NICOLE HASEK, TRUMPET NEWS WRITER
Connor Moore, second-year political science and history double major, and Olivia Hobson, second-year pre-medicine and biology major, are Wartburg student body president and vice president elect respectively. After a 65.63% victory announced via the Juice on Thursday, February 11, Moore and Hobson spoke with the Wartburg Trumpet about their platform and plans for the 2021-22 academic year.
Why did each of you decide to run for Student Senate, and why did you decide to run together?
Moore: For me, it’s kind of been a buildup for a long time, I’ve always been involved in student councils, student governments throughout high school. That was the first thing I joined here at Wartburg, I just had a really big passion for it. That’s kind of why I ran, it’s always just been my thing.
Hobson: I’ve always been interested in Student Senate and the different things that you can accomplish as a senator and especially in a leadership position within Senate. I’ve been super interested in continuing to grow in the organization and really taking on the new leadership experiences.
Moore: When I approached Olivia about running together, it was kind of spontaneous in the sense that I knew she was super passionate about Senate, super hard working and involved in multiple different organizations around campus. So I felt like it was a really good fit.
Hobson: I think that we have a lot of the same goals and ideas, and Connor is just so hard working and dedicated that it really made sense to work as a team.
How did you feel after voting closed and before the results were announced?
Moore: Waiting for that call was kind of difficult because we didn’t know if we would receive it that night or if it would be the next day. I was just trying to occupy myself with schoolwork, when really it wasn’t working out too well, it just kept occupying my mind. But during that phone call I was literally breathless, something I’ve been working towards my entire time here at Wartburg, so it was a big moment.
Hobson: It was definitely nerve-wracking to wait, but the phone call was super exciting, and I think we were both really grateful for the outcome.
What campaigning do you think helped you the most?
Moore: Mainly talking one on one with students I think is the biggest thing, and trying to have conversations about not just our campaign, and what we see are the main issues, but really about what students see as the issues with the school. Main topics they want to see addressed, I think that’s the biggest thing for sure.
Hobson: Those one-on-one conversations really helped us to be able to reach out to students we might not normally talk to on a daily basis, and really understand some of their concerns, some of their questions, and connect with them on a different level. Rather than just a social media post, which we are so grateful for all of that support on social media, but those conversations really were exciting and helpful to us.
You’ve said your ”big three” are improving communication between students, building creative connections and modernizing the Senate’s image. Can you go into how you will do these things, starting with communication.
Hobson: With communication, we believe that Senate can be used as a tool for the student body. In order to use it as a tool, there has to be that communication system between Student Senate, student body and the administration. We think by bolstering that relationship and those connections, we can really see improvement and see more understanding of what Senate does, some of those issues, and really help to improve how people understand what’s going on within Senate.
Moore: One of the biggest vital roles of communication is the senator to its constituency. Right now we feel that we want to increase competition through a bunch of different avenues, like increasing media outlets within Senate, and making sure the senators are working hard for their constituencies to make sure that they’re understanding what big decisions are being made and how they could affect every student here on campus. I think there’s so many different venues you can go, whether it’s with the Trumpet, or other media outlets here on campus. We really just want to work hard to improve those communication lines. Also, I think bringing in administrators into full Senate and having them explain to the students what their actual roles here on campus are. That’s really vital into understanding how the campus is actually run and how many moving parts there are to this. Just trying to be that bridge between administration and the student body.
How will you build creative connections?
Hobson: This year has been such a different year for the entire student body, especially first-year students with COVID-19 and different restrictions that had to obviously take place this year. We’d really like to help first-year students, and any student affected by these different measures we’ve had to take, have the opportunity to connect with other students. Whether that be through events funded by Senate, in accordance with guidelines. In addition, we’d like to work with different organizations on campus, like Entertainment ToKnight, to sponsor those events and really help students have the opportunity to meet people and make those connections that make the Wartburg experience so great.
How do you plan to modernize the Senate’s image?
Moore: Revitalization is really what we touched on earlier, of increasing competition within Senate, and I think that’s done through social media and just an outreach. Trying to reach the student body and create avenues for senators to really get involved in interacting with their constituencies. Also, having the student body have direct lines of access to us. We think a new revitalization of increase in videos and digital media campaigns to where it might increase interest from incoming first-years into what Senate can really do. For me, Senate has really changed my life in so many different ways and given me so much opportunity that I really want to push that down and give opportunity elsewhere.
What other goals and plans do you have to benefit the Wartburg community?
Moore: One of our biggest things is we want to do more sexual assault prevention training within Senate. My first year we did that, so we want to continue that. Also providing access for organizations to really use us as a tool. That was one of the big main ideas, we’re here to be that resource for everyone to take off and progress within their clubs or organizations. Just making sure there’s that understanding that people can come to us for assistance, whether it’s funding, ideas, or whatever it might be.
How will you approach the upcoming school year with all the uncertainty COVID-19 brings?
Moore: That’s one thing where the communication between administration and Senate is vital so we can get that information out to the student body. It’s about adapting to the changing circumstances and how fluid it can be. COVID-19 has just created such an issue and uncertainty all the time of what’s really happening. As more information comes out, things tend to change with regulations, so we’re just going to handle it to be as adaptable as we can. Just working with everyone here on campus to figure out what needs to be done and how we can best serve. If for instance, this next year was the same as this year, and serving on the executive team this year, I’ve definitely seen how we’ve adapted so much. A full Senate moving to all online just seeing the current executive team work so quickly, it’s amazing to see how quickly things can change. I think when it comes time we’re going to be ready for those changes. Hopefully it is in person, I think that’s what everyone is hoping for. This next summer will be a big telling point for us, and just talking with administration throughout it all will be big.
Hobson: Being adaptable, flexible and really listening to student concerns or ideas would definitely highlight going into next year.
Do you have anything else to add about the election or your platform?
Moore: We’re glad the campaign is over. We’re super excited to step into these roles and just super excited to move Senate forward and see how we can leave a lasting impression.
Hobson: We’re so grateful for all of the support that we’ve seen…We really hope to be the leaders that we’re promising to be throughout the campaign and get started to help the student body.