Student senate election winners hope to establish senate’s presence on campus

Photo+by+Andrew+Pruim

Photo by Andrew Pruim

Students’ votes are in. As of Friday, April 29, the student senate team for next year has been confirmed. Even after a difficult year with unexpected circumstances within student senate, 1,638 students voted in this year’s elections, a turnout up from last year’s 1,500 voters.

Serving as president of the student body next year will be Bill Warners, a junior history major and ministry leadership minor. The cabinet will include Hans Leisman, Enyojo Ichaba, Billy Fredericks IV and Christian Rodriguez. Student senators for next year will be Joe Bell, Joshua Bulten, Selvi Bunce, Grace Fasipe, Reitsma Mpindi, Daeun Naming, Silvia Nyamuhungu, Magdalene Osei and Fernando Vigil.

Warners, who served on the Student Senate Chapel Committee last year, attributes his interest in running for president to his first-hand experience cooperating with the administration at Calvin to bring about positive change.

Last year a friend and I started the Multicultural Dorm Worship Initiative, which was a program that had one multicultural dorm worship in each of the dorms,” said Warners.

In order to enact the program, Warners said that accepting changes to his plans was critical to moving forward.

Trying to better the community while accepting compromise, and oftentimes failure, inspired me to look for other opportunities on campus to engage in similar work,” said Warners. “I mentioned this to Ethan DeVries who was then running for president, and he encouraged me to give student senate another look.”

Warners and cabinet members Fredericks IV and Rodriguez emphasized the desire to “establish a presence on campus.”

“We want to be active on campus all year round — as if every week we were campaigning,” said Rodriguez, attributing the idea to Warners.

In light of the difficulties faced by last year’s senate, Fredericks IV expressed how important a strong community will be among student senate.

“We need to be communicating with one another. It’s not just doing our job, but it’s helping other people do their jobs as well,” said Fredericks IV. “When someone stumbles and falls, we need to reach out and help them back up. And if we know we’re going to fall, we need to be vocal about that and ask for help.”

Contrary to certain candidates in the U.S. presidential race, this year’s student senate is seeking to serve.

“Today, we like to call people who serve in elected office politicians. While that title is somewhat accurate, I want to shift away from that mentality and be known as a public servant,” said Warners. “The presidency in this upcoming year will be about service, about everyone in our administration humbling themselves and serving each other and other students.”

Following the voting process last week, student senate stressed that all candidates are grateful for the support of the student body.