Photos: Lauren Horsch
We’ve seen the posters, and we’ve heard the chatter. Who are these people running for Student Senate? These people will be representing us as a student body, so we should probably know who they are, especially with elections beginning today. Here are quips from each candidate regarding three questions each was asked. Be sure to get on blueView and cast your vote before Tuesday at midnight.
Name: Amanda Laurent
College: Journalism and Mass Communications
Major: Public Relations
Position Seeking: Student Body President
Name: David Karaz
College: Arts and Sciences/Business and Public Administration
Position Seeking: Vice President of Student Life
How have you contributed to make Drake University a high quality institution?
AL: This past year as the academic affairs senator, I have had the privilege to serve as the chair of the academic affairs committee as well as the Faculty Senate liaison. Both of these roles have allowed me to meet some of Drake’s most influential faculty, staff and administration. I am confident that this mutual respect will put me steps ahead and allow Drake’s student body to be heard. Most importantly, I pride myself on always being a friendly face on campus. I am a very accessible person and love to listen to students’ concerns and ideas — feel free to talk to me anytime.
DK: I have had the opportunity to contribute to Student Senate my entire Drake career. My passion to raise student voice and participation has been a part of my Drake experience. I molded the role of the First-Year Senator position into one that will represent incoming student interests for years to come. I have worked with faculty to make the J-term include everything students deserve it to include. I have worked on long-term Drake initiatives with administration. Most importantly, I have taken every student opinion to heart.
CK: My first year at Drake, I had the opportunity of being the organizational development chair on the Student Activities Board. In this position, I promoted SAB as a whole, as well as surveyed students to see what events they wanted SAB to bring to campus. I also interned for the community outreach senator on Student Senate, where I was able to learn how Senate functions as an organization and (how it) plans community service opportunities.
This year, I serve as the bands chair for SAB. I, along with my committee, plan SAB’s musical events, including the Homecoming Foam Dance and the Relays Concert. I am also an organizational senator on Student Senate, which allows me to share student organizations’ opinions and promote organizations’ best interests around the Senate table.
What top three goals/prioritis do you hope to address during your term in office?
AL: 1. Be an active liaison for students to Drake’s faculty, staff and administration.
2. Make Student Senate understandable and approachable.
3. Question the familiar. Be the advocate who asks why and fights for the student body’s needs and opinions.
DK: First, it is troubling that our most outgoing acts as senators happen during elections. On a daily basis, I will push our Student Senate to reach out and listen through outreach office hours, strategic student interest meetings and greater student awareness through promotional tools. Second, I will create an inviting environment for Senate work so students will feel the legitimacy of coming to us when they have a complaint to voice. Last, I will work with administration and the board of trustees in order to voice concerns that students address daily: food, Internet, etc. Along with my aptitude for this responsibility, I have a passion for Senate that will always drive me to raise student voice and participation.
CK: My first goal is to bring the events you want. Unfortunately, we are not able to bring acts like Drake and Ke$ha due to our budget. However, I plan to bring larger scale events and promise to listen to students’ requests, while using the student activities fees in the most effective way.
My second goal is to plan innovative events. In the past few years, SAB and other student organizations have done a great job bringing unique events to campus, such as Dogtown After Hours, flash mobs and the foam dance. If elected, I hope to continue that tradition and challenge SAB to think creatively when planning events.
My third goal is to work with the organizational senators to assist student organizations and promote collaboration. As a current organizational senator, I have enjoyed working with student organizations on campus, and I hope that next year I can further assist organizations in meeting their goals.
What motivated you to run for office, and what do you hope to get out of this experience?
AL: Personally, I hope for a challenging experience in office in which the student body will hold me to the highest standard of representation. Drake is currently in a very exciting time, and there are many tangible changes ahead. We need student input in these changes, and I am determined to get it there. I am certain that my passion for this university and my hardworking personality will propel this campus and its student body forward. I want to be “part of the solution” at Drake, helping our university progress towards a better future.
DK: As the first ever First-Year Senator and this year’s campus advancement senator-at-large, the opportunities to prepare for this role have been substantial. Given my extensive involvement, I will have as much experience as any senior senator would have been able to have in years past. My passion for Student Senate lies in the repeating complaints that students have had for years. I truly believe that I will have a unique opportunity to create a lot of constructive goods for our student life.
CK: I am running for vice president of student activities because I am passionate about bringing quality campus programming that students want to Drake University.