*In alphabetical order by last name
Melissa Aliotta (she/her)
Theater Division Rep
I would love to have the opportunity to continue in my position as Musical Theater Representative for the Conservatory in SGA for the Fall of 2021. I am currently a fourth semester MT student and have been working on collaborating with you all to make a difference in our BoCo community. Having been appointed my position half way through the hybrid semester I would very much like to continue to work on the goals I set out to achieve embracing new and fresh ideas moving forward. One of my goals is for the Theatre Division to have more opportunities to support live theater in Boston and maybe even collaborate with outside Theater companies such as the SpeakEasy by participating in workshops and watching performances online or in person as our world opens back up again.
Collaboration with diverse groups has always been at the forefront of my life, whether with peers at school, cast mates, my church community, or girl scouts. I enjoy taking the lead in group work, incorporating everyone’s ideas into realistic, creative plans. As an officer for the Drama Guild from 2017 to 2019, I acted as a liaison between students and faculty, organizing events and planning club meetings. Senior year, I held the role of Field Trip Coordinator, planning NYC field trips, ticket reservations, finances, meal reservations and more. I also lead at Church by guiding parishioners as a cantor. I have even served my community as a long term Girl Scout, and of course love giving back in community theatre.
These leadership roles in my youth were a great learning experience; testing my limits as a critical thinker and collaborator, ultimately making me a better person. I have now developed tolerance, patience and listening skills that I want to utilize again as a Student Government Representative. I know that I will bring organizational skills, focus, empathy and a voracity for connection to the table all whilst being a lot of fun. I love my Berklee family and would love to continue giving back to them!
Even during our recent time of social distancing, I was able to stay committed to and connected with the Berklee community as an avid member of the Berklee Musical Theatre Club. I love participating in digital events such as open mics, whether performing or cheering on others because being involved together is what helps us come together as a community so when given the opportunity we can then come together in the performance stronger.
It’s no secret I love to meet new people and can find common ground, striking up conversation whether we’ve met or not.I look forward to meeting with , listening to and collaborating with all of you as we embark on this journey for our love for Theater together
Lily Antonini (she/her)
Performance Division Rep
Hi, I'm Lily! I'm an 8th semester vocal performance and songwriting student at Berklee, and I am currently the representative for the Performance Division in SGA. I've released 100+ songs in both English and Spanish and continue to write many more. My favorite genres of music include 80s, Dance, and too many kinds of Pop. I am honored to have been chosen to represent the Performance Division this semester and would love to continue my work with the SGA. As an advocate for performers, I want to be able to create as many opportunities as possible for my fellow Berklee and Boston Conservatory musicians. I know how hard it can be for people to find chances to express themselves while also balancing the hustle of college life (not to mention the adulting that comes with it). I want to continue to use my creativity and imagination to create interesting events for my peers. I am fluent in improvisation; I'm always ready to handle challenges when they arise. I'm always working to make my dreams reality, putting my full effort towards any goal that I set my mind to. I have very strong organization skills and strive to always be on time for meetings and deadlines. I love to make friends in any kind of setting while making sure that everyone's needs are met. My time with the SGA this semester has helped me grow as a leader, and I hope that your vote will keep me learning and improving on this journey!
Kaiti Bachman (she/her)
Dance Division Rep
As one of the current Student Government Dance Division Representatives I want to continue being a part of SGA so I can continue the meaningful work we have begun. I was chosen as a Dean’s Student Council Member my first semester at Boston Conservatory and SGA has allowed me to expand those connections and changes within my division, but on a bigger scale and with more efficacy. Since my first day at Boston Conservatory at Berklee I have felt at home. I knew that I would love the school’s focus on dance and the opportunities to push myself as an artist, but I also have a strong desire to push myself as a human being. Being a part of the SGA team gives me the best opportunity to grow as a person and to help others. Beyond division specific work, I am passionate about making Berklee a place where all students feel like their voices are heard, that they matter, and that they are valued. My communication skills, experience as a leader, and my diligent work ethic make me a valuable addition to the SGA team. As a representative of the student community and as someone who has direct connection to administration, I feel as though I can make the biggest impact as a member of Student Government. I have always been a natural leader, but on the inside I sometimes struggle with my confidence. Surrounding myself with confident, driven people helps me to emulate and internalize their strength. The more I grow as a person the more I can help my peers. As a very empathetic person I want to guarantee that anyone who attends Berklee feels at home like I do, and knows that they are a valued member of our community. College can bring many challenges, physically and emotionally, which is why I am so passionate about health and wellness. I think the Health and Wellness Center has amazing resources, many of which I have personally used, but I feel like the stigma around mental health still prevails. I want to help create more accessibility to these resources and create an environment where mental and physical well-being is the highest priority. Berklee Student Government is a place where I see myself making positive change, within myself and within our community.
