The results are in. After petitioning for their place on the ballot and enduring six days of campaigning, five new Student Senators have emerged victorious.
The students of Albion College have elected Meredith Bishop, Ryan Hall, Timothy Langholz, Mitchell Moore, and Zac Page to serve as their new student representatives. Candidates campaigned from Sep. 24 to Sep. 30, and students voted in the Kellogg Center.
According to the Student Senate constitution, its responsibilities are for the “promotion of the welfare, protection of the rights, and representation of the opinions of the students of Albion College in a way consistent with basic principles of republican government and liberal arts education.” Student Senators represent the entire campus and are responsible for the distribution of the student activity fee to the various groups at Albion.
Senators may also choose to focus on particular issues on campus. The newly elected Senators, therefore, have their own plans for improving Albion. Zac Page, Olivet first-year, describes the ideas he desires to bring to Student Senate.
“I’m interested in maintaining the groups that are here so that they are able to get funding each year – for example, if a volunteer group wanted to do some projects across town, and they usually got x amount of dollars, making sure that they get the same amount of funding each year so that they can plan ahead and so that we can still have all of these programs that attract students to come here,” said Page.
Ryan Hall, Livonia first-year, feels that the most vital issue is establishing a more direct link between college authority figures and the students.
“I want to get involved in changing how we do education – it’s more top-down than I’d like it to be. I’d like it to be more student-oriented because we’re the ones who’re basically fueling the college with our resources. The main thing is that we make it more student-run as a college.”
Mitch Moore, Lansing first-year, feels that the best course of action is to wait for students to express what changes they would like to see.
“I’m still trying to figure out what the students need, or what the students want, or what the main issues are,” said Moore.
Many students, however, do not know much about the governing body that is Student Senate.
“There were a lot of people who had no idea what in the world Student Senate even was. I met a lot of first-years who weren’t even going to vote. They were like, what? There’s Student Senate voting?” said Meredith Bishop, Nice first-year.
Regardless, candidates attempted to get their names out by campaigning during the days allotted. Moore chose to go the traditional campaign route.
“Being a freshman, you don’t know anyone, especially upperclassmen,” said Moore. “I think I had a great campaign with my poster – my slogan was, ‘Vote Moore, Get More,’ so it was pretty catchy, and I think having a cool poster got the attention of Albion students.”
Meredith Bishop, however, had a different experience.
“I said, I’ll go buy the chalk, I’ll go buy the spray paint, but it got to September 30, which is our last day, and hit ten o’clock, and I looked at all of my friends and was like, ‘Oh my god! I didn’t even campaign!”
Now that the students have decided upon their representatives, the new senators are ready to join their older peers in representing the students of Albion College. Aly Schneiter, Rockford senior and current Student Senate president described the process for integrating the new senators.
“When five people are elected after an election, we swear them in at the next Senate meeting and try to have a “Senate bonding activity” shortly thereafter,” said Schneiter.
The winners were sworn in as senators on October 29.