Write-In Candidate Fills ASWC Senior Senator Position


Andy Monserud

Photo by Keifer Nace

Godwin Wang has replaced Nick Hochfeld as a senior senator on ASWC.  Wang, who garnered two write-in votes in last spring’s election, was offered the position following Hochfeld’s resignation at the beginning of the semester.

Hochfeld’s departure left ASWC with a tight schedule for replacing him as the fourth senior senator.  ASWC Oversight Chair senior Jon Miranda, in accordance with the senate’s bylaws, asked fifth-place candidate Duy Tran to take the place, but Tran declined.  Wang, the sixth-place candidate, accepted the position in time to attend the first senate meeting on Oct. 4.  He has also filled Hochfeld’s position on the Student Affairs Committee.

“Right now I’m just … [getting] some ideas for … initiatives, and discovering potential improvements around the campus,” Wang said of his work on the Senate and committee.  “I’m still on the stage of gathering ideas, so right now I don’t have any specific aims or goals.  I think I will figure it out very soon.”

As a fail-safe should both Wang and Tran refuse the position, ASWC announced in early September that they would open petitions for seniors interested in the position.  After three weeks, no candidates surfaced, despite heavy marketing via e-mail.  Fortunately, Wang’s agreement to take on the position rendered the petitions irrelevant.

“We wanted to install a senior senator as quickly as possible, and having to miss the fewest number of senates possible.  In this case we were very lucky, because we were able to have Godwin attend the very first senate meeting,” Miranda said.  “That’s why we wanted to open the election as soon as possible as well, because the election process for ASWC is … [a] four week process.”

While unconventional, Wang’s election has precedents.  As recently as 2014, senior Jack Percival took on the role of ASWC Vice-President after the elected VP resigned.  Percival had taken second place in the election with 66 votes despite never announcing his candidacy.  Miranda expressed his satisfaction that all bylaws had been followed.

“I think Godwin’s a great guy.  I’ve known him for several years, and I have no doubt that he’ll be a great senior senator,” he said.  “So I definitely have zero reservations about him being in the position.  There’s four duly-elected senators, and so I’m pleased.”

Wang says he had never given much thought to joining ASWC prior to the recent proceedings.  While he’s still getting into the swing of working on ASWC, he shares Miranda’s optimism.

“I had some experience in high school as part of the student government.  So I think that this position is actually very interesting,” Wang said.  “There was an opportunity, so I thought, ‘why not?’”

As a Chinese international student, Wang hopes that his work on ASWC will galvanize other international students to follow his lead.

“I think this opportunity for me is also a good opportunity for all international students to participate more in the school’s activities [and] affairs,” Wang said.  “So I think it’s a rewarding experience, and that’s why I decided to accept the position.”

Sophomore ASWC senator and Nominations Chair AnnaMarie McCorvie also expressed the belief that Wang brings something new to the table.

“It’s really hard to find seniors who have never been on ASWC before and that are fully capable … but he’s really great.  He asks really great questions.” McCorvie said.  “I think that it’s going to be great to have a kind of non-ASWC voice.  You know, sometimes the senior delegation is full of ‘ASWC people;’ people who are entrenched in it. I think it’s going to be nice.”

Wang’s two electoral supporters, seniors Ryan Wallis and Mateo Seger, expressed extreme confidence in Wang’s ability to govern.

“I really hope that everyone realizes Godwin’s true potential and true worth, and they just make [Godwin] decide everything.  It really would be in the interest of everybody if Godwin were just in charge,” Seger said.  “Sometimes we may not understand everything Godwin does, but Godwin works in mysterious ways.”