Scarlet Baker (she/her)
College VP, Education Division Rep
I would love to continue my work within Berklee’s Student Government Association this upcoming year as Vice President of the College. I have greatly enjoyed serving as Communities Representative on the SGA Executive Board this semester, and would like to expand the scope of which I can advocate for Berklee’s student body and community in this new position. As Communities Representative I have enjoyed collaborating with fellow representatives, faculty, & staff members, and providing opportunities for collaboration and education to students and the community at large. As a member of SGA’s Executive board, I have worked quickly and proactively to set up meetings with various Berklee departments such as Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, and Accessibility to address and discuss key issues; involved myself with two subcommittee focuses: Finances and Sustainability, to work with SGA representatives and Berklee leadership to provide clarification and detail to students on matters of student finances, financial aid, and tuition, and to continue the effort of creating a more sustainable future for Berklee & Boston Conservatory; and worked closely with other representatives to spark a conversation on neurodiversity and make it a primary and continued focus within SGA. I very much enjoy working with students to respond quickly to questions and concerns, and to voice ideas and solutions to fellow student leaders to create opportunities and positive experiences for others. I appreciate working collaboratively, and as Vice President of the College I would be able to increase my ability to advocate for students by acting as a liaison between the student body at Berklee and communicate directly with the SGA President, meet often with the Vice President of the Conservatory and Divisional Representatives, assist other SGA members with organizing events, and ensure direct communication with the Deans of each area of study. I have made intentional efforts throughout my education to involve myself in student leadership as much as possible, being something I have enjoyed since high school where I was part of the National Honors Society and Tri-M Music Leadership Society. In college, I have represented student organizations and acted as Director of Administration of an Arts Inter-Club Council, a funding committee which supports student events (i.e. masterclasses and travel opportunities for students), and worked in tandem with executive board members and Assistant Deans to facilitate meetings, maintain minutes & agendas, update Constitutions and Bylaws for relevancy, and helped plan events & secure guest speakers. At Berklee, I am actively involved with the Music Business Management Club, Classical Musicians Coalition, Film Scoring Network, the Berklee Musical Theater Orchestra, and I further my professional education as an intern with Southern California’s Pacific Symphony Orchestra in their Development and Volunteer Services departments. Personally and professionally, I value myself as responsible, equitable, dedicated, flexible and collaborative. Representing Berklee as Vice President of the College would be an honor and an opportunity in which I can apply my enthusiasm and many years of leadership, student advocacy, and professional & creative skills to create tangible change for all members within the Berklee community.
Anabel Gil Diaz (she/her)
Performance Division Rep
I have always thought that the right of each individual to defend what they believe is fair, is a duty. Since I was little, I was never silent about what I considered a tremendous injustice. I never held back when I saw some bad action done against me or other people, even against cats, dogs and whatever else existed. There was nothing I hated more than injustice, violence, and hypocrisy. Whenever the case arose, I was there to interfere. As a child that caused me a lot of problems with adults, and my mother always told me that when I grew up, I should be a defense attorney, because I always had many laws. That, over time was modified since I understood that diplomacy is also part of that defense. One day a professor, the director of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, came to the University where I was studying and saw in me a talent in which I believed was my defect. That director gave me a job next to him as a producer and voice of the cultural exchanges that he carries out annually with the student orchestras in Cuba. He gave me responsibilities that I didn´t know I could fulfill. He always kept his faith in me and in those initiatives that I proposed without anyone asking me. I think that today, I could use this same ability to be part of the community and help advocate for their causes on a conciliatory level with the faculty. The idea of adding my grain of sand to the community represents to me the main reason to exist.
