers of apathy – many real problems need addressing, and real change demands that we break through the complacency by listening to each other, and getting to the roots of these issues.

One of my main projects in Senate will be to push for a more organized and engaged student body at every level by facilitating community consciousness within the many different disciplines, and across divisions. Being "involved" should come naturally and add to our experience here – not feel like a burden.

I have a plan as USS Communications Director to modernize engagement and communication within the student body by building a platform that opens dialogue, promotes transparency, and allows students to directly participate in the decisions that affect us all. 

At the same time, our institutions and administration must be held accountable – the USS included.  Working as News Editor of the New School Free Press an active member of many student groups showed me a lot about how this school works, where it doesn't.

Let's face it. Most people see the USS – if they see it at all – as an unproductive pyramid that does little but shield the administration and dole out funding & concessions. This needs to change.

As Senator, I will bring a fierce and honest push to open up the discourse and work to give students a more direct say in the governance of our community. We aren't just customers – this university is a community, and our problems are solvable if we work together.



Anara Askar

I am running to be a representative and a member of the USS because I am a visionary person who has excellent leadership skills, is comfortable making my voice and the voices of others heard, and is very much in agreement with making The New School a better place. In high school I was on our Associated Student Body for three years and held several leadership positions (secretary/treasurer, V.P.) and various others regarding appreciating staff members, broadcasting school wide events, etc.  I was elected to be one of two student representatives meeting with the Board of Education for our district and attended meetings to convey information about our school's progress or troubles. I was also team leader of my high school's Green Team and audited the school's energy waste levels and presented recommendations to the staff to help optimize efficiency. Currently at the New School, I am project leader of two semester-long projects and have always been able to get students on the same page to become more proactive. Although I do have strong opinions, I am also an avid listener who treats everyone with respect. I have a strong work ethic and when I make a commitment, I stick with it. It would be an honor for me to become a part of the university's effort to promote student life and help alleviate any issues we might be facing. Thank you for your consideration! 

Heba Malaeb

As a Product Design student who rarely has the chance to venture out of the comfort of Parsons, I'm very interested in interacting with the other divisions of the New School  rather than limiting myself to the confines of my own school and never dealing with the issues that branch over into the other divisions.

Joy Douglas

I am a student at Parsons and so far I have seen many changes happen to the school. I want to be involved more in the school's changes . I feel that students do not have much power in the decision making processes of the school and I really want to help give that power back to the students. The tuition is very high at this school and I feel that since students have to pay such a high amount,  they should have more of a voice in the decisions of this school. I originally come for a middle class family, however I do understand the struggles that students go through to pay for supplies, food, and the tuition. By representing the Parson's students, I can help give them a voice back. I also have many ideas about what can be done with the school. For example, right now the 2nd floor of 2 west 13th street is a vacant room. The green room should be moved there where students can drop of larger object other than just paper and small items. They could even leave projects there so they won't have to carry large objects home , which could be such a far distance. Also the school should lower the price of food or provide a way for international students to make money or earn meal plan money. I have personally seen some international students go without food for a while because they are not allowed to work in the US and make their own money and they have to wait for their parents to send them money, which could take a long time. This is unfortunate. I am pretty sure a school that has a $60K tuition, can afford to lower food prices for students. These are just a few of my ideas. I think students should vote for me because I can give a voice back to those who it has been taken from. 

Stefania Brusatin

I'm putting myself forward for a place in a student senate. I understand the responsibilities that I will have to take on and will be 'more than willing' to do whats necessary, hopefully wisely. I'm Colombian and my first language is Spanish. I'm a design and technology student, however understanding language in general is my vocation. The importance of communicating to others, even a single word gives power to actions, right? actions through 'language' are mostly what we do every day, when you think about it... I'm generalizing somewhat. 

I will feel very comfortable being a senator and my goal will be making others feel comfortable too. I take my time doing things, and I truly believe that nowadays, being wise is to ignore irrelevant distractions.

