The four Student Government Association presidential candidates came together on Tuesday Feb. 12 for the presidential debates. The candidates shared their visions for the presidency as well at their stances on key issues.
Kelton Hedstrom began the debates with focusing on Christ.
“I’m here to talk about Jesus, ultimately,” he said. “You’ve heard my pillars: safety, unity, student voice. They’re all important. They’re all valuable, but without Christ, they are nothing. It’s important that we keep that focus.”
Chris Still explained how his first experience on campus led him to focus on community and communication in his campaign.
“I remember walking around and everybody knew each other; it was brilliant. It was the thing that drove me to come to this campus,” Still said. “My goal is to bring us back together as one Corban united.”
Jake DeVries focuses his campaign on letting the students’ voices be heard.
“One of the aspects that I want to look at next year, if elected, is hearing the voice of the quiet around us,” he said. “I think it is so easy to just listen to the loudest voice, but I want to listen to the quiet ones.”
Brendan Fugere’s campaign hinges on transparency between students and SGA, and between the administration and the student body.
“Things can always be changed to be improved one way or another,” Fugere said. “The way that I am most passionate about improving this campus is through transparency.”
Jake DeVries, when asked what makes him well-equipped to lead, refered to his experience in SGA as the VP of Community Engagement.
“I’m the only one running that has experienced on the cabinet,” he said. “It would be easier for me to get right into it and do it right in the first days.”
Hedstrom shared about why he believes he would be the best fit for president, referring to his assertiveness, his belief in change and his role as a peacemaker.
“The goal is not to make enemies, but to make a better Corban,” Hedstrom said.
Still stressed the importance of connecting with those on campus, saying if elected he would dedicate time to meeting in each dorm, as well as with commuters, to hear their views and ideas.
“It is our job to enforce what you guys are,” Still said, “to bring out the personality that Corban is, to bring out the personality that each and every one of you residents has.”
When asked if being a commuter and married man would interfere with the duties of president, Fugere said, “My wife is nothing but a benefit to me.”
He shared that he sees his position as a commuter as a help rather than a hinderance. “I think that me being off campus gives me more experience in how to better unify Corban as a whole.”
The candidates were asked how they plan to represent the student voice.
“I come with none of my own intentions besides putting Christ first and then second doing whatever the student opinion is,” Fugere said. “I don’t care if it’s my opinion. That’s what should happen because that’s democracy. That’s what’s right.”
One of these candidates will win the position of SGA president, while another will become the executive vice president.
“My goal for the president and the vice president is for them to have different views,” Still said. “That way, they can come together and talk about them, refine them to the pure diamonds that they can be.”
One issue brought up was that of safety on campus.
“This is your home,” Hedstrom stated. “To commuters, to you who live on campus: this is your home and you deserve to feel safe here. It’s that simple.”
One difference among the candidates is that while Still, DeVries, and Fugere are pursuing open applications for their cabinet positions, Hedstrom has already selected what positions he wants and who would fill those jobs.
“I hope you see the passion we have for Corban and that we are very similar in a lot of ways and we would each do a good job as SGA president,” DeVries stated in his closing statements. “But I hope you see the differences among us and vote with those differences. Vote for who you think would best represent you and best represent your interests.”
The four candidates will share at chapel tomorrow, February 15th. Voting will open right after and will close at midnight.