Celine Hsu (she/her)
Hello, I'm Celine Hsu (she/her)! I'm currently living in Taipei, Taiwan, but I was born in Irvine, California. I am an enthusiastic and optimistic individual, and I hope to give my peers the best experience during their time here as possible. I would love for people to not only be enjoying the professional and academic opportunities offered here, but to also have a fun and more memorable college life. Surely, we all need some time to get off our screens and take breaks sometimes, and as a member of the SGA, my goal would be to motivate the students and increase stress-relieving activities to help students enjoy a healthier college life. I believe that I have the qualifications and leadership skills to be your Executive Assistant, as I have extensive experience in organizing, developing, and supporting clubs at my high school and internship. In high school, I was a co-founder of a music ensemble that consisted 50+ members, and I was selected to be the president of the Japanese Honor Society of the school. In these roles, I learned to communicate and collaborate while working towards common goals to improve the clubs and community. Moreover, I was selected as a Spirit Officer that led my high school's pep rally due to my passion and positivity, and I hope to be able to use that in college as well to lift you up! As an Executive Assistant, I believe I am also prepared for the artistic and social media aspects from my time as the Publicity Head of the Tri-M Honor Society and Photographer of the Yearbook teams of my high school. Later on during the summer, I also had the chance to intern at the global media company Condé Nast (Vogue, GQ, CNX), and expanded my knowledge in publicity and social media managing. Please vote for me as I promise to clearly communicate with the student body to efficiently get your concerns addressed, and promote transparency through the SGA’s official social media. I hope to make college a positive experience that you can think about fondly in the future, and I will utilize my leadership experience to put all of your ideas for college events and improvements on the table, whether it is in-person or remote! I am the most reliable “HSU (Shoe)” for you, and I am with you for the long run!
Idalis Irizarry (she/her)
Education Division Rep
I would love the chance to join the Student Government Association because in addition to being an 8th semester student at Berklee College of Music studying Music Education and Contemporary Musical Theater Performance, I have held multiple leadership positions both in and outside of the college that I feel would make me the strongest candidate for the position of Professional Education Division Representative. I am currently serving as Co-President of Berklee’s NAfME (Music Education) Club, am President of the Berklee Musical Theater Club, and I have also served as both a Student Academic Mentor (SAM) as well as a Resident Assistant (RA) on campus. In addition to these leadership roles at Berklee, I am also a founding member, President, and Music Department Chair of a non-profit 501(c3) arts-education, mentorship, and outreach organization for youth of all ages called Colorful Bridges. Our website is colorfulbridges.org if you would like to check us out! In this role, I work alongside many other amazing, young people to compose curriculum, complete arts administrative tasks, as well as work as a team in a shared leadership style to achieve greatness within our organization. I also had the opportunity within Colorful Bridges to mentor a highschooler from Venezuela virtually this past semester, named Karen. I believe this experience gave me a better look into the life of an international student, and I know that through my experiences with both mentoring Karen as well as become friends with many other international students at Berklee/BoCo, this will give me amazing insight as to how the Professional Education Division as well as SGA as a whole can make life for international students as great as possible. Some characteristics I have that I believe make me the best candidate for this role are that I am extremely caring towards everyone around me, and always work hard to make sure that others are happy, no matter the circumstances. I am also extremely organized and am proactive when it comes to the work I am assigned / the tasks I need to complete. I also always try to reach higher than expected of me. I believe these qualities will serve me well in this position because I will quickly be able to gain trust and respect from my co-leaders in SGA and the student body. Lastly, I have strong connections with every single Music Education professor that I have met at Berklee, and know that when it comes to communication, specifically regarding reform, I will be extremely successful. I believe that through all of my experiences at Berklee/BoCo both pre and mid pandemic as an upper semester, if given this position, I can ensure you that the Professional Education Division will continue to emphasize equity for all students, no matter the identities they hold.
