Elections

Elections!

In this post you will find more information about the three Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates. Each person was asked to answer a few questions about their platform as well as their qualifications. Here are their answers.

Heath Goertzen- Presidential Candidate

  1. SGA Involvement: Please list any experience, including committees and leadership positions. Also, please BRIEFLY state what you have accomplished in these positions.

    Junior Senator and Speaker of the Senate (Ways & Means Committee) – Worked to reinstate Robert’s Rules of Order and increase the efficiency of the Senate while continuing to emphasize representative practices. Further, drastically improved flow of information and opportunities for feedback by sending all bills to the student body prior to consideration.

Important Bills I advocated for this year:

  1. Individual Request Scholarship: Allocating funds to be available for students to receive for academic support purposes.
  2. Sending bills to the Student Body- Drastically increased the transparency of Senate improved availability of information to the student body. This is what causes bills to be sent out every Thursday.
  3. Various Campus improvements- Multiple projects on campus derived directly from SGA Cares concerns from the student body.
  4. Other Campus Involvement: Please list any experience and leadership positions held. Also, please BRIEFLY state what you have accomplished in these positions.

    President, Bethel College Rock Climbing Club Revived a dormant club, established consistent events and a participation base. Climbed rocks.

    Track and Cross Country athlete– Acted as team leader and gained experience relating to people from various backgrounds.

  5. Platform: Please provide a brief description of yourself, you intentions for running, and goals you may have if elected to your desired position.

My name is Heath Goertzen and I am running for Student Body President because I think that I am the best candidate. I believe that our ticket is uniquely prepared to represent the nuanced and highly diverse voices of the student body. While we recognize that we are a pair of White, Cisgender, Male, ethnically Mennonite voices, we believe we are still capable of listening to and representing our peers effectively. We come from: different faith stances, different academic courses (myself STEM, Alec humanities) and different extracurriculars (myself in Athletics, Alec in Music). Furthermore, our experience in SGA will enable us to work effectively within the roles of President and Vice President: We have experience in roles which dealt directly with representing students and managing many personnel and projects. Through these experiences, we have learned how to think in the interests of those who we represent instead of ourselves. We have also had opportunity to learn how to engage our constituencies. These are vital skills for any member of the Student Government and even more important for the offices of President and Vice President

I believe that important progress has been made in recent years towards making Student Government a useful and empowered voice for the student body. The bills I advocated over the past year in and of themselves make important steps to increasing transparency and more fairly distributing Student Government funding.  Of course, major issues still remain. Increasing student involvement, ensuring accurate representation of student opinion, and looking closely at the distribution of Student Government funding continue to be extremely important issues, and will constitute my primary goals should I be elected to office. Other goals will include continuing work on unfinished projects from previous years: Student representation on the board, reducing sexualized violence on campus, and improving campus security most prominently.

Alec Loganbill- Vice Presidential Candidate

  1. SGA Involvement: Please list any experience, including committees and leadership positions. Also, please BRIEFLY state what you have accomplished in these positions.

    Freshman Senator (Food Service Committee, Finance and Student Organizations Committee) – Actively represented the Freshman Class primarily through engaging with my constituency and voting on legislation.

    Chief of Staff (Executive Committee, Chair of Ways & Means Committee, Finance and Student Organizations Committee [ex-oficio]) – I oversaw, maintained, and prepared the budget of the Student Government and its charters. I also presented to the Presidential Cabinet and the Faculty regularly, improving SGA’s relationship with these groups.

    Vice President of the Student Body (Executive Committee, Ways & Means Committee, President of the Senate) – I have been an advocate for decreasing sexualized violence on campus and improving the student presence on the Board of Directors. I have acted as the voice of the student body in many capacities including presenting at faculty meetings, discussing student issues with Board members, and meeting with members administration, including President Gering. I was also represented the student body in the selection process of President Jon Gering and Vice President of Student Life Samuel Haynes.

  2. Other Campus Involvement: Please list any experience and leadership positions held. Also, please BRIEFLY state what you have accomplished in these positions.

    Student Alumni Association General Member and Executive Member – Assisted in and organized the planning and execution of a events such as Mudslam, the Senior Banquet, and a variety of Fall Fest activities.