 The fact that spanish might be seen as a draw back in fact its a strength. I know very well how to reach for help when I need it and that always leads to more connections and more communication.

Joseph Kushibab

From the perspective a Fashion Design student, I find that there is a very noticeable separation of the student body on multiple levels, ranging from a lack of interaction between students within differing majors and colleges, to  a lack of interaction with the very community that we reside in, given the amount of work that we are assigned and our personal responsibility to accumulate internship experience in order to shape our own careers post-graduation. It goes without saying that given the inextricable correlation between hours spent in the lab and resulting job placement that there is not much time allotted for extra-curricular activities let alone social interaction, but from the perspective of the same student who has also pursued a fellowship at the Whitney Museum, worked alongside numerous charitable organizations, been active within the LGBT community aiding with several events that promote awareness and counseling services, and has actively worked alongside Hall Council to help better student life, I feel that interaction and exploration is just as valuable as dedication to one's field of interest. With your vote for student senator, I will prioritize events that promote inter-college interaction, social awareness, and civic engagement within our community, I will champion individuals that feel as though they have been marginalized or wronged, and I will do my best and act with all of my power to fully represent the student body to the school administration and board of trustees.

Mrinal Virendra Bhatia 

The University Student Senate is a team that I believe I would be able to work with to achieve great visions for the future of our school. I can assure you that I would make an extremely respectable asset, as I understand the responsibilities I will be undertaking. I think I can speak for every single student at our school when I say it’s tough and the stress can get to you, but having been at this school for almost a year and having to juggle a lot of responsibilities has become a skill that is no longer quaint to me. I feel completely prepared to be able to take on this journey and I am excited to work with the larger community in the new school to help make our student body stronger and keep them motivated. A melting pot of every walk of life, living in Bahrain and going to a British school and being an Indian national has widened my horizons and allowed me to deal with a large body of unique cultures throughout my life. It has taught me so much and has helped me become a team player as well as respected leader in many areas. I look forward to taking the next step to expressing my voice with the rest of the student senate.

Ritika Shah

Over the course of my one year at Parsons, it has come to my attention that many people are unaware of what exactly the Student Senate does, where they meet, and many of the issues that they discuss. If elected, I will make sure that our beloved Narwhal community is well informed and aware of the events, initiatives and projects undertaken by us. I believe that I would be an ideal candidate for the senate because I have the best interest of not only the school but the students at as well. I care about making sure campus opportunities are equally distributed for each and every one of the students. Come share your ideas with me, and I will make sure they happen. Even a body as small as the Senate can make a significant impact and positively change the way The New School runs. I definitely hope to be a part of that change for the coming year. Thank you! 

Ka Mok

I am a native New Yorker, soon to be junior for the BBA program in Parsons. My main platform for running is to address the lack of communication between members of the university, such as students, faculty, and administrators. 

As the moderator of /r/TheNewSchool on Reddit, I have begun to tackle to issue of students not participating in the school as much as they could. There are so many opportunities such as summer programs and internships within the school to be exploited by students, yet many of us are not aware of them. 

My goal is to make sure everyone can get the help and resources they need. So where do I sign up for a course to the Amazon rainforest for the summer? Or where do I go to play volleyball in the afternoon with fellow New Schoolers? It is vital that students take full advantage of their tuition paid to the school, and I will help you get there if I am elected for a position on the USS.

Yeung Ka Wai (Janet)

It has already been a year since my first role as part of the USS and it certainly has been a great challenge and a valuable experience for me. To have been a Parsons senate and gaining the insight of the USS's structure certainly is my strongest point as a candidate. Another point about myself that I believe I should continue with my senate role is, of course, my interest in school matters and to represent the students' voices. Furthermore, to have participated in the USS not only as a Parsons senate, but also as the Communication Director of the Executive Board helped me to gain even broader range of experiences, and this is what I would love to continue to be part of the senate. I am definitely not the shyest person you'll meet - I will say what needs to be said and will do what needs to be done.
I am ready to commit myself for the student body and to perform as a dedicated, responsible senate of The New School.