Kaitlin Rose (she/her)
Performance Division Rep
My name is Kaitlin Rose Jencks. I am a 4th-semester transfer student majoring in Performance. I am running to be an SGA Performance Representative because I think that being involved with voicing the concerns and needs of the student populace is vital to the healthy functionality of a school. At both universities I have attended, I have been involved in clubs or programs that try to fill the gaps in the system. I have served on boards that tried to spread awareness and education about sexual assault and I was vice president of a group that attempted to bridge the cultural divide between our international and domestic students. At my first university I started a club for people who had trouble eating on the campus meal plan, for dietary (vegan or gluten-free), medical (celiacs, fish allergy), or religious reasons (Kosher, Halal). The school system required students to be on the meal plan for their first year or two but provided little to no options for people with specific dietary requirements. We worked with the school to find new options and to pool resources for students. When I started at Berklee Valencia I noticed that the available resources for people who are struggling with depression or other commonly stigmatized mental health issues were pretty few and far between. There was also a lack of any type of outlet for students with an interest in musical theatre. My friend and I started a diversity grant project called Light in the Dark where we held workshops, activities, and a cabaret to encourage the discussion of mental health on campus, using the medium of musical theatre. I am very passionate about making sure that student perspectives are heard and acted upon. I am a good choice for SGA because I have a history of fighting for student voices on campus. I enjoy problem-solving and I think that it is incredibly important to keep faculty and students on the same page in finding viable solutions to the important issues that students face.
Nick Kitsopoulos (he/him)
Student Life Liason
Before coming to Berklee, I always sought out leadership roles that allowed me to represent my peers to the senior faculty at my school. I consider wherever I go to school to be my home and for that reason, it is important to me to do everything I can as a student to make my home a great place for myself and my peers. This means keeping an ear to the student population and the faculty so that I can communicate to both parties and advocate for my peers. There have been four roles that have equipped me with the requisite skills to be successful in SGA. Firstly, in this spring semester I have been the "Student Life Liaison" on SGA and although it has only been a month, I have done everything in my power to get a grip on how SGA functions and how I can best execute the responsibilities of my role. It has been a great pleasure to work with such a remarkably dedicated group of students and their commitment to helping the Berklee/Boco community thrive has inspired me to go above and beyond in my role. I look forward to getting to know this role better and continuing to sharpen my leadership skills. The second role was "Student Liaison to the Board of Education". During my senior year, students were frustrated with unilateral decisions made by BOE and suggested that students be on the board as well. I was honored to be 1/2 students nominated to serve on the board. In this role I spoke on behalf of my peers on issues pertaining to academic and facilities’ needs, contributed input in million dollar budgetary decisions, and ultimately learned how to represent my peers while being respectful of the adults who were in charge. The third was being a member of the "Student-Principal Advisory Committee". I was elected to meet with the Principal twice a month and brief him on student concerns and developments. I learned how to listen carefully to my peers and construct an argument to a superior. Finally, the fourth role was being Vice President of my class where I was responsible for raising $40,000+ over four years of high school to pay for senior events. In this role I learned how to budget, fundraise, and promote events. In SGA I would use all these skills to be a respected representative and I would exercise the greatest skill of all: listening to those with perspectives I don't have.
Lina Malshy (she/her)
International & Performance Division Rep
My name is Lina Malshy, I use She/her pronounces, I am a 21-year-old Arabic violin player, Palestinian but live in Israel. Before deciding that I wanted to study at Berklee, I took a gap year after high school to really know what I want to do with my life, what my purpose is, and what I want to do every day for the rest of my life. So I started paying attention to where my instincts lead me to, and they always lead me towards art. Since I am most skilled in music, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I knew I did not want to be a performer, and when I learned about film scoring, I knew who I wanted to be. A composer for films and anything that has to do with combining visual arts and music. I want to be a great musician and composer, so I looked for one of the best music schools in the world that I could apply to with my Arabic violin principal, and luckily there was Berklee. This is my first semester at Berklee, Boston. I am very interested in majoring in one or both of these three: CWP, composition, film scoring, and musical theater. I love arranging and composing and always up to making new projects with musicians and artists. Some of my strengths that I learned about myself are: good leadership skills, good communication skills, and most important of all is creativity which I think those are essential qualities a person should have to become an SGA. I am applying to be on the student government association because I want to be a part of making the student life during their time at Berklee less stressful mentally, more fun, making new connections and achieving one’s goals. Also, I am taking this as an opportunity to improve those skills and learn more about other cultures and how they communicate. I feel being an international student has more different challenges than a domestic student might have in many ways like language barriers, cultural barriers, employment and so on. I have read a lot from the Berklee website and I feel I could be that connector of international students and Berklee if I get this job and its training.
