Student senate welcomes new co-presidents for 2025

Elliot Steeves-

Juniors Chance Korpela and Robby Swenson are now your new Student Senate co-presidents. They won the election as the only tickets running for the office on the ballot.

Both Korpela and Swenson wanted to run together after Swenson approached Korpela about the idea of serving as co-presidents. They have worked together previously as representatives for the Class of 2025.

“It was something that [Swenson] really wanted to do,” Korpela said. “I felt like if we worked together as a team, we could achieve a lot of our goals for the office.”

Swenson and Korpela plan to voice a lot of student concerns around more recent talking points on campus. Some of these include Slingshot, Cafeteria pricing, and the level of transparency between the Gustavus faculty and the student body.

“We wanted to keep [prior co-presidents] Alli Joerger and Gabe Maurer’s transparency plans intact,” Korpela said. “Transparency is important, and we want to foster it between the college and the student body.”

Swenson also indicated that the Student Senate will look at new and interesting ways to communicate with students. He cited features such as campus events and Once Upon A Potty posters as potential avenues.

Both the president-elects also want to find a new way to gain feedback from students. Because of the lack of attention currently being given to the Student Senate Google forms, Korpela and Swenson want to use the new communication ideas as a potential improvement for feedback input.

“It’s hard with thirty seats on the Student Senate, as we don’t get the full body as much as we want,” Korpela said. “People need an easier way to gain feedback from the student body.”

Swenson was adamant that there are several issues on campus that the Student Senate has yet to resolve. He was similarly passionate to Korpela about resolving issues around Caf pricing and Slingshot.

“My biggest issue is the cafeteria,” Swenson said. “With portion sizing and charging problems, it’s a system that is very open to subjectivity. It creates a lot of angst in the student body. I am also passionate about Slingshot, and I don’t want that system to be the way it is right now.”

Swenson highlighted how with Slingshot, the auto-enrollment feature includes priced credits for both athletics and arts. He has been working with Molly Yunkers, the manager of the Book Mark, to try and not charge people for those credits.

“Money is an important topic for college students,” Swenson said. “Right now, it’s too easy to add on another cost. I want people to think more. Slingshot can be a wonderful tool…[but] over half of the students in a 291 response survey indicated an overall poor view of Slingshot, whether it was dislike or extreme dislike.”
The Student Senate currently runs several outreach panels, some with President Rebecca Bergman in attendance.

Both Swenson and Korpela expressed immense gratitude for the opportunity to serve as co-presidents of the Student Senate, as well as the congratulations that it comes with.

“I am really excited about this opportunity,” Korpela said. “It’s giving me a lot of skills, and it’ll provide me with something that I’ve never seen myself doing before outside of the classroom. I am really excited to be able to relay information to students about forthcoming and potential changes at Gustavus.”

Korpela also looks forward to laying out the future for student and faculty transparency, and to looking at student feedback on what currently does and doesn’t work.

Both new co-presidents are very excited to serve the student body and look forward to all that comes with the role.

“Talk to your Student Senate representatives!” Swenson encouraged. “We want to work for you, advocate for your concerns, and work toward resolutions. We want to make sure students’ voices are heard.”

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