Andra Nicolescu

I am running for student council representative because I think I am the best placed student in the undergraduate Architecture department to represent my class. I was the elected student representative this year as well. I am dedicated to this position, meaning that I always am present at meetings, I always communicate the messages that I get from my peers, and the student council as a team itself is always trying to find the best solution for any situation. This year we made a lot of improvement in the student council and were able to respond to many requests from students. Now we are building up our constitution and we only hope that the student council will get more and more involved in decisions that are made, actions, and especially reinforcement of entire SCE through our student body.

Imani McClure

I think more than anything we should work towards softening our hearts and expanding our minds. The very fabric of an entire generation is formed by its youth. The youth of a nation is like the pattern for an intricate garment, what the youth is doing now will be the future for the next century. I believe NYC college students should be heard, all 600,000 of us residing in this great city. I hear so many ideas and interesting thoughts just walking through the halls and classes in The New School and it is our job to make these things a reality. Even now, I have been working with a professor of mine and other students from The New School to get college students full fare student public transportation cards in the same way that K-12 students are eligible for full-fare cards, and we are now approaching 4,000 signatures on the petition. We deserve a voice and we all deserve to see change in the world around us and I know that it will not happen without a beginning. 

As a member of the University Student Senate, I would be honored to make our ideas and thoughts for our school a reality. Plato once said, “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” and as college students, this is our beginning. 

Mark Rakhmanov

They say, “You can't lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself.” Taking this thought further, looking back at my involvement with the University Student Senate, I amounted to many changes that led me to believe that anyone can lead with a positive example.

My goal is set in the voice of the students, as I plan to take this great, diverse, student body population and unite it with not differences, but with all of the common interests that bring us all here from across the globe. Previously serving as an ambassador for the Parsons division in the University Student Senate, I’ve expanded the knowledge and the understanding of the duties of a senator. From taking part in planning the Town Hall Meeting, to helping students project their ideas through USS, I can say that I’ve become much more aware of the voice of the students, and the great amount of potential in the outcome of good leadership. With that being said, there are still many problems that definitely need to be given more attention to. Serving as an Orientation Leader and sitting in the SAFC committee taught me the importance of setting forth a positive example. I understand how the proper guidance can lead a long way, which is why I am running again to represent the voice for the students. I am confident that together we can continue to lead The New School in a positive direction, improving along the way. I was honored to be part of the University Student Senate team this passing year and I hope that I can continue representing your voice, and helping your projects and proposed changes come to life.

Jeana Lindo

I am interested in being a part of the University Student Senate because I want to have a more active role in the New School community. I'm excited to be involved in a group that plans events and takes time to address the needs of our students. I'd like to make a commitment to my school to make a positive change here and I want to be someone that my peers and university staff can depend on.

Nicole Hartwig

My name is Nicole Hartwig. I’m 23 years old and I will be a sophomore at Parsons this upcoming 2014-2015 school year in the Strategic Design and Management program. I believe that the importance of leadership lies in the elevation and support of the people who you represent, and I believe in the responsibility that each of us have in contributing to the best possible learning environment for all students at this institution. I have 9 years of work experience in men’s and women’s contemporary retail, management, sales, marketing and buying. Although I am proud of the skills I’ve gained throughout my career, I came to Parsons to learn from and among the best of the best. This school is filled with some of the most talented and inspirational people I’ve ever met, and I’m so proud to learn alongside students who share my passion for all things creative, innovative and inspiring. I’m submitting my candidacy for the University Student Senate because I care genuinely and deeply about the quality of education of each student who attends The New School. I intend to improve the quality of services provided by the Athletics and Recreation Department, as well as improve the ways in which the administration communicates with the student body in order to keep students better informed about all of the amazing opportunities available at The New School. Regardless of each of our life experiences or backgrounds, each of us seeks to make the most of our time here. I want my time here to make a positive difference in my life and the lives of each student, and I intend to leave this school better than I found it. Thank you so much for your time and your vote!