Anika Mladineo (she/her)
International & Performance Division Rep
I want to be part of the SGA because I would love to contribute to maintaining a good quality of student life. During these complicated times, I have observed a lot of people suffering from stress and anxiety, therefore I would really love to help to create an environment in which students manage to overcome difficulties of any type, including in the academic, social and artistic aspects. Students deserve to be able to make the best out of their time in Berklee, and the best way to achieve this is by being able to help people with what they need so that things do not turn out stressful and complicated. The position I am interested is the one of International Representative, starting with the fact that I am an international student, and it is easy for me to understand whenever any international person is having a rough time for being far from home, having issues with international paperwork (including Visa and F1 status) or perhaps even having trouble understanding the language. This is my fifth semester and through all this time I have managed to become familiar with all of the services to support students, including Counseling, the Learning Center and the International Student Services, in order that I can provide the students with all of the information about where to find this so that they can have what they are asking for. I consider myself someone who is a hard worker, always willing to help people. I believe I have strong communication skills and I am very comprehensive and patient when it comes to someone who needs a hand. I am organized and compromised with the tasks which I must meet, therefore I will always maintain a balance between my academic duties as well as putting the time to organize and host the event that I must be in charge of during the semester. Referring to the Professional Performance Position, as a performance major it would be an honor for me to represent the college on this particular division. If I have to work in a team, I will always meet the deadlines and keep my partner informed of what is going on. As a partner I might be strict, and I will always ask the person I am working with to meet the deadlines and be responsible with what has to be done.
Vaughn Nesmith (he/him)
Conservatory VP, Conservatory Music Rep
I am a very intellectual person; I'm always thinking. I'm also very observant. I like to take in the things I see or experience around me. This has allowed me to take in and begin to understand several different things, but it has also made me comfortable with being so reserved. Being a part of Student Government would help me conquer the fear of being in the forefront and sharing my opinions and thoughts. Behind my soft spokenness and reserved character, I am actually very relatable and innovative. I love solving problems and challenging my own creativity. I’ve always had a strong desire to help others. I’m always willing to listen to the concerns of my peers and also be the mouthpiece for those who may not feel comfortable stating them on their own. I constantly find that I'm learning everyday to better my ways of communicating, and I would want to bring these skills to Student Government to assist in building a stronger connection between students and faculty. My intellectuality helps me really think and see things through and be able to see things on a deeper level. Having a leadership position will not only give me experience, but I will also learn and gain knowledge as well. BoCo/Berklee is already a great school with a safe, welcoming environment. I would be honored to have the opportunity to do what I can to continue to better the school along with bettering myself in the process.
Alondra Pérez (she/her)
Conservatory VP, Theater Rep
Hello all! My name is Alondra Pérez and I am a second-year Contemporary Theatre major at the Conservatory. I have been fortunate enough to serve on Student Government as the Conservatory representative this term. I’ve been incredibly grateful and mindful during my year on the board as it has heavily pertained to the efficiency and well-being of the student body. The difficulty of the past year and the strength of the students has given me even a great deal of initiative to continue my time on SGA. I trust in my colleagues and the student body to persevere and continue the conversation on accessibility, anti-racism, gender rights, and neurodiversity. I am highly committed to bridging this conversation to our deans and President and have consistently shown up to every meeting possible to advocate for these oppressive issues. I am already in close contact with Scott Edmiston and several staff and faculty members. Our relationship has been established and we’ve been working closely to hold each other accountable to make sure all information released is digestible and open for discussion. I’ve learned a lot this year and I plan to use that knowledge to progress the state of our school. I hold a great deal of respect, empathy, and love for my peers and I trust myself to organize and rebuild the relationships with the students and the institution because that is what they deserve. I hope we can meet again next semester.
