Student Senate wrapped up two midyear elections this week: one to replace the former Sustainability Chair, who resigned from her post at the beginning of the term, and one to fill a few open spots in the Seymour Hall, Sherwin/Neifert, Conger/Neal, Hamblin, and Off-Campus districts.
Junior Abby Pardick previously served as Sustainability Chair.
“It wasn’t a quick decision, I thought about it for a long time,” Pardick said of her decision to leave the Senate.
Pardick wants the student body to know that she has not given up on working towards sustainability at Knox. Her decision to quit was influenced by a feeling that she could do more for the cause outside of Senate than within it.
“By disconnecting myself from Senate I’ll be able to be a little more productive with other organizations that I’m involved in, like KARES [Knox Advocates for Recycling and Environmental Support]… people don’t want to write proposals [for the Green Fee], so I’m going to step down and make time for myself to do it,” she said.
Despite the short notice, Senate President Elaine Wilson said finding a replacement was not hard. Though she had only received one application by the initial deadline, they got three more after an extension was granted.
Out of 141 voters, senior Rachel Deffenbaugh received 47 votes, followed by sophomore Tim Lovett with 38, junior Michael Orr with 32, and junior Ben Keathley with 23.
Wilson said that despite the low voter turnout typical of midyear elections, Knox voters could not go wrong.
“All four had really strong statements. They seemed to have a lot of experience and good ideas,” said Wilson.
Deffenbaugh, an environmental studies major, recently spent six months in Thailand at the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute.
Deffenbaugh “learned a great deal about sustainability there, about local sustainability for individual ecosystems but also on a global level about how one’s actions affect the entire earth.”
“I wanted to run because I know a lot about sustainability, and I advocate a great bit of my life to being as sustainable as I can personally. I thought this would be an opportunity to make it a campus-wide effort,” she said.
The district election wrapped up at 12 a.m. Thursday. The results are as follows.
Hamblin: senior Kim Anderson
Seymour: freshman Alex Kunsak and sophomore Josh Garties
Off Campus: seniors Anjali Pattanayak and Devlin Reem
Sherwin/Neifert upperclassmen: junior David Barton
Sherwin/Neifert underclassmen: freshman Tao Zhang and sophomore Sheena Leano
Conger/Neal: sophomore Laura Jorgenson