This past week, hundreds of Emory & Henry students voted on who should represent their district of housing in the Student Government Senate. The number of senatorial contestants was historically high this year, and the election broke a school record of having all but one district’s senate seat contested.
With so many representatives to choose from, campaigns hit the ground running on Wednesday, September 7, when voting polls first opened.
“The sense of competition was almost tangible, with so many posters all around the dorm and the door-to-door campaigning, choosing only three candidates was difficult,” said Taylor Watson, a resident of MaWa.
“It was truly comforting knowing there were multiple students who actually cared about the issues concerning the Emory & Henry community,” said Guillermo Arellano, a resident of Stuart.
Joseph Johnson, the newly elected senator for the Stuart residence, admitted that he learned more than just new faces and campaigning skills during the race. According to Johnson, he also learned some new life lessons.
When asked about his experience on the campaign trail, Johnson said, “my opponent was a previously elected, established senator. This was a new experience for me, so undoubtedly I felt I was fighting an uphill battle. Thankfully though, I learned to have faith in oneself, especially through the moments I began to doubt in my ability to win. This experience renewed my belief in perseverance and never throwing in the towel too early.”
With the student senate only holding 16 seats, many wondered whether it would be best to simply open more positions in the face of so many senatorial contestants.
“The size of the senate is actually really promising. Having so few senators makes it easy to keep them accountable in properly representing the student body of Emory & Henry, and knowing who to express your concerns to,” said Briana Craver, a resident of MaWa and former senatorial candidate.
To many, this year’s senatorial races are a great sign of the positive impact that can be expected from this year’s senate.
– Orlando Martinez