President, Education Division Rep
I am Trinity Reyes-Escobar and I am a fifth semester student majoring in Music Business/Management and Songwriting. For the past two semesters, I have had the wonderful opportunity to be on SGA as the Professional Education Division Representative. While this year has not been easy in any way, I have had done my best to address student concerns as well as plan events for the amazing students in the Professional Education Division. This has definitely encouraged me to run for President of SGA as well as one of the the Professional Education Division Representatives. My time on SGA has been so rewarding and I want to continue to create these connections with students as well as staff and faculty members. We need to hold Berklee accountable when they say they want to be an Anti-Racist Institution. These are ongoing conversations that will continue to happen next year, as well as conversations on gender rights and diversity and inclusion. My time on SGA has allowed me to grow as a leader and I have learned so much about Berklee as well as the Boston Conservatory and what students are in need of. I would love to be next year’s SGA President. I am ready to work alongside my peers in order to make sure student concerns are heard. Thank you for your time!
Harold Rivas (he/him)
Conservatory VP, Music Rep
I am running for Conservatory Vice President because I want to continue serving our community as a member of SGA. As a current member, I have been involved in SGA's pursuit of excellence and safety for our institution, and I wish to further my involvement in this active pursuit. I have been serving as a mediator between faculty, staff, and students, and plan on continuing to implement this skill into my work. I have also been serving as a reliable notetaker in SGA's meetings with our Administration and Leadership Members, and plan on continuing this in my work. Additionally, I am confident in my ability to supervise the work of my fellow peers and be of assistance at any time. I am also confident in my ability to highlight the strengths of my peers, and actively seek to help improvements be made possible from a positive and realistic perspective. I have had an excellent experience working with my fellow SGA Board Members, and wish to continue working with this formidable team in our quest for our community's happiness, prosperity, and success. I also wish to continue striving to offer my very best for our community, and know that I can do so as a member of SGA. For these reasons, I am applying to serve as the Conservatory Vice President, and hope and plan on offering the very best of myself for the good of all.
Julia Ross (she/her)
I have spent the last two years serving as treasurer for the Student Government Association, and I’ve loved every minute of it! Being part of SGA is so rewarding because it allows me to be a voice for my peers and serve as a strong advocate for change on campus. As treasurer, I’ve been able to accomplish several large things these past two years. During my first year, I continued the development of the newly created Club Funding Allocation Board. This board is student run and is in charge of making allocation decisions for student clubs on campus. I feel that it is extremely important for students to be in charge of these decisions. Clubs are an essential part of campus life that contribute greatly to student success. In 2019-2020, we received 96 allocation requests and granted $77,390.55 to student clubs. After we went remote in March 2020, I spent time rewriting the Funding Guidelines as well as updating the Club Budget request forms in order to build transparency of our process and create better inclusivity. While running the FAB throughout the semester, I was also actively involved in several subcommittee projects within SGA: Berklee NYC, Dining, Public Safety, Sustainability, THRIVE, and Title IX. During this past year, my role has changed seeing how we are remote. I am adaptable and flexible and was able to steer my role in a way to still make positive change at Berklee. Since the FAB is not active during remote times, I am spearheading a project to create Berklee financial transparency. Serving as the SGA Financial Subcommittee leader, I am striving to produce and release a document with clear information on Berklee’s finances, that details how student accounts and financial aid are managed as well as obtain information on how summer credits are being granted to students, and release that information to the student body. This requires working with Berklee Student Accounts and Financial Aid! Building relationships with these offices is imperative because finances impact every Berklee student in a significant way. Providing information on financial priorities and processes will help all students make informed decisions. If re-elected, I plan to continue to build on these initiatives and projects. I want to ensure that the Funding Allocation Board remains active and equitable in its decisions. I believe that in maintaining its operation, we are giving more of a voice to the students. I also want to make sure that the conversation around Berklee’s financial transparency remains active. It is a difficult conversation to have and maintain, and it will need to be continued into future semesters. As one of the individuals who started this conversation, I would like to be able to see it through and finish it. Thank you for your consideration! Julia Ross
Noga Jenny Rotem Fortus
Education Division Rep
