by ZOE TREIBITZ
Connor Oetzmann has become Drake’s first-year senator following the runoff election that wrapped up on Oct. 1. This final news has come after fierce campaigning by all parties.
It started with posters hung in residence halls, where big letters and bright colors caught the attention of the first-years who would get to vote. Facebook events and pages asked every possible voter to learn more.
Then, other events for specific candidates came and went. Cookies in the commons with Ben Mowatt, Connor Oetzmann’s pitch he went to give to the Greek life first-years, and lots and lots of chalk writing on sidewalks for any number of candidates.
The main event was the first-year candidate forum, which took place on Sept. 25. Though relatively sparsely attended, this occasion gave all candidates the ability to get all their ideas out. It was at this event that some candidates had a chance to shine.
All six candidates lined the floor in a Meredith lecture hall, each giving their general pitch and answering questions. There were some critical focuses of the night. Every single candidate made the two promises to build community and to be a voice for the class at least once. For some, this was the extent of their platform.
Other notable policies include Vikram Sunderrajan’s pitch that he will “have no afternoon classes, so I have plenty of time to talk and get things done” or Ava Courneya’s three E’s of Equity and inclusion, Environment, Engagement. While some stumbled that night, others stuck out with notable speeches, leading to the actual election day.
With first-year students having the option to vote either online or in person, the initial voting day began with an empty seat for the class of 2023 at the Student Senate table. It ended in the same way.
The rule is that if no candidate gets more than fifty percent of the votes during the initial election, the race moves into a runoff election for the top two vote receivers. This year, that was Connor Oetzmann and Ben Mowatt.
Mowatt ran a platform of communication with the administration. He spoke to the issue of the lack of transparency between admin and their greater plans, and what it is they decide to tell the students. His promise was progress: “If you vote for me, expect action,”
Oetzmann’s platform is one that focuses on looking beyond the confines of campus. What types of impacts might the new changes to the Drake community have on students, and what types of impacts could the students have on the Drake community? His focus is on open dialogue and being an amplified voice for the first-year class.
It was based on these issues that students made their decisions.
The runoff election happened at the start of the following week on Sept. 30. The voting ended with Oetzmann winning the seat. Mowatt was invited to be on the president’s cabinet.
“I’m excited to build stronger connections with the first years,” Oetzmann said after being newly voted in. He is looking forward to the chance to fulfill the promises he made on the trail.