This semester’s Student Government Association (SGA) Speech Night for class councils started off with SGA Vice-President Floriane Borel at the podium in the Balfour Hood atrium addressing a handful of spectators and most of the class council members.
Richard Jenkins, candidate for class president of 2015, was first to speak. This is his last re-election. He spoke to persuade the audience that he is the right choice as he has been active and has accomplished much, such as his class dinner earlier in the year and the off campus festivity, like the annual BASH. Expressing his gratitude for allowing him time, he concluded his speech, only to speak as a proxy for the next three Class of 2015 candidates: Lawrence Chan, Abigail Washington and Cara Morris.
Chan, a member of the Men’s Tennis team, believes he can contribute to his class by running for Vice President. He states that he has communication skills as he is a preceptor and feels that those skills can be applied. He also highlighted the huge success of the BASH. With that, he feels he is qualified for the VP position. His goal? To bring his class closer together by “organizing an interclass field olympics where members of each class would create teams to participate in a variety of sporting events.”
Jenkins proceeded to speak, representing Abigail Washington next, who is running for the class treasurer position. Washington has been the class treasurer for the past two years, clearly well versed at what she does. She enjoyed helping plan last year’s Spring Weekend as well as the BASH last term and wants to contribute to that again.
Following Washington’s speech was Cara Morris, represented by Jenkins. Having been the class secretary for the past two years, Morris is seeking re-election with many qualifications. Morris says that she has the communication skills needed for this position since she is the Head Resident of YMC, as well as being the head of BACCHUS, a Wheaton athletic mentor and captain of the Women’s Swimming and Diving team. The Class of 2015 concluded with Jillian Gabriel, running for class representative with Erika Prince acting as the proxy. Gabriel believes that she has the leadership skills and although has no experience with SGA, she is confident in herself and that she is the right person for the position.
Borel proceeded to introduce the candidates for the Class of 2016, Kelly Welch, Lual Charles and Olivia Edwards. Welch and Edwards, running for VP and Secretary, weren’t present and were without proxy. Current class treasurer Charles talked about his hopes for re-election, believing that he is qualified for the position as he has learned, gained exposure and has a “clear understanding” of what the job entails, saying that he has “made wise financial decisions”. With that, he returned the podium back to Borel as she introduced the candidates for the Class of 2017.
Samuel Evans, current freshman class president, began with an introduction in which he said that being class president has been an “incredible learning experience” with many success such as the Secret Santa gathering in the Meadows complex this past winter. Another enormous success was the Wheaton Talent Show, hosted at the Loft, in which several members of the Wheaton community showcased their talents for purely recreational purposes.
Evans is ambitious and has plans for the upcoming academic year as he wants to implement a sophomore advising program, as freshmen have preceptors and advisors in the first year and afterwards, less focus, which can make the transition difficult for many.
After Evans, Laura McIntyre spoke, running for class VP. “I have seen college visions come to fruition,” she said. McIntyre also said that she has seen people come together, people get closer as a result of the fruition.
“I am willing to dedicate myself to pursuits I’m interested in, such as this one”, she continues, expressing her passion she has as part of SGA. She said that she’s adequate for the position as she can work well with others as well as an individual. McIntyre “would like to execute events that don’t appeal to only one crowd, but rather attract a host of students in order to encourage a mingling and togetherness amongst peers in our class and community, through engaging events.”
The Class of 2017 class council is all running unopposed except for the Secretary position. Vying for the two spots are Will Sweet and the incumbent, Sam Hickson. With Jenkins as his proxy, Sweet said in his speech that he has “grown to love Wheaton more than I ever thought was possible” and that although the current class council has done well, he believes that it can improve even more. Sweet feels confident that he can be Secretary given his “event planning experience and fundraising efforts in previous leadership positions” in high school.
He was in charge of raising $5,500 for his high school swim team and he not only achieved that goal, but surpassed it by $500, twice. Furthermore, he claims himself to be “an efficient worker, an incredibly organized individual, and big thinker.”
Hickson spoke afterwards, expressing the attachment that he has developed for the position as well as the bonds that he has made with the current class council of 2017. “Our dynamic has already been established and I’d really like to be given another shot,” says Hickson, believing that the experience he has gained over the year gives him more of an edge than Sweet. “We are all passionate about these positions and by permitting us all re-election, we can improve our collaboration, thus helping the class as a whole!”
Lastly, Kelly Ludew addressed her desire for class council to remain the same as she believes that they work well together. Ludew believes that the “upcoming class council is unique because it represents all aspects of Wheaton culture – the arts, the academics and athletics.”
The role of class representative requires a balance of communication and acceptance of feedback and criticism from different Wheaton cultures and Ludew is confident that she can meet the needs of the cultures as she is a Wheaton Athletic Mentor, a Wheatone, and on the Women’s Track and Field team. She also hopes to further connect the class council with the Wheaton community in the upcoming year.
Speeches for other candidates running for various positions continue Monday, April 7th, 2014 in the Balfour atrium. Keep updated by following SGA on twitter @SGAWheaton. Polls open April 8th and continue into April 9th.