New ASC Team Voted into Office
Reported by Jen Wright
On March 9, George Fox University (GFU) gained a new Associated Student Community (ASC) team for the 2019-2020 year, with a voting turnout of 1004 students, much more than the previous year, according to current ASC President Bailey Sauls.
Alexa Hamaker and Kevin Tshilombo are the new ASC president and vice-president, with 640 votes over candidates Kokanee Ellingson and Meghan Elford’s 353 votes.
Henry Fillmore is the new vice-president of finance in an uncontested vote.
The class representatives, filling new positions, are Micah Mensing for the Sophomore class, Meredith Green for the Junior class and Shelby Bauer for the Senior class.
A new factor in this year’s race were the two female ASC presidential candidates. It’s high time for a female ASC president, and having three of the four candidates be women was very encouraging, Sauls said.
“I think probably that’s what I’m the most excited about,” Sauls said. “Not only do we have people running, opposing each other, but it’s very qualified, strong female leaders, who, I think, are going to change this campus in some pretty profound ways.”
Sauls thinks the new ASC team is ready and qualified to take over the student government.
“I feel good about leaving next year, because I know that everything we’ve done this year is going to be in good hands moving forward,” he said.
A lot of the candidates this year have not been in student government before, but Sauls is confident they will bring fresh perspectives to the ASC.
For the past year, ASC has been rebuilding the student government and redefining what student government means at GFU.
“I think it will be nice for that team to not have to worry about continuing to set up structure,” Sauls said. “I’m excited for them to start working on more policy-type stuff.”
Changing the campus depends on creating good relationships with other departments on campus, and Sauls hopes the new team will continue to foster those ties created by the ASC.
One of the strengths of the new team is listening to the students, Sauls said. He anticipates next year’s changes and improvements will center around student input.
“A lot of what happens next year is dependent on student voice,” Sauls said, “How well it’s heard, and how well students articulate those things.”
The ASC helps change policies and navigate what students want, and the ASC president serves as an accessible representative of the student body.
“I think the student body president is, in essence, the bridge, or the voice between the students and administration, or the trustees,” Sauls said. “They’re the connecting piece.”
Even though the ASC president doesn’t do most of the leg work on changing policies and passing decisions, Sauls says the role is vital to having a healthy student government.
“It’s the student body president’s job to be the best, most encouraging, and compassionate and strong leader who invests in the students and the student leaders that they’re leading.” Sauls said. “It’s like you are this ambiguous, strong student leader who people can come to.”
Hamaker and Tshilombo’s campaign centered around their slogan “inspired by you.”
“This means that, above all, we want to be a resource for each and every one of you,” Hamaker said in her speech at Election Night. “Being inspired by you means reaching out to each of you to know your story, to understand your experience at Fox, and to make your ideas a reality.”
Hamaker and Tshilombo will begin their terms as ASC president and vice-president this fall semester.