This week, the Wartburg Student Senate gave those contending for its elected positions a chance to debate their issues and present their plans.

Six Wartburg students took to the debate floor to explain why they should be the candidates chosen to represent and lead the student body for the next school year. The debate was open to any students and faculty who wished to see the candidates explain their plans for the campus in depth.

The two competing presidential tickets were made up of presidential candidate Darren Kilpatrick and vice presidential candidate Brett Kelting, running against presidential candidate Yusra Malik and her vice candidate, Emma Williams. Issues brought up included campus safety and free speech among others.

“It’s important that we value what everyone has to say, but it’s also very important that we value our students’ safety on campus, as well,” Malik said. “Some speech can be hurtful to students on campus, and we need to ensure that we are putting students’ safety first. We need to make sure that students feel like they belong here on campus.”

“We as an institution pride ourselves that Wartburg is home for so many of our students,” Malik added. “Wartburg can’t be home if they don’t feel safe.”

Candidates also got the opportunity to present more specific policies they believe would better campus life.

“Going with security and safety of our students, Wartburg is shockingly lacking in lights and cameras on campus,” Kilpatrick said. “It is incredible how much like vandalism or something occurs with safety of students, and it’s not caught on camera because we just simply don’t have cameras outside. And also, late at night, our campus is incredibly dim and I think that lights are absolutely vital.”

Current student senate treasurer, Jordan Flaherty, and secretary, Grace Greving, both ran unopposed. After the debate, both teams of candidates believed they had represented their cases well. Kilpatrick and Kelting emphasized a need for more communication, while Malik and Williams discussed the importance of tangible goals for the future student body.

“We have a lot of different values,” said Kelting. “We want to set up a lot of different things for students. Especially working toward an open forum where people can communicate with professors, faculty, presidents, other student leaders really about what their main focuses are and going forward with that at Wartburg College.”

“We actually have actionable, realistic steps and goals that we can carry on throughout if we are elected,” Williams said. “I think a big thing is just looking at the long-term plans, and I know that we’ve reiterated it a lot, but our long-term plans are so important to us because not only is this current student body important to us, but the student bodies to come are also incredibly important to really continue to foster a positive environment on our campus.”

The Wartburg student body will make their decision on Tuesday, February 11th.

The full debate can be viewed online from Knight Vision News on our YouTube or Facebook pages.



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