After a record-setting race, junior Jonathan Eigege and junior Laura Sterenberg narrowly won the student senate executive team election today with 56 percent of the vote, despite technical setbacks for freshman voters.
“I’m thrilled that over 1600 students came out to vote, despite the difficulties,” said future student body president Eigege. “That’s a step up from last year, which was a step up from the year before.”
“We are excited about the coming year and the opportunity to serve Calvin’s student body,” he continued. “We are well aware of the responsibilities that come with this privilege and will do our best to make sure that we lead a senate that is even more responsive to the needs of students than it has been historically.”
His running partner and future executive vice president, Sterenberg, echoed his sentiments. “Jona and I have been very ready. It was all so fast and it was just amazing to work hard with an ultimate goal in mind, and then to see that goal fulfilled.”
She is thankful for the whole process, including the technical setbacks, which just “made the final result all the more gratifying.”
This year’s election boasted the largest student body participation to date, despite the technological problems over the weekend. Jerry Grieser, current vice president of public relations, attributed it to the “high level of competition and high level of quality in each team’s campaign.”
Eigege saw the increased voter participation as proof that “there is still a sizable amount of the student body that believes in senate as a force for good.”
“Our job this year is to continue to reclaim senate’s legitimacy by producing good results,” Eigege continued. “So that by this time next year even more students feel the need to vote and add their voice to choosing who leads senate.”
Alicia Smit, current executive vice president, also praised the new executive team. “Jona has senate experience from his freshman and sophomore year, so he’s familiar with the processes of senate. Laura has been involved all over campus and currently works for Knights 4 Life, so their skill sets match up perfectly.”
Along with the new executive team, Laju Eresanara and Jonathan Manni were elected to the senate cabinet. Smit explained that because a third person did not run for cabinet, “the new executive team will appoint someone.” The incoming executive team will also determine who will serve in each of the three specific cabinet positions.
Next year’s senators will be Griffin Brent, Joy Christopher, Andrew Darmawan, Ethan DeVries, Jisoo Kim, and incumbent senator Laura Steele.
“I am excited to serve again and to work with a team of people who think different ways,” said Steele, who looks forward to to passing down wisdom to next year’s senate.
Amongst all the excitement, Sterenberg and Eigege were quick to credit their opponents.
“Maggie and Sam were the best team we could have run against,” said Sterenberg. “Both teams worked hard, and though I’m certainly thankful for the outcome, I’m also thankful for how we go there.”
Eigege echoed her thoughts. “Laura and I both have so much respect for them — the leaders that they are and the campaign that they ran. I think running against each other made both our campaigns more efficient and intentional. They had the backing of 45 percent of the student body who voted. That’s massive.”
Sam Schuiteman and Maggie Van Winkle congratulated their opponents. “Both teams ran a great race,” said Schuiteman, “and we’re excited to see what they do next year. Even though we were hoping for a different outcome, we are proud of our campaign, and we look forward to serving Calvin in whatever way we can.”
Looking forward, Eigege commented that “the student body has put together a great team — we are looking forward to the things that we can achieve together.”