Candidates present speeches for Student Association elections

2023-2024 possible new SA members wait to give their speeches at the Feb. 16 Convocation.
February 16, 2023 (Photo by: Adam De Lisser)
2023-2024 possible new SA members wait to give their speeches at the Feb. 16 Convocation. February 16, 2023 (Photo by: Adam De Lisser)

Written by: Alexis Dewey

On Thursday, Feb. 17, five candidates running for Student Association (SA) president, vice president and social vice president gave speeches during convocation. In the coming week, students will have a chance to vote some of those individuals into office for the next academic year.  

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, there was a press conference held in the Thatcher chapel, where students asked the candidates questions. General election voting begins on Feb. 23. Kari Shultz, director of Student Life and Activities, said Student Development will know the winners shortly after 11 p.m.

According to Shultz, the university will send out a survey to the student body to vote for the candidates after convocation on Feb. 23. 

During his speech on Thursday, Jared Chandler, senior finance major and one of the candidates running for president, said he wants to help students feel safe on campus by adding lights along the promenade, and he wants to help Thatcher Hall’s gym get new equipment. 

Chandler’s main goals are to help students improve their mental health, physical health, spirituality and social life.  

“I believe God has given us amazing skills and talents that are just waiting to be unleashed,” he said. 

Chandler ended his speech by saying, “I’m ready to serve you, fight for you and be your voice.” 

Zach Kirstein, senior finance major, is also running for president. During his speech, he said he also wants to help improve the students’ spiritual lives and mental health.

“It is my goal as your SA president to enhance our communication together,” he said.  

He wants to bring cultures together and proposed an SA culture night when all the cultural clubs come together.  

Kirstein’s goal is to help students in areas of mentality, spiritual life and social life. 

Both Kirstein and Chandler want to focus on bringing people closer together next school year. 

Something they both mentioned is adding blue emergency pole lights around campus. These emergency poles have buttons on them, and if someone is in danger or feels unsafe, they can press the button and Campus Safety will be alerted and come straight to them. 

David Lazcano, junior biology major, is one of the two candidates running for vice president. His motto is “courage, integrity and determination.” He said in his speech that he wants to help get new lights on the promenade so students feel safer while walking back from night classes. Lazcano also said he wants to improve the Hulsey Wellness Center’s dress code in a way that will please the students.  

Also running for vice president is Dain Ochoa, junior allied health major.

“I’ve always enjoyed being on a team that creates change,” Ochoa said during his speech. 

He added that change is enacted when people feel comfortable to speak out.

Running for social vice president is Lauren Fenwick, junior business-public relations major. Fenwick’s speech was about making students’ years at Southern Adventist University more memorable. 

“I’m running because I have a passion for helping people connect,” she said in her speech.  

One of Fenwick’s goals is to bring people together through events on campus. She stated that her motto is “connect, thrive and grow together.” 

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