Student senate chooses freshmen senators


Ansley Kelly, Nick VanderKolk and Jerry Grieser (not pictured) beat out nine other applicants to be named freshmen student senators.

Freshmen Jerry Grieser, Ansley Kelly and Nick VanderKolk earned spots as student senate representatives late Tuesday night.

“At first, I read ‘congratulations’ and didn’t read anymore. I was really excited,” said VanderKolk, a computer science major from East Grand Rapids, Mich. “I went back through to double check and make sure. I was really humbled and blessed to have this opportunity.”

The results were emailed to the students at 11 p.m. on Tuesday night.

“I kept refreshing my phone and I checked it as soon as it came in,” laughed Kelly, a pre-med student from Edinboro, Pa. “I just felt really blessed and excited that God was opening doors here,” she said.

“We were very impressed by every single one of the applicants,” said Josiah Sinclair, executive vice president. “It was incredibly hard to cut it down to three people.”

Senate received 12 applications for the three positions, less than last year’s 18 applicants and less than the 15 to 30 that senate expected this year.

“I don’t think that the number of applicants says much about senate,” said Sinclair. “I think it’s the incoming class, and maybe they have priorities that are in different areas. We did everything that we did last year…to get the info out there.”

Applicants went through three rounds of cuts. In the first round, applicants filled out a paper application and collected 100 signatures.

After an individual interview, the final four went through a group interview, in which applicants asked each other questions.

Ashley Holmes, vice president of programming, has high hopes for the three who were chosen.

“After a lot of discussion, we decided on the three. We are really excited about their leadership,” she said. “I see a lot of hard work…and a willingness and ability to jump right into our team and work hard.”

Senator Jonathan Eigege said that the three fill a gap in the current senate. “I think it makes a good mix of faith and humility. It adds a different dynamic to senate, because what we have right now is a lot of workers.”

Eigege praised Grieser for his humility, Kelly for her wide experience and VanderKolk for his faith and servant leadership.

“My expectations were exceeded by the applicants. Every years, the applicants get more impressive,” Sinclair said, himself a freshman applicant in 2009.

As for the nine who did not get the spots, Sinclair encourages them to use their leadership in other areas on campus.

“I’m confident every person who applied will undoubtedly make a difference and I would hate to see them discouraged by this process,” he said. “I would encourage them to pursue other opportunities and other avenues for engaging and owning their Calvin experience.”

Less than 24 hours after learning of their new posts, the new senators are looking forward to the year.

“I’m looking forward to building relationships with people,” said Kelly. “I want people to feel comfortable meeting me.”

“The first thing I’m going to do is listen to the problems,” said VanderKolk. “I want to be really intentional and put forth my best effort to make [students’] experiences better.”