Catching up with Student Senate

In the recent Student Senate Cabinet elections, the leadership of Student Senate was elected with promises of change and innovation.

After three enthusiastic campaigns and a democratic election, William Jewell College Student Senate election results were released April 18. The new cabinet is junior political science major Drew Novak as president, sophomore nursing and applied critical thought and inquiry major Luce-Virlynn Apollon as vice president, first-year mathematics, economics and physics major Jacob Dice as treasurer and first-year Oxbridge major Chris Choe as secretary.

This year’s voting differed from the last. In 2016, there was a primary election followed by a runoff. Voting in 2017 required ranking the three cabinets in a single vote. 555 students voted in the 2016 primary and 534 students voted in the 2016 runoff, but only 499 students voted in the 2017 election.

“Campaigning this time around was very different from last year,” said Apollon. She will be transitioning from being Senate’s treasurer to the vice president. In comparing the two election experiences, she determined that the 2017 election brought out more effort, interaction and competition than the last year’s.

“It’s probably the only public democratic process we have on campus,” said Apollon. “It was a fun change of pace.”

While Apollon and Novak have served on Senate and cabinet before, this cabinet will bring in new faces to Student Senate. The elected treasurer and secretary are excited to provide innovative ideas to this new experience.

“I’m most looking forward to representing my peers in the upcoming year” said Choe. “I hope to create efficient and positive communication between the students and faculty here at Jewell, and work to improve daily student life. I can’t wait to help move Jewell forward.”

Treasurer Dice is aiming for financial efficiency through innovation, which may affect campus economy as a whole.

“I believe taking inventory of our human capital and enabling our organizations to be more efficient is paramount to my position as treasurer,” said Dice. “Practically, this means I will be taking a look at our digital communications, and show how they play a role on our campus. Then, I will focus on using Senate as a tool for better serving our campus utilizing not only finances but utilizing all of our capital.”

Dice also wants to increase access and transparency within the Senate’s budget.

“Currently, [the budget] is not the most visible,” said Dice. “I hope to create an easy to find document that students can reference as a report of what Student Senate has funded.”

Promises of policy change were major campaign leverages during the recent election. However, these changes will not come about effortlessly since serving as the liaison between students and the administration is no easy task.

“I think there are a plethora of challenges that we are inheriting,” said Novak. “In particular, I think we’re going to have to confront how best to approach the conversations on the alcohol policy and the expression board.”

The new cabinet is confident in their ability to live up to their campaign platform and advocate for student voices as they declare progress will be made.

“Students will definitely see some sort of change to the alcohol policy,” said Apollon. “Our newly elected cabinet has the possibility to make long lasting change which will change not only the alcohol policy but the alcohol culture at Jewell.”

While the cabinet is excited about taking over for Senate, they have much appreciation for the hard work of the current cabinet.

“The current cabinet has achieved so much and put our cabinet in position to achieve much more,” said Novak.

The new cabinet will be sworn in May 1, and president Zak Carroll will step down.

“If I was to provide one piece of advice and guidance for this next cabinet and Senate, it would be to increase knowledge of what Senate does and to work with the Hilltop Monitor on having a weekly report of Senate’s actions” said Carroll. “I do not think that students are aware of the significant work Senate does, from working with Dr. MacLeod Walls, Dr. Dema and the Trustees, to leading the charge on greater awareness of Title IX rights and reporting procedures, such as in our campus wide poster campaign and increasing the degree to which this is known, and appreciated, by the student body will be crucial to continue the multi year revival of Senate’s importance.”

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