2019-2020 Student Senate Candidates


Voting starts Tuesday, April 16 at 3PM, and ends Thursday, April 18 at 12pm.

Student body president candidate

Emerson Silvernail

I am running for Student Body President because I believe that I can foster unity within Calvin, establish responsibility within Student Senate, and provide my experience to ensure continuity and cultivate successful senate efforts. As Calvin becomes a university, it is imperative that the institution continue to embrace diversity and remain unified as a Christian, liberal arts school. Through working with Calvin’s administration, I hope to influence faculty requirements and ensure the hiring of quality educators that represent the vastness of our diverse Calvin community. Furthermore, I will continue the Women in Action conference, support students with learning disabilities, and work with Calvin’s Prison Initiative. To ensure a high level of responsibility within Student Senate, I resolve to live-stream our meetings, publish our spending, and spend funds on projects that students care about. While these efforts might be difficult, my experience as both a Student Senator and Vice President have taught me that dedication pays off. Unity, responsibility, and experience are the campaign themes through which I believe I can best represent my peers as Student Body President.

Senatorial candidates

Peter Haagsma

I am a junior electrical engineering student minoring in computer science. Over my time at Calvin I’ve felt the urge to become more and more involved in the student community. Calvin has had an incredible influence on me, and I would like to have the opportunity to give back. As a student senator I would do my best to both represent the student body and bring about positive changes for the Calvin community.

Christopher Punt

I am currently a junior studying computer science with a minor in mathematics. I’m eager to run for student senate to give more representation to STEM majors and intend use my skills to implement all the amazing ideas that students have. I have really enjoyed my time at Calvin, in the classroom, with friends, at Calvin activities and sports, and with the opportunities that Calvin has given me. I hope we can make Calvin an even better place for students through student senate.

Kay Casturo

I’m currently a first-year student majoring in business and German. In my free time you can find me skiing, hanging out with friends or in the senate office. I believe every student on campus deserves their voice to be heard. As a first-year-student senator, I worked on voicing concerns to dining hall personnel and following up on changes. Another project I organized will be coming soon to the current Fish House space. You may notice the new bean bag chairs already there! When our beloved Fish House is replaced by Peet’s Coffee in the library, an expanded arcade and cozy study area will be added to the space. Projects such as these excite me for what is to come next year. I am running not only to engage your voice but to follow your ideas from concept to completion.

Andrew Feikema

I’m a first year student studying computer science here at Calvin. Earlier this year, I worked in the Calvin Mars Rover Design Team. Currently I am self-employed as a math tutor and am passionate about volunteering for Schulze-Eldersveld’s community partnership, Schools of Hope.

Ricky Ebenezer

I am a sophomore here at Calvin. I am majoring in biology. I love playing sports especially basketball. Currently I am in the pre-med club but last year I was part of the SET team.

Katherine Niska

I am a sophomore studying special education and elementary education. In my time at Calvin, I have served in many different capacities including: Student Senate 2017-2018, the Governance Committee for the Hekman Library, CORE curriculum committee, SET team member, Barnabas Team member, Student Organization Council member, and Dance Marathon Dream Team member. I hope to find ways for Student Senate to be more intentional about collaborating with Student Orgs and the student body. I hope to engage the student body and the administration with a heart of change and a mind of growth in order to not only move Calvin forward to live wholeheartedly into its mission and core values.

Akyera Thompson

Marcus Hayes

I am a current first year student studying bio-chemistry. Throughout my short time at Calvin, I have joined only one student organization (Student Senate 2018-2019) with the aspirations to start another organization to help Calvin prosper into the future. As an on-campus resident from the western suburbs of Chicago, I have also seen a way to conquer a problem once it arises. Although I haven’t been in many student organizations on campus, I am an active participant in various non-profit organizations, church communities, and daycares back in my hometown. That being said, I would love to be involved in the Calvin Student Senate again to help continue to make change on campus.

Elizabeth Cyr

I’m a sophomore psychology major from the Chicago area. I have a passion for the arts and have been involved in many activities here at Calvin, such as the Calvin Capella Choir, Dance Guild, and philosophy club. I want to join Student Senate because I am passionate about making sure that Calvin students are safe and well taken care of. I also love talking to all kinds of people with different interests, and one of my goals for Student Senate is to help get students more involved in making changes across campus.

Debora Haede

I am currently a junior working towards an international relations degree with a minor in economics and a pre-law specialization. I was born in Wiesbaden, Germany and grew up in Kocaeli, Turkey. I transferred to Calvin College after attending Maastricht University in the Netherlands. I worked as a cashier at Johnny’s Cafe my first year at Calvin. This year, I have had more opportunities to get involved in campus life as a Resident Assistant in BHT and a Student Appeals Governance Committee member. I am a research assistant at the Civitas Lab of the Henry Institute and led a Service-Learning trip to Chicago this past spring break.

Akyera Thompson

Noah Keene

I am a sophomore student from Detroit, Michigan. I am a writing major and Spanish minor. I love Calvin, both the school and the community, and am running for Student Senate because I want to see Calvin become as great as it can be.