By Jamie Reese
From April 20 to 22, the Student Senate will hold general elections for new membership. The petitions are in and over 80 students are running to fill 37 seats.
Voting will take place via WarriorLink. Students will receive a link through their ESU emails once the polls open on Monday morning, and they can sign in to vote by using their usual ESU credentials. The polls close Wednesday at 4:00 PM.
Within the voting process, students will also have the opportunity to vote for Student Senate President and Vice President — although the die is already cast, since there is only one choice for each position.
Barring an unexpected write-in candidate or an unusual event, Drew Johnson and Dominique Washington will be president and vice president, respectively.
Johnson said, “At the end of the day, someone could get written in. It’s bitter-sweet to run unopposed.”
He continued, “I’m glad I’m doing it in the order that I’ve done it — in terms of competing for the positions my first year. I don’t want anyone to think it was just given to me. Still, it’s pretty sweet. It’s just one less thing I have to worry about… Campaigning is hard.”
Johnson narrowly won his election against incumbent Justin Amann last year after some complications necessitated a reelection.
Johnson credits his lack of opposition this year partly to approval from his peers.
“I’m running for a second term…because my organization encouraged me to,” said Johnson. “Everybody pretty much said that they like what the leadership has done.”
Johnson isn’t the only person with leadership experience.
Washington is currently the University Senate Vice President, although he does not plan to retain that position. He is also Chair of Extra Curricular Affairs.
Washington said, “I know what is expected of a vice president. It’s not so much a supportive role… The vice president role is essential because, in a way, it serves as a bridge between the president and the rest of the executive committee.”
Washington credits his drive for leading him into office.
Washington said, “I decided to run for vice president because I want to uphold a level of excellence. I’ve always been told that average is not good enough.”
Washington’s drive doesn’t influence only him, either. He hopes to bring it to all senators at the table.
He said, “I believe that our senators are exceptional, but that they lack confidence — especially in their committee meetings. One of my biggest goals is to impart in them the confidence they need to not only be functional, but to be exceptional because we run an exceptional organization, and we have the opportunity to be exceptional.”
He plans to do this through team building activities, clarifying goals and responsibilities, and practicing good communication.
Washington said, “You incite confidence … in that they know what their roles are. In a way we kind of have pseudo roles … we step on each other’s toes, basically. We all have a mountain to climb, but if we climb along the same path, we’ll all fall.”
As for Johnson, he wants to keep up what he’s been doing, while working on better time management.
He said, “I want to respond to emails faster. I want to practice my ‘no’ … I try to make more hours in the day than are necessary.”
He continued, “You’re pulled in a lot of different directions from everybody across campus who really wants Student Senate to be involved in what they have going on.”
Drew will need more time to focus his efforts.
He said, “I want Student Senate to work on a universal grading scale – at least for general education courses.”
This would mean systemizing grading, thus taking out much of a professor’s subjectivity while grading.
If you agree or disagree, voting might not help too much, but speaking up certainly will. The Student Senate office is located in Room 219 of the Student University Center. Pop by and be a part of the conversation.
Dominique said, “I believe that together we can put senate on a path that rivals no other.”
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