Claire Murashima elected student body president for 2020-2021

Claire Murashima has been elected student body president.

Nine senators were also elected out of 17 candidates. Those elected are Nehem-Brainerd David, Izuchi Ebeku, Emmanuel Essien, Sara Harris, Brea Koenes, Celestina Rai, AJ Thede, Brandon Martinez-Mijangos and Emmanuella Akyeampong. Students need at least 500 votes in order to be elected. Over 1,100 students voted in the election.

The news was announced Friday, May 8 in an email from current student body president Emerson Silvernail.

Murashima will be in charge of appointing the remaining senator and vice president positions. Six freshman senators will be selected in the fall.

Murashima said that Calvin students had the option of two qualified, female candidates.The other junior who ran for president was Katherine Niska. Niska said that she has learned a lot from listening to students while campaigning and hopes to serve them despite not being on Senate. “To the next year’s senate, I wish you the best of luck,” Niska said. Student senate has not elected a female president in six years. 

“I do not take my new role as your president lightly: I am committed to furthering student-driven projects, as well as bringing students’ needs to the administration as a member of faculty senate and other governance committees,” Murashima said. “Even though campaign week is over, I’ll continue making myself available to hear your input and listen to your stories so that I can best represent you.”

Murashima intends to pick up in the fall the current student senate projects that were cut short because of COVID-19. She also hopes to represent AHANA and LGBT students on campus.

Silvernail said, “As I have previously worked with Claire on student senate, I know that she will do an excellent job as the next Student Body President. She is very driven and passionate about her work.”

Silvernail also highlighted the work that senate had done this year, which included advocating for fall break and updated faculty requirements which passed this year, securing funding for Peet’s Patio, coordinating housing for international students over fall break and livestreaming all senate meetings.

This story has been updated with comment from Niska.

This story was corrected to include an additional senator. Chimes regrets the error.