On Monday, the Student Life Committee announced the candidates for this year’s Student Council election. Across the 11 positions that students can vote for, there are 20 candidates in the running, and six of the positions are contested. There are three candidates campaigning for Student Council president: Marissa Sun ’25, Peter Haas ’25 and Cameron Cupar ’24.
The Student Council president primarily acts as a liaison between the student body and the College’s administration, particularly the College president and the vice president for student affairs. The Student Council president also oversees Council meetings and its committees. Sun currently serves on Student Council as the sophomore class president, while Haas is a member of Campus Senate and previously headed the First-Year Class Committee. Although not a current member of Student Council, Cupar formerly served on the Business and Finance Committee and is the current alumni relations chair of Delta Tau Delta (Delts).
Apart from sophomore class president, Sun holds other leadership positions within several student organizations on campus such as POCapella, Kenyon Asian Identities, the Environmental Campus Organization (ECO) and the Buildings, Grounds and Sustainability Committee. Her campaign is running on four planned contributions to campus: improving transparency regarding the College’s carbon neutrality plans, increasing testing for health and safety concerns in residential spaces, advocating for more funding regarding accommodations for religious or dietary restrictions and continuing the efforts of current Student Council President Ubongabasi Asuquo ’23 to create a laundry grant.
In her campaign statement, Sun referenced the importance of student advocacy and the role of the student body president in facilitating communication. She also mentioned that the four steps within her campaign are not an exhaustive list of contributions she intends to make on campus. “There are concerns my peers continue to bring to me that I will also focus on,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Sun’s social media further described her perspective on the position. “Change like this is not easy — constantly advocating for students’ needs and improving our shared experience here takes time, dedication and continued passion,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
Haas has focused his campaign on mitigating costs for students, prioritizing methods of change which do not raise expenses for the student body unless necessary. He stated that he intends to focus Student Council’s time and commitment toward attainable goals, rather than issues that are out of the Council’s control.
Similar to Sun, Haas’ campaign stresses the importance of taking an active role in student leadership. “I will never take a passive role when addressing problems and improvements within Kenyon,” Haas wrote in an email to the Collegian. Haas also referenced his prior experience in Campus Senate, Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKEs), and the Kenyon men’s basketball team as preparing him to work effectively within the role of student body president, and as evidence of his active contributions to campus.
Student advocacy is an important issue for Haas’ campaign. “I am not running to promote the changes that I would like to see,” he said. “Rather, I will be an effective advocate for what students want.”
Cupar is the only rising senior among the three candidates, and his campaign lists four primary contributions he intends to make on campus. Along with improving the cleanliness of residential spaces, increasing the variety of food offered at Peirce Dining Hall and providing additional spaces for social engagement and nightlife, Cupar also stressed the importance of expanding mental health awareness and resources on campus, as his own experiences with ADHD and OCD have influenced his passion toward destigmatizing conversations around mental health. “The first step in solving the problem is opening up the conversation,” he said in an interview with the Collegian.
Like Sun and Haas, Cupar strongly believes in the importance of student advocacy and in representing the voice of the student body. “The number one thing that comes to mind with all [Kenyon students] is passion,” he said. “When I look at student body president in particular, I think that is the leading way to be able to represent the voice of the student body.”
Cupar’s social media posts further emphasize his passion for community engagement and improving quality of life at Kenyon, highlighting other students who have endorsed his campaign.
“I love the people [at Kenyon] at the end of the day,” Cupar said. “That’s why I came. That’s why I’ve stayed. That’s why I love it.”
The voting form for Student Council elections will be sent to students on Monday and will remain open until midnight on Wednesday. More information about the candidates is available on the Kenyon website.