My name is Noga Jenny Rotem Fortus, and I am excited to announce my running for student government. Serving my community as a representative to the professional education division would mean to me more than words can say. I have studied leadership at my school in Israel, where I also participated and led various projects regarding social justice and mental health. After high school, I joined the Israeli national service. I was teaching Hebrew and Israeli culture at a school with students that had recently moved from all around the globe. I was also a resource for students to use when struggling with culture shock, mental health, inclusion, accessibility, and when in need of support and advocacy. After moving to Boston, I continued to teach in the Jewish community, classrooms as well as tutoring. Making my classroom accessible for my students has made me realize I want to do the same at Berklee, as a representative to my fellow students. I am a music therapy major and my principal is piano. I am also a student with disabilities, openly and proudly, which is one of my biggest reasons for running. If you vote for me, you will be voting for someone with extensive experience with advocacy, accessibility, inclusion, and teamwork, both from my professional life and day-to-day life. I wish to be there for fellow students and my division in the best way that I can, I believe SGA is where my best skills and abilities can be put to use. I want to see someone like me in student government because students need representation. Seeing a student with a disability run for SGA alone would be more than inspiring for me. We live in a global pandemic, on top of the struggles college students face along with our personal past and circumstances. I want to be one of these people in leadership that personally cares about the change a community needs, knows the challenges well, listens, and has their back. Sincerely, Noga Jenny Rotem Fortus
Guidian Shturman Waiss
Writing & Tech. Rep, International Rep
My name is Guidian Shturman Waiss, I am a 8th semester Film Scoring and CWP dual major minoring in Video Game Scoring and Conducting at the Berklee College of Music. My principal instrument is the oboe, and I also play the violoncello. I am a transfer student from Rec Musica, Mexico, which helps me bring a global outlook to the Berklee community. As an international student, I feel that it is my responsibility to represent the foreign student body at the College and Conservatory. The best way to do this is to run for the Student Government Association. I am running for the position of Representative of the Professional Writing and Music Technology Division and International Representative, as it encapsulates my role at Berklee as a student and musician. My passion for film music and composition will make me a valuable asset as a representative of this division, bringing dedication and initiative to all my duties. At several points in my life, I have gained and displayed leadership skills vital to my position as an SGA representative. The most relevant leadership experience outside music was from 2016 - 2019 and 2020-2021, when I got the opportunity to lead a search and rescue team in Mexico City. I was asked to take a seat on the board after a short period of serving in the team. After 1 year, I was promoted to deputy commander of the rescue team. In high school, I was the founder of 2 separate orchestras, which helped me highly develop my time management and organizational skills. Being part of the SGA is a great opportunity to learn more about the Berklee community and help its members. Knowing my community, and working to improve it, is a remarkable way to thrive and connect with the students, faculty and staff.
Coco Smith (she/her)
Performance Rep, Executive Assistant
I'm a vocalist from the suburbs of New York, and I have a huge passion for music. I'm really excited to be here at Berklee, and I feel extremely fulfilled to be pursuing my passion! I want to be on the Student Government Association because I've always felt strongly that it is important to advocate for yourself and others, and that it is up to the people within the community to make important decisions concerning that organization or institution. I am running for Executive Assistant because I've always been very efficient at timekeeping, organization and being up to speed on checking/answering any and all messages through various forms of social media and email. Not only that, those tasks relax me because I feel as if I am in control of my life when I accomplish them. I am also running for Professional Performance Division Representative because I'm passionate about being able to represent students, especially within a department that I know very well. As a performer, I know what it's like to need to perform under specific conditions, and I would be more than happy to advocate for those who want their needs met in that area. As for my leadership skills, I am a very social person, therefore I'm naturally inclined to communicating with others about what they want to be represented in government. I am the event planner for Berklee Climate Action, as well as the former president of my high school choir, so leadership and board positions aren't new to me, in fact I love being able to work with a group of peers who are just as interested in our work as I am.
Derek Song (he/him)
As the current International Representative on SGA, I am well-equipped to handle the responsibilities of this position and am fully committed to the growing International Community at Berklee. I am still extremely passionate about supporting the international student community at Berklee and creating opportunities for connections with each other, or acting as a guide back on-campus, transitioning out of a long period of remote learning. More than any other time, it is important there is someone who can empathize and help student travel at what could be the tail-end of the pandemic. As someone who has already been apart of SGA, I am beginning to familiarize myself and manage the scheduling for SGA responsibilities and am positive I will be able to handle the tasks presented to me in the continuing semesters. At this point in my education, I realized my passion for helping international students should be a priority with my remaining time at Berklee. I believe I possess the necessary leadership skills to continue as the International Representative for SGA as I have held leadership positions at Berklee in the past as a Resident Hall Vice President, as well as outside of Berklee through my own start-up and internship opportunities. I come from a multicultural background, so I am sensitive to students from different cultures and know how to address each community in a knowledgeable manner. I hope I can be given the opportunity to continue as the International Representative for Berklee SGA with the hope I will be able to contribute to an even brighter future for Berklee’s International Community.
