By Morgan Harlan | Staff Writer
Baylor student government elections are officially open for voting, as Baylor seeks to elect its newest student body leadership team, class officers, and class senators. Voting is open for students from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 11 and 12 on Connect.
Current External Vice President Sloane Simpson, a junior entrepreneurship and marketing major from San Antonio, is currently running unopposed for student body president. The student body president is the chief executive officer of student government and official spokesman of the Baylor student body to all Baylor constituencies, the public and media and other colleges and universities. The student body president also advises class officers and the rest of the executive branch.
“Baylor is unique because of its interconnected community of engaged Baylor students and faculty, growing Waco citizenship and businesses, and passionate alumni, who all play a role in furthering the Baylor mission of worldwide leadership and Christian commitment. As student body president, I hope to advocate on behalf of all members of the Baylor family for resources and programs to grow our thriving university,” Simpson said in a statement.
Brooke Beard, a College Station junior majoring in political science, is running unopposed for internal vice president (IVP.) The internal vice president is the chief legislative and administrative officer of student government. This position also serves as the president of Student Senate.
“I am running for IVP because I not only want to be the voice of the students, but a booming voice for the students. During my three years on Senate, I got to serve on the Academic Affairs Committee, which means that my bills would mainly pertain to the improvement of Baylor from the academic perspective,” Beard said. “These bills are a little harder to write because we deal with higher-ups in the academic fields, and it was very easy for those people to ignore our emails and our pleas for change.”
“I want to be IVP so they cannot ignore my voice any longer. My platform is sustainability, which means that I will be writing and pushing for legislation pertaining to making a greener Baylor,” Beard said. “I want to make steps towards installing solar panels on Foster and the BSB, because they are the newest building on campus and there is not tree coverage, so it would be direct sunlight, and more regular clean-ups of the Brazos River.”
Sutton Houser is a sophomore entrepreneurship and international business double major from Boerne and is running for the external vice president (EVP.) According to Baylor’s student government website, “The student body external vice president is a connecting officer for Baylor’s student body to the Greater Waco community. The EVP also serves as the liaison to state and national levels of governmental relations. By reaching out to city, state, national, and university partners in a broad spectrum of communities, this office is able to contribute to as well as advocate for a full Baylor experience. The office works in relational areas regarding community, government, alumni, and university in order to make the student experience at Baylor holistic.”
Houser said he is running for EVP because he believes the platform he and his team have worked on will be the most beneficial thing for the Baylor and Waco community. This includes increasing transparency within student government so that Baylor students know what resources are available to them.
“Inspiring the kids of Waco to go gain a higher education. Finally, I hope to further efforts of students as they lobbying to increase scholarships on the state and national level,” Houser said.
Breann Bates, is a corporate communication sophomore from Minneola, Fla., is also running for external vice president.
“I am running because as a two-term senator, I have seen the power that student government can have in influencing positive change if placed in the right hands.
I have a reading buddy at South Waco Elementary that opened my eyes to the true, kind and hopeful Waco community. She has inspired me to get more involved with the vibrant community that Waco possesses. It is my hope that I can take my passion for service, community and sustainability and create a meaningful, loving relationship between Baylor and the greater Waco community. My heart behind ‘We are Waco’ is that whether we are here for four years or for the rest of our lives, I want our students to be encouraged to tap into the resources and relationships available to us.”
The third candidate for external vice president, is Alan Bond a sophomore and political science major from San Jose, Calif. Bond served as a cabinet member on the Student Organization and Engagement committee under Hannah Causey when she was last EVP. Bond said that he saw her passion and drive for this position and wanted to continue that by helping Waco.
“I knew that this position would be the best position for me because I am someone that is passionate about the community and having the inclusion of everyone. Ultimately my goal within this position is to create a more connected Baylor that coexists with the vibrant community of Waco through student involvement, service and community,” Bond said. “Involvement by creating internship and job opportunities for students, but also creating an atmosphere that promotes socializing at businesses outside of the Baylor bubble. Also, creating opportunities for students to serve in their community on a frequent basis for the betterment of the larger Waco area. Lastly, I want to bring Baylor together through community. I want to encourage students to see more than just the immediate vicinity of Waco and experience all that it has to offer. I believe that Baylor deserves to be at its best and this is the way I plan to.”
Ballots are also open for class senators and class officers.