By Mackenzie Herring
With eighteen candidates entering the race for ten Senate seats in the Associate Students of Lewis & Clark (ASLC), the student governing body hosted a public debate on Sept. 20 for all applicants. The debate was moderated by the Pioneer Log Editor-in-Chief Althea Billings ’19 and Managing Editor Natalie Rich ’19.
After initial introductions, candidates were asked about the decision to remove all DSAs from campus and their prospective solutions.
In general, the candidates expressed concern with the administration’s lack of transparency when making the decision. Then-candidate, now elected Senator Jack Bishop ’21 said that he understands the administration’s desire to remove the DSAs in order to comply with Oregon Law, but he wishes certain consequences were considered before the decision was made.
“I think that the abrupt decision was [made] without providing many alternatives for people who will continue to smoke,” Bishop said.
The voting period closed after the debate on Sept. 25, and the results were sent out to the student body via email. Jackson Bishop ’21, Max Colmenares ’20, Nicole Dean ’21, Naylor Finnerty ’19, Annika Jackson ’22, Celeste Kurnik ’22, Maxine McCuller ’21, Jacob Muscarella ’21, Sherlock Ortiz ’20, Ben Seiple ’21, Jacob Serafini ’21, Alex Webb ’22 are the newly elected senators.
After the results from the election became public, McCuller expressed concern about low turnout at many LC events and expressed a desire for more involvement and feedback from students.
“A lot of freshmen have been turning up at events I’ve been hosting and there were several at the debate. Many freshmen actually ran for student government,” McCuller said. “I honestly think we need to take more cues from them … I would love to see more participation in events, I would love comments and suggestions from everybody.”
Senator Max Colmenares ’20 has also noticed a lack of participation from students. He believes that students sometimes focus on the college’s weaknesses, and that the benefits of attending LC do not get as much attention.
“There are obviously problems with the school that affect people, but sometimes there’s a group mentality of focusing on the negative,” Colmenares said. “I’m really trying to shift focus to the awesome things that are happening here.”
Additionally, Colmenares urged students to come forward with any questions or concerns they might have.
“It’s hard to deal with all of the different things that could be done better but it’s even harder to deal with them if they don’t come up or aren’t public knowledge,” Colmenares said.
McCuller also expressed a desire to make ASLC more accessible and to share what ASLC does with more students.
“Everybody knows we have a student government but no one really knows what we do,” McCuller said.