    Music Ensembles  Concert Choir, Open Road, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble I, Orchestra) – As a member of these ensembles, I have maintained an active performance schedule and have performed with world-class musicians, conductors, and composers.

    CAD Tutor  for History, Bible & Religion, and Writing – Assisted students in these academic areas in a number of ways, from one-on-one studies to editing papers and projects.

    Student Caller and Ambassador (Fall 2015 – Spring 2018) – Called perspective students, gave campus tours, assisted the Admissions Office with large-scale events, and successfully worked to improve Bethel’s image.

    History Department Aide – My main accomplishment in this role has been assisting in the organization and execution of the Mennonites and the Holocaust Symposium, an international history conference.

  3. Platform: Please provide a brief description of yourself, you intentions for running, and goals you may have if elected to your desired position.

My name is Alec Loganbill and I am a rising Senior from Hesston, Kansas. I am majoring in History and will also receive a Music minor. While at Bethel College I have been heavily engaged in Student Government, a variety of music ensembles, and have been active in campus culture and social life.

My intentions for running for Student Body Vice President are rooted in my passion for helping the students of Bethel College. I have three years of experience as a member of the Student Government Association, from Freshman Senator to Chief of Staff to my current role as Student Body Vice President. During this time, I have found a real passion and calling to serve my fellow students and work to improve the experiences of students today and students for years to come. Over the past three years, SGA has become a legitimate presence on campus that has the power to make real and lasting change. I believe my greatest strength is my past experience in SGA. Throughout my three years in SGA, I have an established rapport with Bethel administration, board members, faculty, and staff. These relationships have taken time to build and are vital in making real and lasting progress at Bethel College. Furthermore, many of SGA’s larger goals such as improving reducing sexualized violence and strengthening the student presence on the Board of Directors are ongoing projects and my experience and knowledge of the history and the inner-workings of these projects will create a seamless transition from this year to next.

Specifically, Heath Goertzen and I have a number of goals we hope to achieve if elected. These include increasing student involvement, ensuring accurate representation of student opinion, and improving the efficiency of the  Student Government’s student fee spending. All of these goals relate directly to the Bethel student experience, for next year and for years to come. As I mentioned before, there are also a number of ongoing projects SGA is heavily involved in, including seeking better student representation on the Board of Directors and reducing sexualized violence on campus. I feel these long-term goals are valuable and will work to continue them should I be elected.

Beyond these goals, it should be known that our top priority is your concerns. As your elected representatives, we will always hold the needs of you, the student body of Bethel College, over our own agenda items. This has always been my mindset during my time in SGA and this will not change. If our goals conflict with those of the student body, we will change them. If we are leaving things unsaid or undone that you believe are important, we will pursue them. Simply, our concerns are your concerns.

Akiyaa Hagen-Depusoir- Presidential Candidate

  1. SGA Involvement

I currently serve on Diversity council under Jalal Gondal.

  1. Other Campus Involvement

I was on the Bethel College Volleyball team and am still actively on the Bethel College Forensics team. I also served as treasurer for GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) and the YAWP editorial board last year. I also am a part of FemCore and work on campus at Mojo’s Coffee Shop, as well I have off-campus jobs and do not currently live on campus.

