Debates were held for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Associated Students of Whittier College (ASWC) Senate positions at 8:30 p.m. on April 16. Candidates third-year Jacob Conlon and third-year Detrick Manning went face-to-face in the presidential race, while candidates third-year Yvan Monreal, first-year Jenna Gelinas, and third-year Lily Grossman ran for the seat of the vice-president.
Conlon ran to be the next student body President of the ASWC Senate. Coming off his time as the current Treasurer of ASWC, Conlon said, “I really just want to be president of the students.” Conlon understands the struggles of students, such as having to schedule labs around practice and having to spend time in the Business Office to lift the hold on his account. Some of the objectives he hoped to complete as President were to support working committees and to provide more avenues for advocacy on campus. He also pushes for redistributing certain clubs and organizations to promote easier communication. “As president, I will dedicate myself to students first,” said Conlon. “I proved this already with my work this year as ASWC treasurer, and I want to continue serving the student body as it feels like my civic duty to give back to the community.”
Detrick Manning returned to the ASWC Senate to run for President. Prior to running for President, Manning served as First-Year President and as Campus Relation Director. “I think that we’ve seen, in this past semester especially, our administration not really putting students first,” said Manning. “Whether you be an athlete, in a society, or in a club or organization.” He wants advocacy to be his main goal as ASWC President, and he wants to push against what he sees as mistreatment from the administration. “…[There] were a lot of students who were suffering silently … I will make sure every student here feels safe, every student here feels comfortable, and every student here feels supported.”
Serving as the current Vice President, Monreal believes he has the knowledge to uphold the position next academic year. “…[The] role of the vice-president is first and foremost for the student,” said Monreal. He believes he can connect to students easily, since he has been a part of different organizations. He created the Latino Leaders of Tomorrow. On campus, he served as the President of the Honor Political Science Society and is a member of the Orthogonian Society. He stresses the importance of having a student in the Senate willing to stand up for them. Monreal explains that administration is really trying to work with students. They cannot simply dedicate their lives to higher education without having the passion to help students. “I would not like to use the phrase ‘stand up against administration,’ but really provide transparency and communication. Sometimes communication can be lacking, so that is something I hope to improve,” said Monreal.
Jenna Gelinas is a first-year student returning to the ASWC after a brief time away from Senate following her resignation as First-year President. While she served as President, she also held a place on the Campus Relations Committee and in the Election Committee. As a younger student, Gelinas aims to make the Senate improve every year. “I took that time from Senate and saw what we did well, what definitely can be improved, and I also made a lot of connections while not sitting on the table,” said Gelinas. Working with passionate Senators and e-boards, she hopes to work closely to work with the new Whittier College President, Linda Oubré, to create more transparency and a more active relationship between students and administration. “It is a kind of a new face for administration and a new way to make a relationship with [President Linda Oubré].”
Third-year Lily Grossman aimed to take the seat of Vice President of ASWC Senate. She is currently a Student Body Representative on the ASWC Senate. Grossman went over three priorities during the debate: accessibility, transparency, and inclusion. Grossman has worked with the administration since 2015 when they attempted to make a completed plan for the Evacuation Emergency Protocol at the College in attempts to provide a safe emergency exit for students with disabilities. At the same time, Grossman emphasized the importance of communication between organizations and ASWC being the major key for the benefit of the College. Grossman aims to have more meetings of ASWC Senate to be livestreamed in order to have more transparency with the students. “I want to be a part of making positive change on campus from working with student organizations to get them the support they need,” said Grossman.