Student Senate presidential elections approach

Mel Pardock – Staff Writer

On Monday, February 28, Student Senate elections are taking place. There are two groups running for the positions of Co-Presidents – Senators Ben Forsberg and McKenzie Alders, and Ombudsperson Birgen Nelson and Former Administrative Director Delaney Bluhm. Both groups have their own ideas about how to make Gustavus a better place and serve the GAC community, and have their own purposes for running for Co-President.

Student Senate positions are ones that require a great amount of responsibility and dedication. The President has an especially essential role in the operation of the Student Senate.

Each candidate has their platform and different things they wish to do as Co-President, as well as their own ideas to help Gusties.
“The Co-President position is a huge leadership responsibility that has a significant impact on the functions of the Student Senate and, subsequently, on the well-being of the student body.

Senator Alders and I are running for this position on a platform of approachability. We believe it is our duty to lead with empathy — to make all students comfortable bringing their concerns and ideas to the Student Senate. We believe it is important that every student has a voice on campus,”

Co-President candidate Ben Forberg said.
Platforms differ from campaign to campaign.
“I am running for Student Senate Co-President because I want to give students a voice during difficult times. Delaney and I realize that students are tired and need help. Students need backing and their ideas made into reality. Delaney and I, through our years in Student Senate as well as with our other involvements, have experience implementing real, tangible aid and necessities for students. We have spent years listening to and working for students,” Co-President candidate BirgenNelson said.
While being Co-President entails much responsibility and a lot of decision making, such as selecting members of the executive board, running Senate meetings, working with the Board, and overseeing a hefty budget, it also provides the person in the position with many opportunities and the funding to make Gustavus a great place for students, as well as the ability to inform Gusties of how their resources are being put to use.

“Our goals are to help facilitate transparency between students and the Gustavus Administration, increase practice aid to students, and foster a social-justice oriented campus community. We promise to hold office hours at least once a week in the Gustie Den to hear student concerns and send updates to the Student Body on the progress we have made. Furthermore, we would like to amplify the voices of student groups on campus within the Senate Body.

We will create two delegate positions- one for Student Athletes and one for students involved in Fine Arts at Gustavus,” Nelson said.
While all people on the Student Senate as well as those running for positions make it their priority to help and inform Gusties, each campaign has different overall goals.
“Through this position I would hope to better educate the student body about the happenings of the Senate. The Student Senate is in charge of a very large sum of money that is accumulated through the student government fees that every student at Gustavus pays as part of tuition, I think that more needs to be done to ensure the student body is aware of where their money is going and what they can do to become more involved in how it is spent,” Co-President candidate McKenzie Alders said.
It’s all up to you now, Gusties. Get out there and vote on Monday! Your future is in your hands.

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