Fisher Thompson (he/him)
Writing & Technology Rep
I’d like to continue my journey as Pro Writing and Music Tech Division Representative because I feel it’s necessary to represent our diverse, global community in writing, production, and engineering. I, as a leader, put foremost in my priorities amplifying the voices of those marginalized or alienated due to their race, culture, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, age, income, (dis)ability status, or chosen career path. Everyone, regardless of their intersectional identity, should have a voice in their life, education, and art. My tenure as a Division Representative this semester and past two terms serving as Student Representative on my town’s Board of Education have given me the experience necessary to represent a student body and work with school administration to ensure there are sustainably inclusive, antiracist, and feminist ethics present in all areas of my supervision as a representative. A program of intersectionality is of paramount importance to me, and I have been trained with the College’s Inaugural CDEI Change Scholars in how to best personally, institutionally, and structurally help all students holding marginalized identities responsibly. I speak English, French, Hindi, Japanese, German, and Russian with varying degrees of fluency, which allows me to communicate warmly with our multilingual, multicultural community, ensuring students of all majors under the umbrella of the Pro Writing and Music Tech Division feel welcome and represented at the College. I believe that institutional accountability on behalf of our international students is not only wanted, but necessary, especially at a college where international students make up forty percent of our population and whose access to the College’s resources has been hindered by the effects of COVID-19. I have experience with encumbrance budgeting and educational policy through my former position as a townwide Student Representative to my Board of Education, and I believe this will be of particular benefit in ensuring that I hold the administration fiscally responsible. While I am also the secretary of Berklee Climate Action, I promise to make sustainability a staple of the Division I wish to continue representing. I love working with SGA, and I love representing my fellow Division students, and I hope you will consider me for your Professional Writing and Music Technology Division Representative vote!
Jesarela Villarreal (she/her)
Communities Rep, Performance Division Rep
The Student Government Association is an organization that has impacted Berklee in multiple, positive ways. It is a group of talented musicians that are passionate to improve the lives and experiences of their fellow students. I would like to form part of such an impactful group because I want to help others, listen to ways we can improve students Berklee's experiences. I have chosen to run for Community Representative because I believe I will be a great asset to this position and to the group as a whole. I am the type of person who loves to learn, challenge myself, set higher goals, and continue searching for that moment suspended from time. I have worked with other organizations were I have learned the importance of teamwork, communication, being assertive, and most important diligent. If given this position, I will work endless hours to achieve a new form of excellence not as a soloist, but as a teammate!
Shira Zionce (she/her)
Writing and Technology Rep
Hi Everyone! My Name is Shira Zionce and I am a 6th semester CWP major from Toronto, Canada. I am so excited to be running to be the Professional Writing and Music Technology Division representative for SGA next year! Throughout my time at Berklee I have been lucky enough to be a SAM, a 5-week RA, and a member of countless other performance groups and clubs. I love getting involved in a lot of different aspects of Berklee life, and engaging with people from different majors, divisions, and both the college and conservatory. The Writing and Technology division encompasses so many different majors: CWP, Composition, EPD, MP&E, Jazz Composition, Film Scoring, and Songwriting. I may be biased as a CWP major, but this is my favourite division at the college, the intersection of tech and writing! I think that the most employable and best musicians are also those who are well-rounded. As our divisions SGA representative, I would hope to make more classes and events that are division wide, so that we can learn new skills from each other and from professors in different majors. Even though I am a CWP major, I have joined the Women’s Film Initiative and am even assisting a film scoring student in composing a film, so that I can learn more about how to write music for films! I wish that there were more courses and events at Berklee that allow students in different majors to learn from each other, so we can leave Berklee with skills in many different parts of the music industry. I love collaboration and working with others, and am excited at the prospect of working with faculty members and students to make the professional writing and technology division as well as the greater Berklee community the most inclusive, helpful, and accessible it can be.