Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

SGA 2023 Elections: Keri Dahan

Dahan, campaigning for student trustee, wants to push for numerous campus infrastructural changes
Daily Collegian Archives (2021).

Keri Dahan’s desire to advocate for the voiceless is what pushed her to campaign for student trustee of the University of Massachusetts Student Government Association.

A junior neuroscience major, Dahan is currently a co-fellow of the Mishelanu Club at UMass Hillel, a cultural club that aims to connect people by sharing Jewish culture and “provid[ing] a home for Israeli-American students in order to strengthen and maintain their identity through culture, language, heritage and a strong connection to Israel.”

Mishelanu is a Hebrew word meaning “one of us,” a concept Dahan embodies in her fight to be a voice for the student population at UMass Amherst.

Originally from Wayland, MA, Dahan has been involved in leadership since high school. She ran for SGA senator her freshman year, while taking remote classes. Her experiences at UMass have inspired her to run for the position of student trustee.

“This role is generally filled by a male, normally a political science or Isenberg major,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with that, but as a woman in STEM, I could provide more of an insight into how the UMass population feels about things, considering this is a majorly STEM campus.”

Dahan considers building safety to be the most urgent issue that she plans to address to the Board of Trustees, should she be elected. The condition of buildings has been a known problem on campus since residents in Chadbourne Hall were removed due to “unfit living conditions” last year.

“In Bartlett, every time it rains, they have to put trash cans in the basement so the water doesn’t leak through,” Dahan said. “Chadbourne had a pipe burst at the beginning of the semester, Gorman has mold in the basement and I heard the Food Science building has a cockroach infestation. The new Newman Center [cost] roughly $8 million, which could have been put into Mahar, which flooded last time it rained hard.”

Dahan also wants to make other infrastructural changes on campus, regarding road safety and access to healthcare.

“[Administration] tries to help with road safety on Massachusetts Avenue, by building a bunch of neat new speed bumps, but speed bumps won’t help if it’s dark and rainy out. There’s also the road in front of Mullins, where friends have said they almost get hit by cars,” she said.

“That’s ridiculous, that should not be happening on this campus,” Dahan said. “And I shouldn’t have to hike to the Student Union to get a tampon if my period starts out of nowhere, there should be period products in all the bathrooms on campus.”

Dahan wishes for the SGA to become more involved in everyday student life, and she suggested tabling and Q&A sessions as initial steps to connect with students. “I’ve heard nothing about SGA this semester, and I hope to change that. I hope to make people say, ‘Oh my God, guys, look, this is happening. And it’s because of SGA.’”

Voting opened on Tuesday, March 7 on Campus Pulse and will close on Friday, March 10.

Izzi D’Amico can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @IzziDAmico.

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