The 2012 Student Government Debates
What could be better than politics?
...Perhaps politics and ice-cream???
For those of you who aren’t interested in politics OR ice-cream, you may stop reading now.
The rest of you might be wondering: Where might one find this unique and wonderful combination of sweetness and government? The Student Government Debates!
With student government elections coming up this Friday, the YellowJacket had the opportunity to host one of the most exciting student debates in the history of LeTourneau. With six presidential candidates and three vice presidential candidates, the room was packed with eager listeners–even though a large portion of the attendees had midterms in the morning. Every candidate brought a unique perspective to the debates, but it was a pleasant surprise to see how well-qualified each candidate was. After watching the debates, I realized that every candidate will do an amazing job if elected. All that’s left is for the student body (you) to vote on Friday!
To help you out with your voting and sum up a bit of what the candidates said at the debates, here’s some of what we heard from each candidate:
A down-to-earth farm-boy from Chicago, Holmer shows a strong work ethic, and an impressive repertoire of leadership experience. During the debates, Holmer emphasized his desire for communication between school administration and the student body. One of the goals Holmer listed was his passion to help the student body understand how and why the administration makes decisions. He also emphasized that his presidency would give the students a “voice” to the administration. With a campaign motto of “2A” (Approachable and Available), it is clear that Holmer intends those goals to be met.
An athlete and a dreamer, Bonina’s friendly personality and radiant smile didn’t hide the serious drive she has to be an effector of change. With years of sports and student government experience, it is clear that Bonina has a calling and passion to be a real “team-player." She emphasized her desire to get to know the student body on a personal level–something that would allow each and every opinion to be expressed without fear of judgement. Bonina’s empathy with the student body is a clear motivator in her campaign. Her motto of “Escape the Ordinary–Go for Extrordinary” shows her passion to encourage and cultivate a positive environment around campus.
Straight from Alaska with a beard to match, Hilbish presents himself with the confidence and humility of an experienced leader. While a lot of what he said at the debate focused on solutions and answers that cut directly to the heart of various campus issues, Hilbish also demonstrated a natural wisdom to see the more subtle and complex elements of problems. With nearly seven years of diligent academic work at multiple universities, including a year of RA leadership at LeTourneau, Hilbish certainly showcased his experiential knowledge in the debate. Simple and to the point, Hilbish’s reason for running was, “because I want to serve the student body in any and every way possible”.
A fun-loving, intellectual Charles seems to exhibit a dedicated and passionate commitment to whatever life throws his way. Driven and analytical, Mosiman has clear goals in mind for presidency and spoke of the power of people to change. “Everyone has influence and resources, but the majority of people don’t fully utilize those resources.” Mosiman expressed his desire to serve the student body by empowering students, but also by communicating the needs of the students to administration. With experience in many different facets of campus leadership, Mosiman has high hopes and confidence in his abilities if elected.
Tour guide extraordinaire and a frequent appearance in chapel announcements, Hansen is well known by most of campus for his charisma and personality. During the debates, however, Hansen displayed a side of himself that many had not seen before. Not afraid to talk about spirituality or deeper issues on campus, Hansen got “real” with the audience in a refreshingly genuine fashion. Hansen also focused a lot on communication, with the idea that he might be able to make a lasting impact on campus. Servanthood is a crucial theme to Hansen’s platform, and it seemed an appropriate emphasis, given his involvement in campus life.
As PPT for Senate and as Treasurer for the Civil Engineering Club, Willard seems to live and breathe goals and motivation. In his answers to the debate questions, it was clear that Willard has already formed substantive plans to spur change on campus. Ian's primary goal was communication and sincere solutions to campus problems. Specific details of his plan included placing campus faculty into a more accessible mindset and encouraging student-faculty interaction in “out of class” situations. With improved communication between students and faculty, Willard is sure that administration will be able to make more applicable and informed decisions that benefit both the student body and the university as a whole.
Candidates for Vice-President:
A concerned senator, Carter is passionate about enacting change and making positive progress on campus. Frustrated with the lack of student empowerment, Carter expressed his desire to aid and serve the student body though relevant projects and heightened communication with the student senators.
With several years of Senate and committee experience under his belt, Lowe has used his well-rounded interests and various leadership positions to enact change on campus in ways he believes that the student body can relate to. Lowe’s primary goals include reshaping the image of Senate into something students can better understand, and being an instrument of positive change on campus.
Instilled with the belief that he can make a difference, Penner is confident that his experience as a senator and as a committee head have prepared him well for the position of Vice-President. A passion for the community and people of LeTourneau has left Penner with the desire to meet and serve the needs of the students.
The positions for LSM President, YAC President, and Treasurer were all uncontested this year. If you’d like to learn more about the candidates, feel free to click the links to visit their profiles.
All in all, the candidates did a fantastic job at the debates, and there was even the occasional element of humor thrown into their responses:
“I like to party.” -Lowe (When asked about his Friday night activities)
“Give everyone shotguns.” -Hansen (In response to finding a solution to the campus bird problem)
“Well, I do have high hopes that I’ll win.” -Steele (...uncontested people usually win.)
All of the candidates got along very well, and could be seen joking around before and after their debates. For a political event the night before major tests, I would call this year’s debates a success!
Now after reading all this, you can’t forget the most important part: make sure you go to Chapel on Friday so that you can hear the speeches and vote for your favorite candidate! While we can’t promise you any ice-cream this time around, we can certainly promise you a lot of good politics, and perhaps a motivational speech or two. See you at the polls!