Student Senate Elections 2014: Presidential Candidates

Candidate profiles by Valentina Caval, Editor in Chief


Justin Amann

Junior, History

“Running for reelection is not about me — it’s about every single ESU student,” Justin Amann said.

As the incumbent, Amann knows he has a lot left to do in the Senate.  “Our executive board, the senate, the student body— we have created something special here,” said Amann. “We have gained the respect of campus leaders and are a positive force for change.” Amann spent most of his college career representing the ESU student body —  having served on Senate for approximately three years.

In just the fourth week of classes, Amann was serving on the Academic Affairs Committee: the committee that reviews both existing and new academic programs, policies, and procedures to ensure the University provides an appropriate education for the student body.

A year later, Amann was appointed Chair of Academic Affairs. It all eventually led to being elected president at the end of his sophomore year.

During his time in the Senate, Amann ensured that students have two seats on the President’s Strategic Planning Committee — the committee that works for the University’s future.

By the end of this year, Senate will have played a role in revamping the student code of conduct under Amann’s leadership.

Amann and the Senate were responsible for new parking regulations— a concern that he had since his sophomore year.

Amann is responsible for the extinction of the Add-Drop card for majors— now students add or drop their major electronically rather than handing them in at Enrollment Services.

He sat on several enrollment management committees, including the task force that oversaw the implementation of the Nemo-Q ticketing system— the electronic queuing system.

He wants to continue to work with University leadership to advocate for the student body.

“This work can continue. Together, we can grow these advocacy efforts and we will not settle for status quo,” Amann said. “Together, we can continue to grow this university into greatness.”


Drew Johnson

Sophomore, Communication Studies

Sophomore Drew Johnson says being a part of Student Senate is like being a really good friend to the entire student body.

When he made the decision to run for Student Senate President, he thought about all the people that believed in him when he did not believe in himself — he wanted to prove those people right.

“In order to stand up for anything you have to have the ability and the courage to actually do it,” he said.

Johnson has been a member of the Student Senate for approximately two years. While he spent most of his time there as a senator, last semester he was appointed Chair of Academic Affairs, a position that deals directly with academic issues. He says he went into it “a bit blind.”

At a time when the University was considering retrenchment, the laying off of tenured and non-tenured faculty, Johnson, as the chair, was flooded with questions from over 200 current ESU students.  He wanted to calm their nerves and answer any questions they had on how retrenchment would affect them.

“The best way to answer their questions was to tell them to have faith — the outcome will better us,” he said.

The University was not the only one facing conflicts at that time.

Johnson was juggling being a student with being a member of various student organizations: orientation leaders,  campus tour guides, building managers, and the Student Senate.

It was his busy schedule and a decision to prioritize everything in his personal life that caused him to resign as Chair of Academic Affairs.

“I was so strong on having a little piece of every pie [student organizations], but I had to prioritize and realize what pie I actually wanted,” he said.

And Johnson realized he does not just want a piece of Senate — he wants the whole thing.

He wants to be elected Student Senate President to “be the voice of the underdog.”

Johnson feels current leadership has presented too many opinions just within the senate chambers— he wants to hear the opinions of all 6,282 ESU students,  and not just those involved in Senate.


Student Senate Elections will be held April 21-23. Students will receive an email to cast their votes starting on Monday, April 21.

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