Whitworthian endorses ASWU 2017 executive candidates
Editorial Board endorses DeBray, Weeks
After following the races for ASWU president, executive vice president and financial vice president (FVP), executive debates and carefully considering the options, the editorial board has selected the candidate we feel will best work with the student body at large, student groups, administration and represent the needs of Whitworth’s campus.
The board has decided to endorse Jeff DeBray for president of ASWU for the 2017-2018 school year. DeBray’s experience as FVP was a deciding factor against his opponent Hannah LeRoy. DeBray’s work as FVP will allow him to step into the role of president understanding the connections between ASWU, administration and students. The board feels DeBray has been successful this year in handling ASWU’s budget and managing multiple club charters and requisitions. The passion and commitment DeBray has exhibited this past year while serving on ASWU demonstrates he will continue to be involved and see the role as a priority next year.
DeBray’s connections and work with the over 50 clubs and other student organizations on campus also lends itself to support DeBray as a candidate. In the debates, DeBray said he did not have a concrete platform for next year and instead will look to student ideas and needs to lead his term. While LeRoy also does not have a clear vision for her potential presidency, DeBray’s experience communicating with students and fulfilling their needs provides more evidence that this type of platform could be effective. Debray’s work in current ASWU president Breanna Lyons' administration, who ran on a similar platform last year, further demonstrates his potential to make an administration focused on student needs rather than concrete promises function.
The board feels LeRoy could bring an outsider's, much needed fresh perspective to the ASWU executive board. However, LeRoy’s lack of knowledge about the president’s duties and her inability to fully answer questions about her vision for the position during the debate swayed the board toward DeBray. As a write-in candidate who said in the debates that she has attended a few ASWU meetings, LeRoy would be a change from the traditional route to president from being a senator or coordinator. Her new perspective could provide innovative ideas on how ASWU should run and be accessible to students. LeRoy would enter with the disadvantage of not knowing ASWU’s complex set of bylaws, the constitution and how to manage the multiple relationships with student groups, campus committees and Whitworth’s administration.
Executive Vice President
The board will not endorse a candidate for executive vice president of ASWU for the 2017-2018 school year. Dylan Reyes is running unopposed in the race.
The board believes Reyes outperformed the other executive positions during the debate by providing thoughtful and prepared answers to all questions backed by genuine enthusiasm to speak on his platform. Despite running unopposed Reyes has continued an upbeat and energetic campaign.
Financial Vice President
The board has decided to endorse Andy Weeks for financial vice president of ASWU for the 2017-2018 school year. The board was not strongly swayed by either candidate; however, Weeks’ answers during the debate were conscious and focused on transparency issues he saw with the ASWU budget. Weeks’ experience as a senator managing Duvall Hall’s budget and using the money to help students places him ahead of opponent Shaun Fisher.
One of the main points that moved Weeks ahead of Fisher came in the debate. When asked to name a marginalized group on campus and how the FVP position could help that group Fisher was unable to name a group. He offered a noncommittal answer about the many marginalized communities on campus, but could not offer a concrete answer or express how he would work to help a specific group. Weeks named the LGBTQ+ community and said he would work to help the group feel more welcomed on campus through helping others on campus learn about the group.
The board believes, as Fisher said in the debates, his participation in choir and leadership and involvement with several other campus organizations makes him overscheduled for the position. While Fisher said he would make FVP a priority if elected, the board believes Fisher does not understand the time commitment and would not be able to give the position the time required
Vote until tonight (4/11) at 8 p.m. here.
Opinions from the Editorial Board reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of editors on The Whitworthian.