Student Union President Krupa Sourirajan ’23 is an advocate for change

Krupa Sourirajan Student Union PresidentPhoto/Mike Lovett

Krupa Sourirajan '23

A life dedicated to advocacy and a love for language brought Krupa Sourirajan to Brandeis University. Her passion for making a difference led her to become the Student Union president, an advocate for the entire student body.

Sourirajan’s love for language began at an early age, speaking multiple languages within her home. Tamil, a Dravidian language from Southern India and Sri Lanka, was spoken among her Indian family growing up in New Jersey. Sourirajan also studied Spanish throughout high school.

“Learning languages has been so helpful for connecting with others,” she said. 

During her high school summers, Sourirajan volunteered at a local hospital, translating English to Spanish for patients receiving care and spending time with children in the emergency unit. It was here that she realized her passion for advocating for appropriate patient care, and her desire to become a pediatrician. She is double-majoring in neuroscience and biology and is on the pre-med track with a minor in Hispanic studies

Upon arriving at Brandeis, it was only two weeks before Sourirajan began initiating change on campus to help her fellow students. 

She noticed that her dorm showers didn’t have a hook, making it difficult to bring essentials into the shower. After speaking with the other members of the dorm about the matter, she noticed a Student Union flyer and decided to voice her concern. By October of that semester, Sourirajan’s first initiative had been enacted and hooks were placed in the dorm showers.

“That was the moment I realized the change I could have on campus,” she said. 

It wasn’t long before she began ascending into leadership roles with the Student Union. She held multiple positions before becoming the vice president in the fall of 2020 and the president in the spring of 2021. 

While she took on the majority of her leadership roles during the pandemic, being off-campus didn’t stop Sourirajan and the Student Union from initiating changes to help their fellow students remain engaged. 

The Student Union met weekly through Zoom video calls, organizing initiatives to help improve the virtual learning experience for the student body. They organized a free shuttle service during the 2020 presidential election, distributed over 4,000 face masks throughout the campus, arranged to provide menstrual products in heavily trafficked restrooms, and promoted the importance of mental health. 

Their biggest initiative was influencing the university to implement a 10-minute break within every 90-minute virtual classroom session.

“We wanted to give students a chance to combat Zoom fatigue,” said Sourirajan. “It was important that students take time away from their phones and computers.”

With students back on campus this semester, the focus has shifted into connecting in-person. The Student Union aims to reconnect students with their professors and bring the student body together again. Take Your Professor for Coffee, a popular program that offers a voucher for students to treat their professors to coffee on campus, is back this year. 

Another important focus for Sourirajan is wellness and mental health advocacy. This semester the Student Union has hosted several events, giving out spa face masks, blue light glasses, healthy trail mix, and other small items to brighten students’ days. Her favorite Student Union activity this semester, however, was driving a university golf cart around campus to provide students with cookies.

“Even a small thing like cookies can brighten someone’s day and make a difference,” said Sourirajan. 

Of her many accomplishments since coming to Brandeis, Sourirajan's proudest achievement is advocating for herself.

“I’ve learned to give myself breaks and take time away when needed,” she said. She hopes that by giving herself time and prioritizing her wellbeing, she inspires other students to do the same. “As a woman of color, that isn’t something taught, but so important to learn.”

Categories: Student Life

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