  1. Platform

I am choosing to run for President of SGA with my Vice President running mate, Bruce Rosario because I believe that ,as a result our current national political climate, our immediate community requires a change for someone to step up and lead in these times of need and division. I believe it is necessary that that change finally comes in the form of a more diverse and representative government. If that cannot currently be attained nationally, then those who have the ability to change our local communities must be prepared to step into roles to represent. I have been disheartened seeing the lack of students of color, varying cultural backgrounds and experiences, as well as diverse socioeconomic backgrounds in our SGA. When the people in leadership do not look like you or have not or never could share the same experiences as you, how can you be sure they are representing your best interests? For many students on campus, the biggest hardships come in the form of finances and paying for an education. When your leading body does not understand these obstacles, it does not focus on the fundamental needs of the students. There has been a gross misuse of resources and money within our SGA while our student body struggles to keep up with the crippling increases in tuition and cost of living on campus as well as just living. I can only promise that I will seek alternative routes to better use students’ money or to find ways to put the excess money back into the students’ wallets or facilities. I will do exhaustive exploration of this because I believe this to be the greatest issue facing Bethel College students:  that our current SGA has been reluctant to pursue to the fullest extent. As a commuter student, I understand the hardships of students that also live off campus, as I personally was pushed to move back home 30 minutes away in order to lower my own financial responsibilities. As a student with multiple jobs, I come from an understanding of job importance especially to those students with off-campus jobs, unfortunately for some it is not possible to simply go to classes and that be your main focus, I understand many students on this campus have to take on other responsibilities to pay for bills. Additionally, our students do not have nearly enough say or influence in our student government. So I will explore options to better facilitate student-to-student government interactions so that SGA has a better, more expansive knowledge of the issues or desires of our students. I believe forums could be held and I believe that in order to mobilize our students of color’s involvement, SGA has to show that it genuinely cares and reaches out to them first and facilitate representation for them. I understand I am a fresh face and I believe that is what will give Bruce and me the advantage to better represent the student body. Our current SGA is not changing at the same rapid rate of our student body; it is not reflective of minority students and those with diverse financial backgrounds. Bruce and I are highly active on campus and genuinely care for our peers’ experiences here as well as our own. There is a lot that needs to be improved. We are not running for SGA in order to build our resumes but rather because someone has to finally speak up for the students’ most serious needs.

Bruce Rosario- Vice Presidential Candidate

  1. SGA Involvement: I have not held any position within SGA, however I took advantage of my opportunities to meet with various SGA officials. During those meeting times, I would discuss important issues that I have noticed, such as security/safety issues on campus. These meetings that I instigated resulted in bills being passed and issues considered that hadn’t been observed before.
  2. Other Campus Involvement: I am very active in the campus ministry, in which I am a Student Chaplain and a member of the Chapel planning committee. Within these groups I successfully helped provide the Bethel Community spiritual outlets and freedom of expression. Earlier within the year, I also hosted various events within Haury Hall, which were was intentionally organized to give first year students (freshmen) a heightened college experience. Later within the year, I organized a Black History Chapel, in which African American Students participated in a service in which they could freely express themselves without fear of individuals being hypercritical of their culture. I am also a member of the Student Ambassador program, in which I aid in strengthening the Bethel Community through recruitment and insight. I have given many tours during the year, and I must say being a part of this program is very rewarding. Lately, I have been giving many potential football player tours, and thus far every tour I’ve given each student has committed to Bethel College (very rewarding). Lastly, I recently found that I have been selected to be apart of SAA (Student Alumni Association). As part of my work in SAA, I have been selected to be interviewed in various videos that are presented to distinguished alumni. I also was requested to send my personal schedule to distinguished alumni as an example of how academically diverse Bethel College students are. Most importantly, I was chosen as the “face” for the rebranding of Bethel’s motto (Connect to Purpose). Due to this, my face and my personal accolades were sent out to various churches and homes on flyers and brochures. Most recently, I was chosen to provide devotions for the Bethel College Executive Board of Directors. During that time, I read scripture, gave an encouraging word and sang “This Little Light of Mine”.

Platform: I would describe myself as a very diverse young man, and I believe in the willingness to serve others, particularly in serving individuals that have no voice. Minorities on campus have faced many challenges regarding finances, cultural appropriation, and direct representation. My running mate Akiyaa Hagen-Depusoir and I have the vison to make direct change. We strive to implement creative ways to not only benefit the students of Bethel College but also the faculty and staff. One of the biggest issues that we face as a Bethel Community is retention. Having direct experience working with Admissions, I am confident in knowing that not every student that comes to Bethel College has their needs met. Therefore, I declare that with Akiyaa’s and my leadership, we will take an alternate approach. We will not only serve the individuals who are culturally silenced, but we will also support the students who are not. We will work to establish stability for minorities who come from socioeconomic backgrounds, for those who are not privileged within our society. We will create ways so that students feel this is a welcomed and inclusive campus, no matter their country of origin. Furthermore, we will be a parallel force for all students, in which we will lay the foundation of impartiality amongst all students of any background. I promise that we will provide efforts to discover ways that financial restraints can be relieved, minority students (international as well) will be entirely welcome amongst all spectrums. In conclusion, most significantly our Akiyaa and I will inevitability establish unity between all backgrounds, and we will abolish the divisions of race, finances, and privilege.

