Scot Council Elections begin for the 2021-22 academic year

Chloe Burdette

Editor in Chief

 

Scot Council has begun the elections process for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year. The ballot will include seats for four class representatives for the 2022, 2023 and 2024 class years, as well as five constituency representative positions. Scot Council’s constituency representative positions are meant to allow for greater advocacy for identity-based groups. In the past, there have been only four of these constituency positions: a Gender and Sexual Diversity Representative, a Racial and Ethnic Diversity Representative, an International Diversity Representative and a First Generation/Limited Income (FGLI) Representative. This year, however, Scot Council has added a new seat for an Accessibility Representative.

The Accessibility Representative position was created to better support students with disabilities and those with accessibility needs. It will allow a Scot Council member to dedicate their efforts towards working with the Learning Center and helping students navigate the appropriate offices while making resources more accessible to the campus community. The proposal for the new position was brought forth under the leadership of Scot Council Class of 2021 representatives Maureen Hanes ’21 and Maresa Taté ’21 in coordination with First Generation Student Organization president Savannah Sima ’23. 

On the importance of the new seat, Hanes explained, “The disability community is arguably the most intersectional and marginalized community, yet I think it is also the least well-represented community on campus. I am so excited that the Accessibility Rep position has been added, because not only will this rep be able to help advocate for students with disabilities or accommodation needs, but they will also generally be able to help raise awareness for people with diverse needs and increase the visibility of these students on campus. I think this position will also benefit the campus as a whole by creating a more inclusive environment overall; many of the things that can benefit students with disabilities, such as more accessible buildings, more lenient attendance policies, etc. can also benefit so many people on campus regardless of their experience or identity.”

Sima discussed the development of the role, saying, “The process of implementing the Accessibility Rep position was really motivating. It was great to see the consistent support for this position from Scot Council, and how excited the student body was to engage with the position. Knowing that my peers recognize how deep the barriers to an equitable education run for people with visible and invisible disabilities is great! Knowing that any of us could turn to these representatives to ask for support means a lot. I think a lot of progress within accommodations and ResLife will be made by this position.” 

In addition to the new position on the ballot, this election differs from its predecessors because of its competitive nature. Last year, Scot Council was created following the dissolution of Campus Council and the Student Government Association (SGA). In addition to a lack of clarity separating the responsibilities of the two former governing bodies, one of the goals of reshaping Scot Council and SGA into one singular organization was to increase the level of competition in elections. “The first two times I ran for student government as a class representative, I had no competition,” Scot Council Vice President Sam Casey ’21 said. “While it made it easy to win, it was problematic because student voters were not able to weigh the pros and cons of multiple candidates and choose the best person for the job. However, when we had elections as the Scot Council for the first time last spring, there was already a major improvement.” This year, all but two positions are contested, meaning that students will have a much greater say in who will represent them. 

“I’m really excited to see that we have 36 candidates for Scot council this year,” said current Scot Council President Olivia Proe ’21. “It’s the greatest amount of interest in student government that I’ve seen in my entire time at Wooster. I’m especially happy about the interest that our constituency seats have garnered, with seven students running to be the International Diversity Representative. To me, the number of candidates is indicative of how caring Wooster students are and that we’re determined to make a better community.” The most highly contested races this year are for the International Diversity seat and the Class of 2024 seat, which have seven and eight candidates running, respectively.

The candidates for the four Class of 2022 seats are Rachel Catus, Thinh Huynh, Abby McFarren and Doug Morris. The candidates for the four Class of 2023 seats are Z. Iris Filippi, Courage Kusena, Noah Golovan, Ruisha Prasai, Andrew Seifert and a joint ticket of Grace Braver and Jenna Dyroff to accommodate off-campus study. The candidates for the four Class of 2024 seats are Gabriella Boateng, Carrie Buckwalter, Atlas Dwyer, Sarah Epstein, Jaylin Hudson, Yeeun Koh, Dylynn Lasky and Giselle Rivera. 

There are two tickets for the FGLI representative seat; students are able to vote for either Sinqobile Nyasha Tagwireyi ’22 or a joint ticket of Savannah Sima ’23 in the fall semester and Shelby Jones ’22 in the spring, again to accommodate off-campus study. 

The three candidates running for the Gender and Sexual Diversity Representative seat are Artemis Swanson ’23, Micah Morrow ’24 and Mochi Meadows ’24. Ryan Seaton-Evans ’23 is running for the new Accessibility Representative position, and Kennedy Pope ’23, Victoria Silva ’23 and Liz Santiago ’24 are the three candidates running for Racial and Ethnic Diversity Representative. 

Lastly, the seven candidates running for the International Diversity Representative position are Iván Akiri ’22, Aelon Ketema Samuel ’22, Tyusha Sarawagi ’23, Ishika Gupta ’23, Sadia Raisa ’23, Sukriti Chiripal ’24 and Amanda Iskin ’24. 

Students will be able to vote between next Monday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 17. By the time of print, a panel where candidates can share their platforms and answer student questions will have been held on Wednesday, March 10. A recording of the panel will be available by email from Scot Council for any students who were unable to attend but wish to listen to the candidates before the voting starts next week.