Solidarity with Cecily McMillan!

To all New School students,

On May 5th a guilty verdict was issued against Cecily McMillan, a New School graduate student, for the crime of defending herself against the violent attack and sexual assault by an unidentified, plainclothes cop at an Occupy Wall Street protest. She faces up to 7 years in jail, her attacker, Officer Grantley Bovell, still patrols the streets.

This travesty of justice comes in the context of; the systematic police repression against the Occupy Wall Street movement, itself just one manifestation of the ongoing curtailing of our civil liberties by an expanding police state, and a system where the police, including the NYPD, has the increasing right to assault, molest, search and murder with impunity.

Therefore The New School University Student Senate wishes to announce that it stands in full solidarity with Cecily McMillan and all victims of police repression of dissent. We demand the immediate release of McMillan, and all other political prisoners. The USS will do all it can to support all those victims of sexual assault at The New School, and demands the end to any toleration of Rape Culture in the NYPD, The New School and the larger society.

The USS calls on all members of The New School community to lend their support to Cecily McMillan, her defense campaign, and all victims of police repression and brutality. Please go to her defense campaign's website to learn more on how you can help http://justiceforcecily.com/.

Statement adopted and passed by USS on May 13, 2014.

Letter of Solidarity with CUNY Students

Dated November 3rd, 2013

To all members of The New School and City University of New York communities,

We wish to express our deepest sentiments of concern at the current actions undertaken by City University of New York (CUNY) administration and the direction they appear to be steering our fellow NYC university.

On the morning of October 20th, without any warning to the students or student organizations, police and CUNY officials shut down the Guillermo Morales / Assata Shakur Community and Student Center on the third floor of the North Academic Center building on the City College of New York (CCNY) campus. Since 1989, this beloved center has served as a hub for campus organizing and political activism, which acted as a student group meeting space; a study center; a community center for programs like book and farm shares; and a safe space for both CCNY students and the larger Harlem community.

The without warning move by the CUNY administration to shut down the Morales/Shakur center can only be viewed as an act to repress student dissent on campus. The waves of authoritarian repression visited on CCNY students and faculty by the administration as they have continued to heroically protest this move, which has gone as far as suspending leading organizers, must be also be denounced. Furthermore, the recent moves by the CUNY administration to drastically raise tuition and attempt to appoint former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus as a visiting professor, can only be seen in the larger context of the further militarization and neoliberal restructuring of our universities.

Our struggles are one. At The New School we have also fought for and won more adequate student community spaces, as well as our ongoing struggle against rising tuition costs. We stand in full solidarity with the CUNY and CCNY community in their fight to reclaim the Morales/Shakur Center. We encourage all CUNY and The New School students to lend their hand and join these protests to the best of their ability. Together, as all NYC students, we can stand up to the forces of repression and austerity and for a world that guarantees a just and free higher education for all.

The New School University Student Senate

Additional Resolution and Letter to Students on Fossil Fuel Divestment

To all New School students,

The University Student Senate was created to express the concerns of the student body to The New School Administration. Our duty is to ensure that the actions taken by the administration accurately reflect the beliefs, values, and needs of the students it aims to serve.

In this light, the University Student Senate calls on The New School’s Board of Trustees to approve the Climate Change Action Plan proposed by The Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility. As a university which touts sustainability as one of its core focuses, and climate change as the issue of our time, it is imperative that we “put our endowment money where our mission is”. Divestment is a key step on the path towards a fossil free future, and if The New School wishes to remain a leader in progressive education and values - we must act now.