Cassandra Voth- Presidential Candidate

  1. SGA Involvement (Legislative, Executive, Judicial, Committees, SAC, Diversity Council, Collegian, etc.): Please list any experience including committees and leadership positions held. Also, please BRIEFLY state what you have accomplished in these positions.

I have held the position of Student Body Chief Justice for about a year and half, which has also given me the opportunity to attend Executive meetings and sit on the Ways and Means Council. Through this position, I have gained a deeper understanding of how SGA operates and helped resolve many student conduct cases.

  1. Other Campus Involvement: Please list any experience and leadership positions held. Also, please BRIEFLY state what you have accomplished in these positions.

Apart from SGA, I serve as the Bethel College Student Representative on the MCC (Mennonite Central Committee) Board, which mainly entails attending board meetings and representing Bethel College students’ perspectives as a part of the constituency of MCC. I am also involved in STEM research and I have acted in several plays as a part of the theater department at  Bethel College.

  1. Platform: Please provide a brief description of yourself, your intentions for running, and goals you may have if elected to your desired position. Your goals should fall in line with those of your running mate.

I am a junior psychology major from Littleton, Colorado and I currently serve as Chief Justice on the Judicial Council of SGA. As Chief Justice I have had a unique opportunity to take part in all three branches of SGA. I have gained a strong understanding for how SGA operates on Bethel’s campus, and has grown and developed over the past couple of years. SGA has become a positive presence on campus, centered around advocating for issues that directly affect students. I believe SGA is at a critical point. We have become an increasingly autonomous  and powerful voice on campus and it is important that this continues in the years to come. I will use my knowledge and experience with SGA to make sure the government continues to be a strong and stable presence on campus. The more stable SGA is as an organization, the more time and energy SGA will be able to spend addressing the direct needs and concerns of students. Of course in order to address student concerns, SGA must be aware of issues that affect students. It is SGA’s responsibility to make sure that students can easily inform SGA of their concerns, and that students are made aware of how SGA is currently working to address student concerns. As president, I will make transparency between students and SGA a priority, so that students can effortlessly voice concerns to SGA and see how SGA is taking tangible measures to resolve issues that affect students. Apart from my SGA experience, some of my personal qualities that I hope will make me an effective Student Body President are that I am a very approachable person and I have a strong work ethic. I believe students would feel comfortable approaching me with their concerns and I will work to see that action is taken to follow all student concerns.

Nathan Gamache- Vice Presidential Candidate

  1. S.G.A. Involvement.

I started out as a commuter senator my Sophomore year. I was a member under Isaac Dunn on the Constitutions and Bylaws committee. This position gave me a smooth transition into my appointment as an Associate Justice. In the judicial committee, I deliberated on numerous conduct hearings and became much more familiar with our Government’s constitution.

  1. Other Campus Involvement

            Alongside my involvement in S.G.A., I competed on the golf team here at Bethel my Freshman and Sophomore year. I competed in dozens of tournaments alongside doing team community service and leadership exercises. Due to a hip injury and the poor health of my grandmother, I decided to take a leave from the team this year. However, both my hip and grandmother are better, so I am excited to return to competition for my Senior year.

  1. Platform

I am a junior Natural Sciences major from Halstead, KS with the intentions of attending dental school next year. Having experience on both the Legislative and Judicial branches has given me the unique perspective to see how S.G.A. works for, with, and occasionally against each other. Additionally, I understand the perspective of both commuters and on-campus students having experienced both living situations. I was inspired to run because I believe that there are certain concerns that students have that are not being addressed as passionately as they should be. Communication and transparency are two large concerns of mine. S.G.A.’s communication with the student body needs work. The “meet me halfway” redric needs to change. S.G.A. members are paid while students are not, that means S.G.A. members should be doing at least 90% of the work required to facilitate communication. It should be nearly effortless for students to submit their opinions and help guide the direction of the Government. I see S.G.A. members as employees of the students, and to hear that meetings are being cancelled, emails are not being replied to (including my own), and transparency has not been achieved is frankly upsetting. As your Vice President, I will work tirelessly to ensure that the Government is constantly on the same page as the students with as little strain put on the students as possible. This could come in the forms of short surveys, emails that take less than a few minutes to read, and easy-to-access meetings.

Questions or concerns can be addressed on SGACares (https://bethelsga.com/sgacares/), or at the email sga@bethelks.edu

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