VYING FOR STUDENT VOTES: SENATE HOPEFULS PARTICIPATE IN ELECTION DEBATES

Brett Kelting and Darren Kilpatrick (right) are running for Student Body vice president and president against Yusra Malik and Emma Williams (below). Grace Greving and Jordan Flaherty are running unopposed for recorder and treasurer, respectively. Students will vote via email for the positions on Tuesday, Feb. 11. – Silvia Oakland/TRUMPET

NATHAN STEPHANY, TRUMPET STAFF WRITER

Six Wartburg students took to the debate floor to explain why each should become the chosen representatives and leaders of the Wartburg student body for the 2020-21 school year. Students and faculty filled the room to watch two competing tickets of candidates for president and vice president go head-to-head with competing policies and ideas of how best to tackle campus issues.

Presidential candidate Yusra Malik, a third-year neuroscience and Spanish major, ran alongside third-year Emma Williams, a graphic design and art double-major. Also running is Darren Kilpatrick, a third-year biochemistry major running for the presidency, with third-year Brett Kelting, an accounting and business administration major, running for vice president.

“We cannot effectively serve the student body without hearing and acting upon the voice of our peers,” Malik said in her opening statements. “We will work toward one common goal: to listen, hear and support the student body to always ensure change and inclusivity are always present on our campus.”

Opening statements set the stage for a civil debate that focused largely on campus policies of diversity and inclusivity, student safety and issues of communication, including the complicated idea of what free speech means on a college campus.

During the student question segment of the debate, candidates were asked about specific policies and plans regarding campus safety.

“This is a term of acceptance we’re looking at,” Kilpatrick said. “With increased integration, beginning with freshmen, we need to let them know what expectations and resources are when they come to troubling circumstances and to inform them of our culture on campus, which includes acceptance.

Wartburg is also shockingly lacking in lights and cameras on campus. We simply don’t have cameras outside. Campus is incredibly dim and I think we need lights that are absolutely vital.”

The four candidates also had the opportunity to talk about policies and devotion to the position when questioned about involvement in other campus activities.

Running unopposed for recorder is second-year Grace Greving, an actuarial science and graphic design double-major, and running for treasurer is third-year Jordan Flaherty, a business administration and accounting double-major.

At the debates, both talked about previous experiences and answered a few questions about the future of each position. When the debates were concluded after closing statements, each ticket had the opportunity to talk about points that had not been brought up during the initial debate or question segments.

“The experience we have on the leadership team, on the student senate executive team is unmatched, so we’ll be able to adapt and change and implement new ideas,” Williams said. “It’s clear that diversity and inclusion and Title IX issues are all very prevalent to students on the campus. Being two females on this campus, we are completely open to discussing all of those and are open to new ideas from our senators and students body.”

“We have a lot of different values,” Brett Kelting, said. “We want to set up a lot of opportunities for students, like an open forum, working to communicate with the faculty and students about what their main focuses are going forward in college.”

Wartburg students will vote in the elections via email on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

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