Section: News

Low turnover, turnout in student government elections

By Henri Gendreau

The status quo was mostly upheld Friday, March 28 as election results for Student Council and Campus Senate proclaimed a resounding “yes” to incumbents and Council veterans.
Student Council President Kevin Pan ’15 won reelection, beating out opponents Meredith Bentsen ’15 and Trevor Kirby ’16. Kirby was elected junior class president, with Madeleine Jacobs and Christiana Binkley joining him as senior and sophomore class presidents, respectively.

Rachel Black ’15 will be the vice president for academic affairs, chairing the Academic Affairs Committee, and Sarah Adrianowycz ’16 the vice president for student life, chairing the Student Life Committee. Peter Lind ’15 and Garrett Stalker ’15 will share the role of treasurer and chair of the Business and Finance Committee, Josh Wolfson ’15 will be the chair of the Housing and Dining Committee and Dan Johnson ’15 will be the chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee.

The election for the position of Campus Safety Committee chair was invalidated after it was learned that one of the candidates was not eligible, having not served on the committee before, and the incumbent, Henry Heuck ’15, failed to complete the necessary paperwork in time. Another election will be held.

Additionally, next year’s student government will include Campus Senate Co-Chair Conrad Jacober ’15, Independent Representative to Senate Alex Britt ’15, Sophomore Class Representative to Student Council Guy Bailey and to Campus Senate Saxon Justice, Junior Class Representative to Student Council Phoebe Roe and to Campus Senate Manjul Bhusal Sharma, and Senior Class Representative to Student Council Rei Mitsuyama and to Campus Senate Timothy Rosensteel.

While candidates were elected by a minority of the student body, Pan said he was surprised by the number of votes cast.
“Only about a quarter of the school voted, but honestly I was surprised that that many students voted,” he said. “I thought it was good turnout.”

According to Vice President for Student Life Chris Wright ’14, 12.37 percent of seniors voted, with 32.73 percent of juniors, 32.47 percent of sophomores and 22.42 percent of first years joining them in casting ballots.

For next year, “the biggest plan is just to increase awareness for Student Council,” Pan said. “Hopefully by increasing awareness toward Student Council we can change the culture at Kenyon and maybe future Councils can have more say when it comes to student affairs.”

“The turnout was a bit more than usual but we could always use more people’s votes,” Wright said in an email.

Besides raising awareness, Pan said he hoped next year would see Council exploring curricular changes, formulating a policy for e-cigarettes and working more with Campus Senate.
Several other positions still need to be filled. The nomination period for the Chair of Campus Safety, Communications Director of Student Council, Campus Senate Secretary and the appointed position of a representative to the Student Conduct Review Board will be held from April 1 to 8.


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