Fossil fuel divestment will not remain a progressive idea for much longer as the movement has already spread to over 300 campuses nationwide, and 3 universities have already publicly divested from fossil fuels. The New School however, would be the largest by a wide margin, and news of our action would reach the ears of every climate-conscience student around the globe - the very students we seek to invite to our campus.

We’d like to inform you of an opportunity to take action on the issue of divesting from fossil fuels in our university’s endowment. The Climate Change Action Plan, written by the Advisory Committee for Investor Responsibility, is making its way to the Board of Trustees and they are seeking support from Deans. It would be enormously beneficial to show all the Deans that there is student support behind this issue so that when they are approached, they will voice their support in turn.

Below we have provided a list of all The New School Deans with their respective divisions.  You can make a difference in two different ways:

1. Below is a sample email that you can send to your Dean.  Just copy the text, paste into a new email, sign your name, and send it along to your Dean.

2. We also highly encourage speaking to your Dean in person.  Feel free to reply here, to let us know if you are interested. We can then connect you with other interested students in your department to organize our efforts and make something great happen at The New School!

Joel Towers - Parsons (towersj@newschool.edu)

Will Milberg - NSSR (milbergw@newschool.edu)

Stephanie Browner - Lang (browners@newschool.edu)

Richard Kessler - Mannes (kesslerr@newschool.edu)

David Scobey - NSPE (scobeyd@newschool.edu)

Pippin Parker - Drama (parkerp@newschool.edu)

Martin Mueller - Jazz (muellerm@newschool.edu)



Dean [last name],

I am concerned about The New School’s efforts to address climate change. I want to let you know that I support the recent document created by the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility called the Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) in its efforts to make a difference through our university’s endowment.  This includes complete divestment from fossil fuels.

I believe this will have a positive impact on recruitment at this university in the short-run and will be financially beneficial in the long-run.

I hope you will consider supporting the CCAP for the reputation of our progressive university.


[your name]

Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution at The New School

October 9th, 2013

The Brief

The New School University Student Senate aims to represent the voice of the student body to the best of our ability, to present to the administration and the Board of Trustees the concerns on the mind of students today. This can take the form of expressing concerns about the proliferation of unpaid internships, tuition hikes, student representation in the administration matters, the need to address student debt, or here, the important issues of the environmental destruction and global climate change.

The students of today have a strong ecological awareness, and they want to see their university’s practices and investments reflect these principles of environmental sustainability. By divesting its endowment from fossil fuel companies, The New School is putting itself on the right side of history and what’s best for the planet.

The Resolution

WHEREAS, In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the New School University Student Senate acknowledges that global climate change is the critical issue of our time and that energetic steps must be taken to address it.

WHEREAS, The New School has taken a strong stand of principle to be environmentally sustainable and ecologically conscious in its practices.

WHEREAS, Global climate change is caused by humans, primarily through usage of fossil fuels and other CO2 emitting processes. That those companies who are engaging in the business of fossil fuel extraction, refinement, production and consumption have a vested interest in continuing its exploitation and should be therefore seen as a principle obstacle in humanity addressing global climate change.

WHEREAS, There is a global movement of environmentally conscious universities, individuals and pension funds to divest their holdings from fossil fuel companies and those companies who profit from the continued emission of global warming gasses.

BE IT RESOLVED, the University Student Senate is in favor of The New School staying true to its sustainability principles and divesting its endowment away from all fossil fuel companies.

BE IT RESOLVED, the USS demands that the Board of Trustees and administration take immediate steps to divest from fossil fuel companies, and ensure that The New School remains a leader at the cutting edge of university environmental sustainability.

BE IT RESOLVED, the USS encourages the whole New School community, students, staff and faculty, to educate themselves about the issues surrounding fossil fuel divestment and assist us in pressuring the Board of Trustees to comply with the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility's recommendations. We encourage all students, staff and faculty to attend the Campus Sustainability Day on October 23rd, from Noon-2pm in Arnhold Hall of the Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, to help show their support for this resolution.