By Jonah Svihus /// Senior Staff Writer
Abe Weill ’17 comes into the presidential race having two years of experience working with the Gender Studies Symposium as well as holding many leadership roles with extracurricular groups on and off campus. He holds the firm belief that the Student Body President of Lewis & Clark College needs to be the voice of the students.
“The President’s role is to be the voice of the students and a liaison between the students, faculty and administration, and I think there are some ways that I can use that voice to improve our school,” Weill said. “I think we need a President who can accurately represent our student body, and I don’t feel like the other candidate represents me, or the interests of a lot of people on this campus.”
Weill also offers increased awareness and utilization of resources such as the Welfare Intervention Network and the Department of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement.
“We also have faculty members who are working hard to make this school a better place, whether it be volunteering in one of the programs I mentioned above, or crafting proposals to diversify the faculty (props to the Ethnic Studies Department!),” Weill said.
Weill also places a heavy emphasis on looking to Reed College as a way to improve our students government and attitude.
“I think specifically Reed College has a lot to offer us,” Weill wrote on his Facebook page “Abe Weill for ASLC President.” “The students at Reed are very invested in their government. They also have an excellent Honor Code, which the students take very seriously. I believe if we emphasize our existing Code of Conduct, our campus will garner more respect and everyone, off and on campus, students and non-students, will benefit.”
When asked about what sets him apart from his opponent Adam Fractor ’17, Weill emphasized his connections with students and organizations on campus.
“I think Adam and I have both put a lot of work into this school; he’s been very active in student government, I’ve been more active in student groups and extracurriculars,” Weill said. “I love engaging in thoughtful conversation, going to amazing events, but also relaxing and having a good time with my peers. I’ve been talking with faculty, students, and administration about issues on this campus since I got here. I bet Adam would do well at connecting with students and faculty, but I haven’t seen him doing it for the past three years.”
Adam Fractor cites his experience in Associated Students of Lewis & Clark (ASLC) as one of the main points that separates him from Weill.
“I have spent the past year as the ASLC Chief of Staff, working closely with our current ASLC President, gaining considerable insight into the position,” Fractor said. “Being a member of ASLC during the incidents of last semester taught me how we need to be more of a voice for underrepresented groups on this campus, and how we need to continue the dialogue to ensure that we do not forget about race and diversity on this campus.”
Fractor’s platform consists of improvements in communication between administration and students through town hall meetings. Fractor also plans to bolster and continue the Pioneers for Pioneers program, which donates money to current students who have financial difficulties in paying for tuition.
“One of the most exciting parts of my platform is transportation improvements,” Fractor said. “Right now, we only have the Pioneer Express to Downtown Portland. I will work tirelessly to arrange a shuttle to Sellwood in Southeast Portland, and a Pioneer Express that stops at Fred Meyer’s earlier in the weekdays.”
On a final note, Fractor was quick to point out the necessity for equal voices on campus.
“My campaign emphasizes student involvement, because we cannot make change on this campus without working together, and giving everyone an equal voice,” Fractor said.
Chief Justice Candidates:
Noah Jurkiewicz ’18 takes a firm stance on working towards greater equality and justice for all students.
“I have realized that Lewis & Clark is in dire need of change,” Jurkiewicz said. “I believe that these changes are completely attainable, and since the role of Chief Justice is designed to constantly work with policy by amending the ASLC constitution and working towards better representation for students, it is the best avenue to create real change. I want to be an advocate and a voice for the students and fight to create a safer environment for all.”
Much like the presidential candidates, Jurkiewicz wants greater communication between Reed and LC. He also wants to work on “reforming the sexual misconduct policy, advocating for students in their conduct hearings, continuing to work with the OLCC [Oregon Liquor Control Commission], increasing the accessibility to the representatives of ASLC, and making sure students feel safe, protected, and represented at LC.”
Jurkiewicz points to his experience in the Constitutional Affairs Committee and the Student Advisory Team as reasons that set him apart from the other candidates.
“My knowledge of the inner-workings and procedures of ASLC will ensure swift action and productivity,” Jurkiewicz said. “In addition to being an active community member at LC, I also believe that I have the most experience advocating for student rights in the code of conduct and taking time to hear student voices.”
Candidate Jiayan Sheng ’18 has a similar platform to Jurkiewicz, seeking equality and safety for students.
What sets Sheng apart from Jurkiewicz is his wish to have greater representation within the Constitutional Affairs Committee and the Student Advisory Team.
“I will help strengthen the communication between my committee members and the student body by having direct representation from various student organizations, such as FSU [Feminist Student Union], BSU [Black Student Union] and QSU [Queer Student Union],” Sheng said.
In addition to greater representation, Sheng himself hopes he can bring diversity to the position.
“As a person of color, international student, member of the LGBTQ community, first-generation college student, victim of sexual assault, I have sufficient knowledge to create an invitational space in which all members of my committees and students can confidently express their concerns,” Sheng said.
Another point that makes Sheng unique from all the other candidates is his treatment of the governing documents of ASLC.
“[One of my goals] is to simplify the language of multiple governing documents (The ASLC Constitution, ASLC Rules of Orders, and all ASLC Bylaws) to expel their bureaucratic elements,” Sheng said. “[My other goal] is to make translated versions of them.”
Sheng is a member of the ASLC Senate and is a current member of both the Constitutional Affairs Committee and the Student Advisory Team.
The third candidate for Chief Justice is Jack Levin ’19.
“I want to be Chief Justice to bring more compassion to LC,” Levin said. “I’ve worked for years in Student Government, and I know that positions that advocate for student rights must also advocate for compassion.”
Levin expresses a need for a LC student with more free agency.
“I believe that students at LC are highly mature and capable of acting appropriately on campus,” Levin said. “Students should be given the liberty to live their lives the way they want. Unless a student is being detrimental to the learning process of other students or disrespectful to campus facilities, they should not be punished.”
Much like Sheng, Levin also wants to make the governing documents of ASLC more accessible.
“ASLC can seem bureaucratic and distant to the average student, but I know that every representative wants to be there for the student body,” Levin said. “I would like to revise how student unions are represented in ASLC as well as connect more students with their elected representatives.”
Levin also identifies as someone who can connect well with the student body, a common thread through all of the candidates.
“I am a people person through and through,” Levin said. Talking to people is not only informative but a passion of mine. I love getting to know the worldview of other people. As a representative, understanding the worldview of other people is a necessity to successfully carryout the duties of a position. I’m an active member of many clubs on campus, such as a capella and Hillel. Each student’s narrative is different, and I am passionate about working to better the lives of students at LC.”
Voting will close on March 18 at 8 p.m. The races for the positions of Vice President, Treasurer, Student Organization Coordinator and Community Service and Relations Coordinator are uncontested.