Weeks of campaigning came to an end with Friday’s announcement of new BSG leadership.
By Rachel Blood | News Editor
After a week of intense campaigning, complete with posters, social media and free food, 953 votes for the Bethel Student Government President and Vice President were tallied Friday afternoon. Sophomores Blake Birno and Marissa Cutlan took the win.
Birno is a business major with a minor in leadership studies and a healthcare endorsement. He also plays for the baseball team and is a member of the jazz orchestra while serving as a Getsch Hall RA, an Admissions Tour Guide. Cutlan is a biochemistry major and psychology minor. She serves as Director of Seasonal Events for Student Activities, runs on the cross country and track and field teams and tutors for General Chemistry.
The pair said they are thrilled to take their ideas to the next level as 2021-22 President and Vice President. High on the list of their priorities is the implementation of a Student Leadership Council and the “Freshman Cup.” The Council will allow students of all backgrounds a chance to be heard while the Cup will serve as a friendly competition between freshman residence halls.
Three pairs of students ran for the leading BSG positions this year: Alice Hong and Tarra Snyder, Carolyn Ziebol and Sam Nguyen and Birno and Cutlan.
While Ziebol and Nguyen did not secure the leadership positions they were hoping for this year, they said they are grateful for the campaigning experience. Ziebol was able to experience connections with the student body like never before, attending her first shack and staying up late to work on campaign material.
“Running for Student Body Vice President is one of the greatest opportunities I have ever received,” Ziebol said. “Bethel is much more diverse than some people realize, and the people I got to meet had so many ideas, feelings, and opinions they were dying to share. It was genuinely an amazing experience, and despite not winning, I wouldn’t change a thing about how Sam and I ran our campaign. We were honest, hardworking, and striving to create change, and I hope I can continue to make that happen even in my other positions in BSG.”
Nguyen also feels blessed to have had the opportunity to run in the election and is grateful for the lifting COVID restrictions allowing him to reach out to the student body in other ways.
“I am disappointed that I am not going to be part of the process to make BSG what Bethel deserves,” Nguyen said, “but I am happy for Blake and Marissa as they have the potential to make it happen. Despite the results of the election, I am proud of all the efforts that Carolyn and I put into this campaign. We did our best doing what we loved, which is listening to the diverse voices of Bethel’s community and making sure they were heard.”
Similarly, Hong and Snyder expressed nothing but gratitude toward the campaign experience as a whole.
“I feel really proud of the work Alice and I did for our campaign and am so grateful for the experience,” Snyder said. “I will continue to work hard for Bethel, and wish Blake and Marissa good luck in their new positions.”
Hong echoed Snyder’s sentiment, saying, “I am very proud of Tarra and I for setting the precedent that two women can, and successfully run for Bethel’s BSG President & Vice President. I will be continuing the outreach initiatives that I’ve made within BSG, as well as across and outside Bethel’s campus for the rest of the semester and next year.”
“We are honored and humbled to have been elected as Bethel’s Student Body President and Vice President,” Birno and Cutlan said, “and we cannot wait to serve the community we love.”