Student Senate held debates for two positions on its 2020-2021 executive committee on Monday, Feb. 24.
Carly Rieger, sophomore, and Jamil Davis, freshman, debated for the Campus Life Chair, while Tina Jeon, junior, and Lombeh Wilson, freshman, debated over the Health and Wellness position. Caitlin Edelmuth is the only candidate running for Sustainability Chair and no candidates ran for Diversity Chair.
Candidates for Campus Life Chair went first. Candidates were asked a variety of questions pertaining to the importance of the position. Davis stressed the importance of being aware of what’s happening on campus and to be aware of the concerns of students.
“Be vigilant, be understanding,” he said.
Rieger shared similar sentiments but focused more on housing concerns that students may have. She stressed the importance of understanding the systems in place on campus to then be able to pass that information to students who are confused.
The candidates were also asked about future projects and both want to utilize the Campus Life Enhancement fund, often calling it an “underused fund”.
Housing was the major topic posed to the two candidates, specifically themed houses. Questions were raised on how themed housing would be considered. Davis discussed the importance of the interview process and if the theme house will actually bring something new and unique to campus.
Rieger stressed the actual purpose of themed housing, which is meant for a group of people to live in a shared space with a set of shared interests. Houses would also have to host events that are unique to their theme, rather than something generic.
Rieger’s previous efforts include setting up housing focus groups, changing the format of the housing application to make it more user-friendly and creating a system of accountability for those in themed housing who don’t abide by the terms.
Both candidates are ambitious in the projects they would pursue. Davis focused on housing facilitation groups in the form of think tanks, utilizing the Campus Life fund, and further improving the application process. Rieger agrees with the use of the fund as well as improving the themed housing process and making sure students understand how to submit a work order. She would like to work together with facilities to make a more comprehensive system for students who have issues within their living spaces.
After that, candidates Jeon and Wilson debated over the Health and Wellness position.
Wilson stressed the accessibility of resources at Knox and to make sure they are in contact with the Health Center and the Disability Services Office. Jeon emphasized the mental health of students and easing the stigma of receiving mental health care
Both candidates addressed the importance of reaching out to students. Wilson wants to be able to connect more with students in order to be able to help them get the appropriate resources, as well as being someone that students can confide in. Similarly, Jeon wants to spread more awareness of services through posters around campus that she has previously made for Health Center events as well as writing columns to make people more aware of their options.
Votes can be cast in the Senate Chairperson elections at https://forms.gle/QMcpvsDpsnbH8HvdA or through the QR code below.