By Carolina Lumetta
Due to Wheaton’s campus closure, the current Student Government (SG) cabinet passed proposals to amend the constitution and allow for virtual campaigning and elections, and on April 9 the polls closed on this first all-online student election season. Candidates shared their campaign platforms on social media, and they recorded speeches which were sent to the student body through email and posted on SG’s YouTube channel. Student Body President Sarah Yoon and Vice President Nat Lewis also moderated candidate interviews in place of in-person Q&A sessions. Students cast their ballots via email forms, a normal aspect of the voting process that remained unchanged from previous years on campus.
“We resonate with the challenge and difficulty for our candidates to engage with the student body in a genuine yet virtual manner,” Yoon said. “It has been a hard balance in encouraging engagement with the entire student body while not wanting to overwhelm and flood students with notifications, but we have also heard that the correspondence regarding the SG candidates has been well-received.”
Due to a lack of applications, there were no junior class co-president candidates, and the incoming cabinet will vote to appoint students to these positions. 1,084 students voted this year, a lower turnout than last year. “My opinion is that this is due to a combination of the effects of campus displacement and the fact that last year’s race was particularly contentious,” Lewis said.
Decisions are still being made by the current cabinet on how to conduct training and the “Passing of the Gavel” ceremony for the newly elected board. “I’m very excited for the training and mentorship the new board will receive,” Yoon said. She plans to reach out to all newly elected candidates immediately to begin that process.
The Record reached out to the new student leaders and asked what they would like to tell the student body at this time about their campaign or upcoming service.
Student Body President and Vice President
Estefanía Hernández (’21) & Daniel Ju (’21)
“With or without a title, our calling does not change. Each one of us is a member and heir of a kingdom unlike any other and each plays a uniquely integral part of its manifestation here on earth. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to represent and serve with you. Our pursuit of higher education and of vocation is incomplete without each other. Now more than ever I recognize that we as a body are not designed to live in isolation. We thrive not alone, but rather, in community. Daniel and I are excited to learn and grow alongside you so that together, we can embody unity without mistaking it for uniformity, reconciliation without falling into complacency and justice without ever being remiss of grace.”
“I am thrilled that the movement for kingdom diversity at Wheaton has your support, and I am privileged to have a role in that vision alongside each of you. May the Holy Spirit dwell richly in all of us and bring our campus community closer together as we weather this pandemic. As I plan in anticipation of seeing your beautiful faces again next year, I look forward to listening to the chorus of your voices and serving your needs in my humble capacity.”
EVP of Academic Affairs
Mason Laney (’23)
“Wheaton College is a place like no other, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to serve the student body over this coming year. It is truly a blessing from God. Please feel free to reach out to me, whether you have ideas or concerns. I’m here to listen, and I’d love to hear from you.”
EVP of Campus Sustainability
Emma Riddle (’21)
“I am honored for this opportunity to serve as the third-ever EVP of campus sustainability on the SG board. The only thing that matches my passion for creation care is my passion for people, and I cannot wait to work together with peers, faculty and staff while engaging with the student body to spark growth on campus and hopefully strengthen Wheaton’s stewardship capabilities.”
EVP of College Life
Connor Woodin (’23)
“I am so excited that Wheaton has elected me to serve the student body. I’m ecstatic and cannot wait to get to work and to hear your input.”
EVP of Community Diversity
Alyssa Miller (’21)
“It will be an honor and a privilege to serve as your executive vice president of community diversity next school year. To know that you all believe in me to help foster kingdom diversity on our campus means the world. Going into my final year, I want to create positive change not only for myself and current students, but also for all those who will be coming next semester, next year and all the years to come. Let’s move forward with harmony, humility and unity.”
EVP of Global Engagement
Cadi Clark (’22)
“Thank you for your support. I look forward to bringing the different families in Wheaton together in Christ.”
EVP of Student Care
Amelia Miller (’23)
“Thank you to everyone who invested in this year’s SG elections. Engaging with candidates was very different than it has been in the past, but I have appreciated your willingness to listen and interact with me. I am so excited to celebrate with and care for you when we can be together as a student body once again. Student care is going to be an integral part of strengthening our community during the next few weeks, months and years, and I am honored to be a part of the team.”
EVP of Technology and Finance
Brett Bauman (’22)
“Thank you so much for your support, and I look forward to serving you as EVP of tech and finance in the fall. I am excited to advocate for your needs to the administration, to work to create innovative solutions and to help prepare you for the vocations you will enter after Wheaton. I want to always be accessible and transparent, so if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. May God bless you and keep you as we all finish this semester.”
Sophomore Class Co-Presidents
Laurel Kruse & Drew McMillan
Laurel: “Thank you so much for this opportunity. We couldn’t be more grateful you chose us to serve as your presidents. We couldn’t be more honored for this opportunity to represent the class of 2023, and we want to make this year meaningful to you. We are committed to being accessible, intentional and meaningful in all the events that we plan, meetings we attend and conduct and in every conversation we have as presidents. We are committed to love and serve you well this year.”
“Thank you all so much for choosing us to represent the class of 2023 as your presidents. I can’t wait to walk alongside you and serve you as a fellow believer. I know this is going to be a fun year and a time that we can all grow together in our careers and in our walks with Christ.”
Senior Class Co-Presidents
Nathan Früh & Natalie Kral
“I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as the senior class co-president. I want to not only help unify the senior class, but to create an environment that includes all student groups on campus and eliminates exclusiveness.”
“We are so excited to serve you this coming year in SG. We can’t wait to come back together with you all and make sure all of your voices are heard. We would love to hear from you all about your expectations for the coming year.”
All photos courtesy of student candidates.