The 2012 Associated Students of Linfield College elections are coming up, and Linfield has three prospective candidates running for leadership positions. Junior Nic Miles is running for ASLC president, while sophomore Jennifer Derke and junior Susana Fajardo run for the position of vice president.
Miles is running unopposed for ASLC president this semester, and he said he feels he would be a good candidate because of his belief that he has “the appropriate skills, connections, experiences and mindset to serve as the representation of the student body,” he said in an email.
Since working with ASLC, Miles said he has reached a place where he feels confident in running for the highest leadership position.
“I want to climb the ladder and create a Cabinet of students who have similar goals and ambitions as myself,” Miles said.
Miles has worked as a residence life advisor on campus for Campbell Hall, music entertainment chair of LAB, ASLC club director and chairman of the Activities Council.
In addition to these leadership positions, Miles runs varsity cross-country and track for Linfield, works for the Office of College Relations, has been an Upward Bound tutor for two years and is a “contributing and enthusiastic member to Linfield’s rock and roll music scene.”
“The biggest reason that I think I am the best candidate for president [is] the well-rounded experiences and leadership roles [I] have held during the past three years,” Miles said. “With experience comes confidence.” With no one running against Miles, he feels as though that says something about his character and reputation.
During the upcoming year, Miles has many goals for the future of Linfield. Miles’ main goal is to reconnect students with ASLC.
“With the exception of the recent taxi service, which has been a tremendous success, most of our work isn’t directly visible to the students,” Miles said.
Miles wants to pursue projects that get students excited about being at Linfield and enthusiastic about the “fantastic cabinet that serves them.”
While the presidential race is all but over, the vice-presidential campaign is set for some competitio
Derke is running for vice president this semester after being a senator for the past two years.
“I enjoy working with peers in Senate and want to continue solving problems and working together,” Derke said in an email.
Along with being a senator, Derke is also a part of the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority and is their programming council member. She is also involved with the outdoor club, French club, work study and the curriculum committee.
She is a philosophy major and environmental studies and French minor.
Derke’s plans for the future include focusing on a strong unified student body voice and working together for positive outcomes. This would be done through more proclamations and attention to what students are saying and wanting.
“I am a fun person to work with and I will continue to make Senate meetings productive and enjoyable,” Derke said. “I am responsible, compassionate and creative and I bring these attributes to the environments I am in.”
Fajardo is also running for ASLC’s vice president this semester after deciding that she had the qualifications and felt that was the place for her.
“I really believe that student government, especially at Linfield, can be such a force for good,” Fajardo said. “I remember getting out of Senate meetings and feeling like we had actually made a difference. I want to be part of that again and I feel like I have a lot to offer the Senate and the student body.”
Fajardo has held other leadership positions such as being president of her Japan Adventure club and the Gay-Straight Alliance in high school.
Since coming to Linfield, Fajardo has been active in both the Senate and her sorority, Sigma Kappa Phi. During her freshman year, Fajardo was senator for the Ballroom Club, and she gave a special report last year in Senate on bringing back fall break. For the past three years, Fajardo has been the pledge class president, historian, treasurer and vice president for her sorority as well. She is currently the junior pledgemaster and co-chaplain for her sorority.
Fajardo feels she would be the best candidate for this position because of her compassion for the college.
“I truly care about Senate and about the well-being of the ASLC,“ Fajardo said. “Even when I was studying abroad I would always make sure to read Senate reports and keep as up-to-date as I could.” Fajardo makes it a priority to be well informed or become well informed when new information is presented.
Fajardo’s goals for the future are to “reconnect the Senate with the rest of the student body.” Fajardo feels as though having a smaller group, campus-wide email and stronger committees are all good things, but what makes a student government what it is, is a mouthpiece for students’ thoughts and concerns.
“Through [the mouthpiece], the student body can cause change and improve campus.” Fajardo said. She feels the foundational mission has been lost in the reconfiguration of Senate and current disconnection between senators and their constituencies.
“I want to reconnect senators with the rest of campus in order to get a real dialogue going,” Fajardo said. “Student government exists to aid and represent the student body. Student voices should be heard loud and clear.”
Fajardo is aware of the face that students are concerned about sustainability, food and a host of other issues. She believes students have the power to fix them, or at least to bring them to the attention of the college and Board of Trustees.
“Students can wield so much influence at Linfield, but sometimes we forget it,” Fajardo said. “We are the force and next year I want to make magic happen.”
Samantha Sigler/News editor
Samantha Sigler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.