The Student Senate Elections to vote for the Student Body President and Vice President for the 2019 school year has been scheduled for Tuesday, January 29. Kohawks can vote for their candidate of choice between 8am and 8pm that day. Cosmos sat down with the three candidate pairs who are running for the elections on three different occasions so as to let the Coe Community know the candidates better, their inspirations to run for the respective positions and aspirations for the school year of 2019.
Constance & Riley
Constance Schlitter (‘20) and Riley Fonck (‘20) see themselves as any other Kohawk facing the same struggles and similar experiences that most students can relate to. By running for these positions they feel that they can make an impact in the Coe Community on a great level. Having been involved in a number of activities within and outside school and experiencing all facets of Student Government, the pair have realized that the voice of every student actually matters, including themselves. The pair aims on making college a good experience for all Kohawks.
The pair believes that keeping the walkways better lit would be one way to make the college safer while increasing the diversity in dining options would help make international and students from diverse cultural background feel more ‘at home’. Having acquired the Coe experience for over two years, they feel well aware of the areas that needs attention on campus, one of them being the residence halls and the other, sustainability. They are passionate on making the campus more eco-friendly. With their relations with Coe’s faculty and staff on a personal level, they believe they can act as a bridge between the students, faculty and staff so that students can get more opportunities which they believe is a right of every Kohawk on campus. Fonck stated that the first thing they would do if they get elected would be to call each other and scream in joy after which she would send “literally 40 emails about what to do next.”
Mary & Rob
Student Body President and Vice President candidates Mary McCormick (‘20) and Robert Davis (‘20) are vying for votes from the Coe student population for two reasons: they want to make Coe a better place for everyone, and they firmly believe that they can do that. “We are running for these positions because we want to solve problems,” said McCormick. “Not just problems we face, but problems everyone on campus deal with every day.”
Some of the major issues Mary and Rob want to address as President and Vice President include the lack of handicap accessibility to all buildings on campus, not enough support for survivors of rape and sexual violence on campus, and the lack of awareness of the different programs Coe offers its students. “Coe has a ton of great programs in place to help students through daily life,” said Davis. “The issue is that many of them have stigmas around them, and therefore do not get a lot of appreciation: things like AAP and Security escorting students to and from campus have very few positive interactions with students. We want to change that.”
The main step in de-stigmatizing those things, according to the duo, is in promoting the positives those programs bring to campus. Along with that, they want to be advocates for sexual assault survivors. For example, instead of just following the Title IX court-like process, they believe Coe should bring back more healing-oriented processes that put the survivors’ mental and emotional health first. “In my experience, survivors are not immediately presented with resources to help them emotionally heal,” said McCormick. At the end of the day, Mary and Rob just want to empower the students of Coe. “There are a lot of people on campus with great ideas, and it is important we listen to their ideas and incorporate them into what we do moving forward to improve Coe,” said Davis.
Hannah & Chandler
Hannah Rey (‘20) and Chandler Robles (‘21) are current candidates for Student Body President and Vice President. Hannah is from Cedar Rapids but has moved around a lot throughout her life. She is double majoring in Sociology, and Criminal and Social Justice. Chandler is from Port Townsend, Washington and he is also a double major with Communications and Public Relations. Although Chandler is from the West Coast, considering how much time he spends away from home, he has come to consider Cedar Rapids a second home.
“Throughout the years I have heard many people complain, so I thought, maybe if I run someone will hear my voice and hear others people voices too,” said Rey in regards to why she decided to run for President. “We have five categories for our platform: Pub hours, housing, sustainability, Caf development, and Res life,” said Rey. “For Res life we want better incentives for RA’s. We believe that breakfast should be longer in the Pub. For housing we hope to get renovations going. Sustainability, we would like to do some sort of rooftop garden. We would also like to donate some of our food to shelters in the community. Caf development is one of the biggest ones, we want to improve the food. Although this is what we have on paper, we are happy to take any suggestions from what anyone else believes needs change.” “We have a lot of aspirations, and a main thing is that we have to be more open,” said Rey. “I believe we should have office hours because it is more relatable when you communicate from student to student. We just want to be more open, to be accessible to the student body.” Robles agreed by adding, “More accountability, openness and availability to what people have to say.” If Hannah and Chandler were to win elections, they said the first thing they would do would be meet with Tom Hicks or David McInally to start on a timetable for when changes would start to be implemented.
Article by: Ayam Shrestha, Caleb Rigdon, and Cynthia Salgado.
Photos provided by the candidates.