A quick look into the hearts and minds of Bethel Student Government President and Vice President candidates.
By Ariel Dunleavy and Soraya Keiser | Contributing Writer and News Reporter
The Clarion sat down with the running mates for Bethel Student Government’s presidential election Wednesday. Voting will take place Feb. 24.
Alice Hong and Tarra Snyder
Alice Hong and Tarra Snyder are hoping to bring unity to Bethel as Student Body President and Vice President. Hong says that even though all students at Bethel come from different backgrounds, “we are all one Christian body.” Unity is at the core of the duo’s vision for the Bethel community. This starts with spaces dedicated to inclusivity and dialogue about real world issues.
“We are here to serve the student body,” Snyder said. She and Hong don’t want to be unreachable to students. They plan to do this through “table talk,” where Hong and Snyder will rent a table in the BC and chat with students about whatever they want. The point behind this idea is that the duo will be more accessible to students, and not just a name that they hear around campus.
Keeping Christ in the heart of their plan for BSG and the student body is something that Hong and Snyder care deeply about, with a vision for BSG bible studies, prayer requests and devotionals in BSG emails.
As for the pair’s plan of action, some of it has already been implemented. From outreach opportunities to a community garden, Hong and Snyder are working to connect students on campus, “i think it’s just as important to equip students on campus to connect with one another,” Hong said. “As well as equip them to be leaders after they graduate.”
Blake Birno and Marissa Cutlan
Blake Birno and Marissa Cutlan want to empower and encourage all Bethel students as Student Body President and Vice President. They want to make Bethel a place where everyone feels welcome. Birno and Cutlan recognize the difficulty in appealing to every student on Bethel’s campus, but plan to work hard to make every student feel at home.
To accomplish this, Birno and Cutlan aim to implement a Student Leadership Council. This council would allow for people from all different walks of life to share their problems and solutions directly with the BSG executive staff.
“The more perspectives, the better,” Birno said. “Don’t get me wrong, two brains is better than one. But so is ten.”
Freshman involvement is another thing that the duo is passionate about. Birno and Cutlan want to create an atmosphere similar to homecoming week, on a monthly basis.
“Freshman year homecoming is honestly one of the most memorable weeks for most people,” Birno said. The “Freshman Cup” would involve monthly competitions between all freshmen dorms to fuel the energy, passion, and pride from homecoming week, all year long.
Sam Nguyen and Carolyn Ziebol
Student voices are at the forefront of Sam Nguyen and Carolyn Ziebol’s presidential campaign. “We want all students to be heard and to understand that they belong,” Nguyen said. He and Ziebol hope to create connections between faculty and students as well as within the student body itself.
Ziebol has been a commuter, PSEO, and transfer student. At the head of BSG, Nguyen and Ziebol want to include all students, commuter and residential.
Because of COVID-19, commuter students have felt more isolated from the overall community at Bethel. Nguyen and Ziebol want to implement a new policy in which commuter students are adopted into a dorm on campus so that they can participate in activities with a larger group.
The Nguyen-Ziebol campaign also wants to make sure that student voices are heard by all committees and decision-makers on campus. This means connecting the Student Senate with the Faculty Senate and Board of Trustees.
“That connection is something that we want to focus on to increase our ability to be transparent with the student body,” Nguyen said. The duo plans to keep dialogue and transparency between faculty, students and themselves, and hope that they can be a voice for Bethel students.