FOR THE QC
After a challenging and dramatic year for ASWC Senate, last week’s elections resulted in a sweep of the Executive Board Table, with third-year Detrick Manning set to take the reins, in Fall 2018.
The elected group of Manning, Yvan Monreal, Grace Reeder, and Sam Johnson made a strong effort to reach out the student body. “We weren’t sure if, originally, us running, given the problems with administration, would make that much of a difference, because there’s been so many problems,” said Reeder. “But all of us, at one point or another, has raised some hell for administration.” Manning was the one who assembled this group of student leaders. “I think everyone brought a different aspect to their position, so I think that’s why we decided to run as a team,” said Manning. “We all had the same motivations; we all wanted to help the student body.”
The race for Senate President fell to two third-years, Jacob Conlon and Manning, who both have backgrounds in Senate and extracurriculars. Manning is a Political Science major with a concentration in International Relations, a member of the William Penn society, and Model United Nations (UN), and considers himself to be an unofficial member of the Black Student Union and Violence Intervention Program. He served as his First-Year Class Council President and then as Campus Relations Director in his second year. This past Fall semester he traveled abroad, and when he returned, Manning made the decision to run for president. “[It’s] really disheartening to have students see so many different issues,” said Manning. “And they were coming from all across campus. It wasn’t just a society issue, or a club issue, or a students with disabilities issue.”
Manning’s main platform is about advocacy; making sure that students are being represented and treated fairly by administration. This year, Senate was dealt with several resignations, with a majority due to accusations of discrimination against them from administration. In response, Manning and a few other students founded the Advocacy Coalition, and he and his cabinet will work to make sure that all students feel comfortable with Senate and feel represented. “I think there needs to be a level of professionalism with anybody working here,” said Manning. “I think, if you’re being paid to serve the students, they should serve the students, and not be making students feel as though they can’t go to them or making students feel undermined.”
The race for Vice-President was more competitive, with three students running for the position: third-year Lilly Grossman, first-year Jenna Gelinas, and incumbent third-year Monreal, who retained his position. “I just felt really happy, and, quite frankly, I thought we deserved it,” said Monreal about being reelected. “I thought we ran the best campaign and really got our message across to the students.” Monreal is currently the Vice-President of the Political Science Honor Society, founder of the Latino Leaders of Tomorrow Club, member of the Orthogonian Society, and a former soccer player.
Like Manning, Monreal is focused on advocacy, but his main focus is to improve communication within Senate and the College community. “Communication between the Executive Board as a whole and the table wasn’t really up to par, and I think that’s something that I want to strengthen,” said Monreal. “We will be working on communication between administration and the students, ensuring that students know their rights when they go to speak to administration and administration knows to respect students.”
Reeder, another third-year, will be one of the few female members of ASWC Senate as the Campus Relations Director. Reeder is a Political Science major with an emphasis on Gender Studies, a student body representative for Senate, co-President of VIP, the chair of the Political Science Committee, and the President of the Political Science Honors Society. Reeder also writes for the Quaker Campus and does Model UN. She plans on improving communications as well as transparency. “Next year, I want to be able to start every meeting and have it live-streamed,” said Reeder, “so that, even when students are doing their homework, and they’re too busy to come down Senate, they will still be able to watch the meetings and have it in the background.”
The last member of the ensemble is second-year Johnson, who will enter the next school year as Secretary. “I think my desire to run for Secretary stemmed from the discussions I had with [Manning] and [Monreal] when they approached me about running with them,” said Johnson. When asked, Johnson said that he plans to increase student engagement with ASWC, but would not go into detail. He did say, however, that “students next year will be extremely aware of what Senate does, when meetings take place, and how they can go about expressing concerns or other matters with Senators.”
All four elected members expressed great excitement and interest in being able to work with the new Whittier College President, Linda Oubre. “I want to work with the new president. I’ve met with her already, and I want to say that she’s super excited about student change,” said Manning. He also said that he feels that with Oubre, they would be able to push their concerns and specifics higher up with administration where more might be done. Johnson has said “she already has made it clear that she wants to work directly with us, and aid us in any way possible.”
Manning will be sworn in as President at next Monday’s Senate meeting, which starts at 7:00 pm in Villalobos Hall. The Senate Office is also located under the Campus Inn, across from the Dean of Students Office. Manning had one final thought: “If you have any concerns at all, reach out to me through my social media accounts or my Poet email or just see me on campus. I hope to get to know a lot of you and serve you in the best way possible.”