ASLC candidates present campaign goals
While last year’s Associated Students of Linfield College election was marked by a two-point margin, this year’s election, which will take place 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 9, features a write-in candidate, transfer student and the usual Greek-affliated applicants. Here’s a look at what they have to offer:
Junior ASLC presidential candidate Shelby Simmons said she views running in this election as an opportunity to give back to the college and its students.
“I thought that Linfield has let me do so much and be involved in so much that I want to be able to do that for other students as well, and I want to be the voice of Linfield,” Simmons said.
In her freshman year, Simmons was the Memorial Hall president. She said the position and the girls in her hall are the reasons she is involved in campus activities.
Since then, she has become a member of Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority and occupied various positions, including campus relations chair and alumnae chair, within that organization.
But Simmons’ leadership doesn’t end in her sorority. She is also the ASLC Cabinet secretary, an admissions office ambassador and founder of the Pre-Law Club.
Simmons places a high priority on student participation, and promoting student involvement is one of her campaign goals.
“I feel like we need more school spirit,” she said. “It’s small, but something that can be done. I don’t want a goal that I know there’s no way I can change.”
In addition to fostering involvement, Simmons said her goals are to represent the students and be approachable.
“I think I would be a very strong president and would lead to the best of my ability for the people, for the students,” she said.
Junior Colin Jones is a write-in presidential candidate, but it’s not because he was lazy turning in the paperwork. Jones had planned on graduating
early to pursue an internship in Washington, D.C.
“Often times what you see at Linfield are the same people in leadership positions,” Jones said, adding that he wanted to give other students, who may not already be as involved, a chance to run.
But when he discovered after the application deadline that there would only be one candidate for presidnet, he said he decided to run to prevent an unopposed election and encourage lively debates.
“That [internship] was on the table for me, and I decided that this was a more important and more valuable opportunity,” Jones said.
Because of his write-in status, Jones’ name will not be on the ballot. Students who wish to vote for him must type his name into the ballot box.
One of Jones’ campaign goals is to enhance ASLC Cabinet responsiveness and accountability by creating a feedback loop between it and the student body.
He also said he will encourage diverse student leadership, which he described as hiring young students and students from all walks of campus life to leadership positions.
“As far as I’m concerned, the ASLC Cabinet should reflect the student body in its makeup,” Jones said.
Another of Jones’ campaign goals is to be a strong student voice to the faculty and administration. He said he is no stranger to representing student interests. Jones sits on the Linfield College Planning Council and the dean of students search committee, which he said provides him with experience interacting with faculty and sharing student views.
“The faculty is highly unresponsive to the student perspective,” Jones said. “That is the biggest student concern: that a lot of times, the faculty and administration don’t take into account student interests.”
He added that working toward student-faculty compromises is important because a meaningful education is lost when faculty are not accountable to the student body.
Junior Sarah Spranger said her interest in running for ASLC vice president stems from a love of being involved and interacting with people.
Spranger worked as a student representative for the superintendent in her high school days, and she said this position gave her experience with future-planning and working with the school board, faculty parents and students.
At Linfield, Spranger, a member of Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, served as the 2009 Panhellenic president, during which time she helped create and maintain the Greek Safety Patrol.
“I previously come from serving as Panhellenic president, and I want to extend my horizons and be there for both Greeks and non-Greeks,” she said.
This desire to assist and represent a variety of students contributes to a personal motivation for Spranger.
“For me, there’s nothing more rewarding than having something completed that’s beneficial not only for yourself but for a lot of people,” Spranger said. “I think that I have a lot of dedication and passion, and when I’m given a task, I follow through with it, and you can count on it.”
If elected, Spranger said she hopes to streamline Senate to enhance its effectiveness and encourage a dynamic environment. Some ideas she said she has for bolstering its success are to use the new Riley 201 teleconference system, incorporate PowerPoint presentations in Senate and on the ASLC Web site and evaluate committees’ strengths and weaknesses.
Other campaign goals of Spranger’s include generating campus-wide awareness of Senate, being a strong representative for students and encouraging active listening.
“It sounds kind of hokey, but being an active listener is really important,” Spranger said.
In addition, Spranger said she intends to address campus concerns such as getting Linfield’s name on the map and investigating the college’s supposed promise of an improved athletic gym.
Since transferring from Oregon State University last spring, sophomore vice presidential candidate Katie Patterson has discovered many openings for campus improvement.
“I am running for vice president of ASLC because I see it as an opportunity to make positive changes to Linfield through our Senate, which represents the student body,” she said in an e-mail. “I hope to encourage underclassmen to become involved in Linfield, even if in a small way.”
In high school, Patterson was Associated Student Body president. She has carried her leadership aspirations to Linfield, where she is a Resident Advisor for Hewitt Hall. Running for vice president is another opportunity to apply her abilities, she said.
“I feel like this is a time to learn and use my skills as a leader and communicator to help our school in a positive way,” Patterson said in an e-mail.
Patterson said her campaign goals are to unite, encourage and accomplish. For instance, she said she hopes to see more clubs. She also said that she would make it a long-term goal for the Cabinet to cultivate awareness of ASLC on campus.
But the biggest problem facing campus, Patterson said, is advertising and establishing more work-study opportunities.
“Working with the Board of Trustees will help with this,” she said in an e-mail.
Managing editor Kelley Hungerford can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org