Simran Tatuskar ’21 ready to lead as Student Union President

'Whenever I commit to something, I give it my 100 percent': Simran Tatuskar '21 reflects on becoming Student Union President and the upcoming year.

Simran TatuskarPhoto/Mike Lovett

Brandeis Student Union President Simran Tatuskar '21

Like her journey to Brandeis, the path Simran Tatuskar ’21 took to become Student Union President was not a straight line.

Tatuskar was born in Virginia and has since lived in 22 cities worldwide thanks to her father’s career, which required her family to move regularly. So Tatuskar doesn’t have a hometown, per se, though that doesn’t stop her from feeling like she has a place at Brandeis.

“I do tend to find a home in people rather than places, it’s the nature of my background and who I am,” she said. “I don’t find a strong sense of identity from a place, it stems more from the people around me and those in my life.”

Tatuskar is a wide range of things: A former chemical biology major on the pre-med track who switched to double-majoring in business and philosophy with legal studies and chemistry minors; an avid reader who devours one book per week (her favorite book this year is “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman); and the president of a United Nations charter organization that supports women’s empowerment and gender equality.

But above all, Tatuskar is a people-person and leader, which is what drew her to student government in the first place last year while she was a sophomore.

“I’m passionate about policies and people, and I really enjoy looking at management styles and leadership. It’s fascinating to me to understand how people tick and why people want to be where they are,” said Tatuskar, who is considering business law as a future career.

After she switched majors her sophomore year, "I felt lost and behind, so I became involved in student government as the union’s co-chair on the health and safety committee." She also worked with the Brandeis Counseling Center, the Student Sexuality Information Service, and the Health Center, on projects concerning student wellness and campus accessibility.

In a few months, Tatuskar felt ready to jump on an opening for the Student Union’s secretary position. Since she felt particularly fulfilled working on student health and safety, she continued to work closely on goals and initiatives in that realm with former Union President Hannah Brown ’19 to make the position her own.

“I had a good mentor,” Tatuskar said of Brown. “She gave me a lot of flexibility and leeway to do my own work and do different things with the Secretary position that hadn’t previously been done.”

“When the elections came up again for the next academic year, I couldn’t imagine not serving as part of the union,” she added. “I genuinely care about the students and want to do a good job. Whenever I commit to something, I make sure nothing else gets in the way and give it my 100 percent.”

Tatuskar, who meets regularly with senior administration, is well underway with her presidential agenda. She is prioritizing diversity, inclusion, transparency and accessibility as her themes for the year.

She has also created four new union positions: a Director of Accessibility and Advocacy, which will be an appointed executive board role; a Director of Community Involvement to establish a line of communication between student groups and the union and identify challenges before they arise; a Director of Outreach, to serve as a liaison between the Student Union and other parties across campus; and a Director of Technology and Media, to assist with the Student Union’s communications on all its channels.

Tatuskar is also proud of the make-up of her executive board, which includes many people of color and international students, and hopes it can be a model for other student groups across campus to follow.

“We have so much diversity on our e-board, and it makes me really happy,” Tatuskar said. “It shows what our dynamic is, and how diversity, equity and inclusion can also be one of our focuses for the year.”

Categories: Alumni, General, Student Life

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