By Linda Wilkins and Daniel C. Houston
Election day has arrived, and the candidates for positions in the student government elections are wrapping up the campaign season, during which they have been lobbying for the votes of their colleagues for the past two weeks.
The elections will take place electronically Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at www.baylor.edu/sg/vote.
The Lariat’s editorial board endorsed a candidate for each position. Read the endorsements here.
Current IVP Michael Lyssy wrote a letter endorsing a candidate for student body president. Read the endorsement here.
The Lariat interviewed all six candidates who will be on the ballot for the three highest offices in student government: student body president, external vice president and internal vice president.
Student Body President
The three candidates running for student body president are Houston junior Tyler Tribble Des Moines, Iowa junior Kelly Rapp. and Rockwall junior Nick Pokorny.
Tribble, a finance and economics major, served as a student senator and as a member of the student body president’s cabinet.
“I’d like to take this job head-on and take it in a determined way to get things done,” Tribble said. “I want to see the checklist with the most important things in the minds of the student body, and I want to be the voice for that, the voice for the students and ensure that their desires on campus and off campus are fulfilled.”
Tribble said he wants to increase safety on and off campus by having the Baylor Police Department and the Waco Police Department collaborate.
He also said he hopes to increase parking capacity and encourage more student government member involvement.
Regarding his removal from his position as student senator last year, Tribble said, “I voluntarily chose to come back to student government because I’m very passionate. I’m a passionate leader, I’m dedicated, and if not for these rough times in my life then it never would have taken place. I’m a very ethical and moral person and I believe in Baylor and everything it stands for.”
Rapp, an economics major, has been a member of the external vice president’s cabinet, a two-time member of the student body president’s cabinet, and has worked with the Board of Regents as a student liaison.
“This is a great chance that I have to go forth with some of the goals that I’ve had since freshman year,” Rapp said.
Rapp said he wants to focus on changing flat rate scholarships to percentage-based so that as tuition rises the scholarship rises a percentage with it.
He also said he hopes to bring more high-profile speakers to campus and improve safety on and off campus.
“I’ve seen the issues that students have and there are better ways to [approach] those than others, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot the past few years. I’ve prepared myself to be able to take on this position and to connect with the students and staff,” Rapp said.
Pokorny, a political science and international studies major, has served two terms in the Student Senate, as the student representative for sustainability and also as the student representative to the university judicial affairs committee.
Pokorny said he wants to focus on the affordability of a Baylor education.
“While I appreciate the university trying to keep tuition rates from exponentially increasing, one of the ways we really need to work on that is by going to alumni, going to community partners and creating a culture of giving towards Baylor,” he said.
Pokorny said he also wants to focus on improving student access to working printers, have more campus facilities open 24 hours a day and have more public access to student government.
External Vice President
The race for external vice president — the office responsible for relations with the Waco community, the Big 12 and Baylor alumni — pits two class presidents against each other in junior Briana Treadaway and sophomore Raechel Adams.
Both candidates cited their experience organizing events as class officers and connections they have made with members of various communities as reasons why they feel they would be prepared for the EVP position.
Treadaway emphasized that, while addressing student affordability issues would be a high priority for her if elected, she said she wanted to help connect Baylor students with alumni.
“[Affordability] is the main concern,” Treadaway said, “but really, as EVP, I want to strive to help the student-alumni relationships. I have met with the Baylor Network and we have discussed ways to help increase awareness of the Baylor Network. … The connections are so important because it will allow you to make possible ways to find internships or find jobs or just relate with someone and find connections within the network.”
While Adams also talked about the importance of facilitating community service opportunities and completing
“I’m a member of the student safety task force,” Adams said. “I’ve represented the opinions of on- and off-campus students in promoting and initiating different programs that keep Baylor students safe on and off campus. And so through that I’ve been more aware of things going on in Waco and on Baylor’s campus about student safety.”
Internal Vice President
The lone candidate running unopposed for the office of internal vice president is Houston junior Brian Kim.
The internal vice president serves as the chief administrative officer of Student Senate and is responsible for leading meetings, managing committees and enforcing policies.
But running unopposed hasn’t stopped Kim, a three-year senator who ran unsuccessfully for IVP last year, from campaigning as though he had an opponent.
“It’s certainly less stressful,” Kim said. “However, people ask me, ‘Why are you campaigning?’ because I’m still out there, I have buttons, I’m actually still campaigning. … I don’t want to seem laid back and not doing anything because I’m going to win, but I actually want to be out there spreading the message of what I really believe in.”
Kim said he would work to promote increased efficiency, more transparency and promote a sense of Student Senate’s legitimacy.
Linda Wilkins wrote the section on the student body president race. Daniel Houston, a former student senator, did not write this section because of his involvement in the removal of Tyler Tribble from his Senate office last year.