ASWC elections are coming up, and the list for candidates looks a little short in some places.
When students vote for next year’s executive council on Monday, April 8, both the candidate for vice president and the candidate for finance chair are running unopposed.
Sophomore Tatiana Kaehler, the only candidate for finance chair, feels that having unopposed races is not necessarily ideal.
“In general, it’s worrisome that we have positions with a lack of interest because ASWC does make a direct impact on student on campus, and people don’t have much interest in that or don’t recognize the impact ASWC has,” she said.
She feels that ASWC has made important strides in improving communication with students this year, and hopes that continuing to inform students about the impact ASWC has on campus will encourage more students to run in future elections.
Despite having some concerns about these unopposed races, Kaehler is nonetheless optimistic about the election results
“I’m excited for our leadership next year. All the candidates are motivated and talented leaders, so we’ll do a great job no matter how the election turns out.”
Junior and current ASWC president Kayvon Behroozian is also convinced that the candidates running will do an excellent job.
“If the candidates are unopposed, they are probably the most qualified for the jobs they’ve applied for. I wouldn’t want people running just for the sake of competition,” he said. “If you were not interested enough to go through the steps to apply for the job, you’re probably not interested enough in the job. These positions are more than full-time jobs, and you have to be motivated from the beginning.”
Although Behroozian is only a junior this year, he will not be running for a second term as president, primarily because he feels that doing so would be breaking one of his campaign promises.
When he ran as a candidate for ASWC president last spring, an important part of his platform was his belief that he would make a more effective president as a junior than a senior. Behroozian believes that because seniors face additional challenges and responsibilities, like filling out applications and preparing for exams, they would likely have less time and energy to devote to the ASWC job.
“A president’s job is to represent the students on campus. It’s hard to do that when you’re looking towards your future and life post-Whitman,” he said.
Additionally, Behroozian is confident that during his term he either completed or laid the foundation for all the issues he wanted this year’s executive council to address. These issues included gaining student representation on governing boards and coordinating different groups within ASWC itself.
After the executive council elections, students will have the opportunity to participate in senate elections on Monday, April 15.
Because the senior class currently only has three senator candidates, the deadline to apply as a candidate has been extended. Seniors who still want to run for a senator position must fill out petitions with at least 20 signatures and turn it in to the ASWC office before Thursday, April 4.
Behroozian urges everyone to vote in the upcoming elections.
“People are going to keep asking, ‘What does ASWC actually do?’ For those who don’t keep up with ASWC news, just know that ASWC has done something to improve your student experience in the past year and you should care and vote,” he said.