Edgar Aguilar wins senate presidency


Aguilar’s slogan is “Here For You” conveying his commitment, and senate’s commitment, to represent every group of students on campus. Photo courtesy Edgar Aguilar campaign.

Student senate announced the newly elected student body president, Edgar Aguilar, and eleven student senators on Friday, April 27.

“When I saw the results I was thankful and said a prayer thanking God. It was a really exciting time,” Aguilar said.

Aguilar defeated Selvi Bunce by a margin of 73 votes. The 2018-19 student senators, in alphabetical order, are Carson Elis, Maggie Hendricks, Sebastian Jala, Hannah Mai, Luke Vander Meer, Juliette Mpano, Claire Murashima, In Young Park, Emerson Silvernail, Akyera Thompson and Lorrayya Williams.

Both Bunce and Aguilar expressed respect for one another.

“After the results I got a text from Selvi and she sent me some good words and I appreciated them,” said Aguilar. “I think she was a really good candidate too, and I enjoyed running against her. She brought up some really good points during campaigning. I would be happy to collaborate with her in the future.”

Bunce shared her support for Aguilar:

“I think Edgar deserved to win,” Bunce said. “It was really fun to campaign. Kind of going into it I knew it would be close. So I’m not surprised necessarily. I know Edgar will do great as president. I think I would have done well as well, that’s why I ran. But I do think Edgar will do great.”

Aguilar and Bunce both have big plans for the coming year.

Aguilar used his campaign slogan “Here For You” to express his ideals of vision and accessibility between administration and students.

He emphasized his commitment and excitement to represent all students on campus.

“[One of the] projects that I’m excited about … is something called intergroup dialogue,” Aguilar said. “I want to start a project and program that addresses different controversial topics over the year. Besides race, which is a really important issue, I want to address issues related to sexuality, religion and all those topics that sometimes create polarization from a national context and also institution like ours.”

He described the necessity to create forums like this where students can listen to others who feel differently.

“I think that’s something that in the long run this will be a really good improvement for the community, for our relationships, for how we create a more just society,” Aguilar said.

His second initiative involves starting a student council where students will have more access to discussions with President Le Roy.

Like Aguilar, In Young Park, who was a first-year senator this year and has now been elected to student senate, is excited to work with the rest of the new senate team.

“I am really excited for the president, because I listened to his ideas and his values. He seemed really prepared and ready to make things happen,” she said. “I am excited for new student dynamics. We had our first meeting with all the new senators and there are a lot of really driven people and they really want to get things done.”

Bunce is planning on continuing her investment in the Calvin community. Though she will not have a formal position in student senate, Bunce says she will take on the role of “active student.”

Bunce spent most of the spring semester in Washington, D.C., with an off-campus study program and was disappointed when she returned to find that her initiative to provide feminine hygiene products in campus restrooms had not been implemented as she had hoped.

In addition to, “pushing student senate” to complete that project, she says she has been working with Sarah Visser, vice president for student life, to create a recurring event for the women of Calvin to support each other and network with alumni. She plans on calling the event “Women in Action.”

“The beginning of my freshman year, I was a little bit just not really feeling part of the community,” Aguilar shared, looking back at his time at Calvin for inspiration. “But I think it was a God thing that made me realize I’m called to just serve and work for groups no matter where I go. Even though I’m an international student, I don’t really have tradition connected to the CRC or Calvin, I think that I’m very blessed to have this opportunity and become student president. … I want to represent the student body well and I want to represent the institution well. I think that’s a good commitment, a big commitment.”