BY TIM WEBBER
Earlier this year, Drake University student Thalia Anguiano made headlines when she asked presidential candidate Hillary Clinton about white privilege at the Iowa Brown and Black Forum. Clinton’s answer went viral, and Anguiano later said she was “disappointed” in the candidate’s answer.
Clinton is still campaigning for president, but now Anguiano has won a presidential election of her own.
The Drake student body elected Anguiano to be their new student body president last week.
Anguiano, currently a junior, will be the first woman in four years to serve as student body president. She will also be the first Latina to ever be elected to the position.
“Knowing that we are making strides in the right direction and strides to create some more change to (produce) a more equitable and diverse campus, it’s just amazing,” Anguiano said. “That’s what we need and that’s why I ran.”
Students voted online on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the results were announced at midnight on Thursday outside of the campus convenience store. It took five minutes for the full results to be announced, and nearly an hour for the whirlwind of hugs and congratulatory selfies to die down.
Anguiano won in a landslide, earning 849 of 1,033 votes
The new president, whose term will begin with the next academic year, said she’s excited to get to work. Anguiano aims to help Drake embrace its diversity and wants to tear down the “metaphorical wall” that exists between the campus and its community.
“I’d just like to see more of Drake being immersed in the surrounding Des Moines community,” Anguiano said. “I’d like to see Drake partake in more community service events around the community. I’d like to see more of the community come onto Drake’s campus for different events.”
Anguiano also said she’ll begin advocating right away to have the Drake Public Safety and Violence Intervention Program’s hotline phone numbers on student ID cards. She also wants to create an email address for Student Senate that will allow students to address their concerns in a more professional and private setting.
Students elected other leadership positions for Drake’s Student Senate last week as well. Kevin Kane will serve as the next vice president of student life, Nick Jenderko was elected unopposed as the next vice president of student activities and John Stehwein won a run-off election to be named treasurer.
But the focus of the event was on Anguiano and her celebration.
“I’m happy,” Anguiano said. “And I know that as soon as my mom decides to call me back she’s going to be really happy too.”