Yesterday, the student body elected eight student leaders who each campaigned over the past few weeks to cast their vision for Wheaton College in the coming year.
Junior Joshua Fort and sophomore Morgan Jacob will be leading the student government board as president and vice president, winning the popular vote over Emily Willson and Moriah Nacionales-Tafoya.
Fort said of his running mate, “There is no one else I would consider spending next year working with or that I trust more to run SG meetings.” The pair’s promises to the student body for the coming year include three principles: to engage with the student body and administration, enhance existing policies and establish a place where ideas can be created and debated.
Fort has served the past two years as EVP of Community Diversity, and Jacob served this year as EVP of College Life. According to the team, being returning members gave them the knowledge of how school policies are enacted and how they will interact with administration as advocates of student interests. By contrast, Willson and Nacionales- Tafoya would have been newcomers to SG, and used this as a unique facet of their campaign, as those who would understand what it is like to be outside of SG.
Current vice president junior Wyatt Harms, who has helped oversee elections, said that one of the difficulties for SG at the beginning of this year was the lack of documentation from past years.
“I really hope that people read up on history and do their homework on the context of SG,” said Harms. He stated that he hopes that the board this year will be able to “shorten the learning curve” by casting a long-term vision through the legacy they are leaving.
In their campaign speeches on Tuesday evening, Fort and Jacob presented a vision for the coming year that includes snack nights, open meetings, social media updates and more leadership and brainstorming training for members of student government.
Behind the president and vice president stand six elected executive vice presidents (EVPs), each of whom lead a committee devoted to the effective running of the college.
Junior Iskar Smith, incoming EVP of College Life, introduced his platform by repeating the quote that, “In any unit, the least important person is the leader.”
Smith’s key words innovate, integrate and ignite revolve around the idea of leadership as servant hood.
Returning EVP of Student Care junior Alyssa Vukelich plans to continue initiatives begun this year, launch a series that expands on the “Living Room Series” and begin other projects. Ideas she put forward include a space or support group for students of divorced parents and a testing center where students can go to make up exams without the need of professors to come in at other times to proctor them.
Freshman Tramaine Kaleebu won a close race for EVP of Community Diversity, using her background in a multicultural upbringing to push for a “broader worldview” and more “creative approach” when it comes to diversity at Wheaton.
She stated that her aim for the coming year is to make the campus “one in community, sprit and the body of Christ.”
Sophomore Drew Chambers will continue in the footsteps of Abigail Canfield as EVP of Educational Policies, the student voice in the process of forming Christ at the Core, the general education model that will launch this coming fall. Chambers presented the concept of Student Academic Panels, or SAPs: panels designed to be liaisons between students and their departments.
Freshman John Holmes will step into the newly formed role of EVP of Finance and Technology. In addition to chairing multiple committees and managing the SG budget, Holmes stated that he plans to “fix the email system,” decreasing the number of emails students receive daily at Wheaton.
There will be a run-off election for EVP of Global Engagement between finalists sophomore Erica Elzey and junior Tyler Garrett. Elzey emphasized the importance of a wholistic approach to study abroad, while Garrett spoke about reaching out to international students. Both candidates would like to add to the current foreign language departments.
Fort expressed gratitude to the student body for their support in the election.
“We’re excited to see where God takes us as we serve the student body for the rest of this year and throughout the next,” Fort said.