April 15, 2024

Five freshmen running for Student Senate gave speeches in the Central Dining Room on Monday, Sept. 12 about why the class of 2020 should give them their vote.
A freshman has the opportunity to run for class president, class vice president, class secretary and class treasurer. Seven members of the freshman class chose to run for office, and five of those students chose to participate in a non-mandatory campaign in front of underclassmen during dinner. Those freshmen were Olesya Tehan, Irene Torres, Molly Speyer, Maya Kraus and Arian Gibson.
“I do remember giving my speech for Class of 2017 President when I was a freshman,” senior Zach Lough, Student Senate president, said. “There was, I think, about six people running against me, and it felt challenging, but I enjoyed getting the opportunity to speak to our class.”
The speeches were kept short in a loud CDR after Lough introduced the women and invited them to step up to the podium one by one.
“I think the five girls that spoke did a phenomenal job,” Lough said. “Since the speeches take place in the CDR during dinner, it can be hard to get people’s attention. I think this was the first year that I’ve seen where the speeches got a lot more attention in the CDR than in years past.”
While each candidate emphasized she is running to be a voice for the class of 2020, each had a different way of initially getting students’ attention.
Tehan kicked things off by saying that she knows nobody in the room cares about her qualifications from high school to be class president because they are “all starting here fresh.”
Torres highlighted her heritage by wearing Hawaiian flowers in her hair and thanking the crowd for their time with “mahalo.”
Speyer brought humor to the speeches by saying she was running a tight race against herself for the vice president position.
Gibson, running against Kraus for secretary, brought a much more serious tone to the room when she told the crowd how someone on campus had told her earlier how she should not be on stage campaigning because of the color of her skin. Lough reached out afterward to make sure she was okay, and to let her know racist comments at Wittenberg are completely unacceptable.
“I think Student Senate could be more diverse. It would definitely be nice to have more of an even flow of sexes on it,” Lough said. “I also think it would be better if Student Senate had more people that came from different races and backgrounds as well.”
Student Senate does have three senators representing diversity on campus. The Concerned Black Students Senator, American International Senator, and Gender and Sexual Diversity Alliance Senator.
In the entire freshmen class election, there was only one male who ran. He was competing for the president position.
The class of 2020 election results were announced on Sept. 14:
President – Irene Torres
Vice President – Molly Speyer
Treasurer – Moriah Henderson
Secretary – Maya Kraus

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