Editorial board endorses four candidates for student body officer elections
This year, 11 students are vying for student body officer positions on Student Senate. Three tickets have emerged, and one student will run as an independent.
Graduate student Jordan Ticaric, junior Jade Peters, junior Trisha Koors and junior Patrick Campbell comprise the one full ticket that has emerged this year.
Another ticket is comprised of sophomore Kyle Malinowski, freshman Tricia Anklan and sophomore Candace Esken. Freshman Nicholas Swiatkowski, junior Craig Mayer and junior James Lombard make up a third.
Junior Tee Johnson is running independently for president.
All the candidates have varying backgrounds in student leadership, and they all possess different levels of experience.
No one is running uncontested this year, a fact that should make for a competitive election.
The Scout interviewed all the candidates this past week, and endorsed those we thought would best be able to represent the student body and work toward changing Bradley in ways beneficial for students.
We asked the candidates their plans for change at Bradley and in Senate as well as their past leadership experience. We took into account their goals and the ideas they would use to try to reach those goals. The statements they made during the debate on Sunday night also factored into our decisions.
These endorsements reflect only the independent opinion of the Scout editorial board.
President – Jordan Ticaric
There’s no doubt about it, Ticaric has entered this campaign with experience unmatched by any other candidate. She has served two terms as student body president prior to this year, and before that she served as student body secretary.
She knows what she’s doing, and she will be able to hit the ground running if elected president for a third term.
And, in our eyes, her experience can only be counted as a positive. She has served one of her two terms as a graduate student, which has only allowed her to represent students better.
She knows about the needs and wants of undergraduate students, as well as graduate students, and will be able to bring two perspectives to the position.
Her relationships with administrators has placed her at the forefront of this competition, as forging those relationships make it all that easier to get things done as president.
But despite these close relationships, she isn’t afraid to ask for the “big ticket items,” as she said. If she gets her way, future students may see a new student center sooner than anyone would have thought.
Her opponent, junior Tee Johnson, on the other hand, lacks experience. Johnson has never been on Senate before. How can we expect her to be able to be in charge of an organization she has never been a member of?
She said she has gained leadership experience through her role on Tunnel of Oppression, but the skills gained from planning an event such as Tunnel are different than those necessary for success as president.
Ticaric understands the problems that face Senate such as senator retention and recruitment.
Unlike her competitors on the ticket headed by Malinowski, she will create realistic ways to slowly change the way Senate recruits. Malinowski’s idea is to overhaul the system and recruit senators from academic colleges and organizations.
The plan is a good idea in theory, but Senate can’t just wave a magic wand and fix the problems it has in representing the entire student body.
Ticaric knows that those goals can’t be achieved within the limited timeframe a president is faced with.
The candidates on Malinowski’s ticket also said they would like to see more spirit at Bradley, and Malinowski cited apathy as the largest problem at Bradley.
Ticaric knows that although encouraging spirit is a good idea, without proper initial planning, the idea is just that – an idea.
We agree that an empty platform is no way to win an election, and ideas need backing in order to be realized.
And with her experience, we trust that she knows what she’s talking about.
As for plans of her own, Ticaric said she doesn’t have any concrete ones as of yet, but a blank slate is the best place to start from. Formulating plans after hearing about what students want will be the most effective way to change things at Bradley the students want changed.
Vice President – Jade Peters
Peters is running for vice president with one year of experience as Academic Affairs Committee chairwoman.
She has been the president and vice president of Heitz Hall. She has also gathered a laundry list of achievements outside the classroom including director of recruitment on Panhellenic Council and Activities Council SERF coordinator.
Peters has had her hand in many organizations on campus, and she will be able to learn from the many students she has encountered about the changes they want to see.
However, we weren’t completely sold when Peters said her other commitments wouldn’t get in the way of her ability to do her job.
The responsibilities of vice president are never completely explicit, which means Peters would have to work hard to come up with her own ways to do the job effectively.
We don’t know if she would have the time or if she has enough dedication to Senate to take initiative as vice president.
However, despite some of her shortcomings, Peters’ resume looks better than her both of her opponents’, Anklan and Mayer.
Anklan has never been on Senate before, and, as a freshman, there is no way she knows the ins and outs of Bradley.
Although she may have potential, she has had no time and she hasn’t had any opportunities to meet and network with administrators.
In her interview, Anklan sounded as if she was repeating lines that she had rehearsed. The student body needs a vice president who is genuine and knows about the needs and wants of students – not someone who can memorize and recite lines.
Peters, on the other hand, has been on Senate before. And she said she has had contact with administration that is important in achieving goals and making changes.
Mayer’s answers were short and lacked information and ideas. He said he wants to set up a table for senators to sit at during their constituency hours, but not a whole lot else.
Peters also has had experience with recruitment as director of recruitment on Panhel, and since recruitment and retention of senators is such as large problem, the skills she has learned would come in handy.
Peters said she has plans to support the committee chairs as vice president. She wants to attend all the committee meetings as the “backbone” of Senate. This idea is a good start to defining the responsibilities of vice president. We hope she will be able to follow through with this plan.
Secretary – Candace Esken
The endorsement for secretary was another difficult choice, but ultimately we chose Esken.
She has been on Senate for one year, which gives her the experience needed to be secretary.
But more importantly, she has clear goals and ideas as to how Senate can increase communication.
Esken said one of her main goals would be to announce the changes Senate makes because often times students aren’t aware of the changes that can significantly impact their experiences at Bradley.
Making the actions known to the public is in the secretary’s job description, and is easily one of the position’s most important functions.
She said she is willing to explore different forms of communication to see what works.
Because Esken is a commuter student, she said she knows how hard it can be to know what’s going on, and that’s important.
Esken’s opponent, Koors, also said increasing communication is important, but seems to lack a direction as how to go about it. She said her first goal would be to get Senate minutes posted earlier, which makes sense.
She also wants to post those minutes in common places so students can read them, but she can’t expect students to read minutes by just posting them.
Another extremely important role for the secretary, and all student body officers, will be to get more students interested in being senators.
And Esken seems to be more focused on that issue than Koors.
While Esken’s ideas seem a little shaky, she does have some. And that’s more than we can say for Koors, who seems to think that communicating with the largely apathetic student body will be easy.
Koors has served on Senate as the Diversity Affairs chairwoman for the last year and is also the Panhellenic Council president, so she has leadership experience just like Esken.
And while we think either candidate can get the job done, Esken’s motivation tips the scale a little in her direction.
Treasurer – Patrick Campbell
Two personable and qualified candidates compete for the position of treasurer, and only one thing gives Campbell a slight edge over opponent Lombard – confidence.
While it should not be overlooked that Campbell only has one semester of experience on Senate, and it was during his freshman year, he exudes a presence of confidence that will impress administrators and increase the chance that they will trust the ideas he presents to them.
He also already has established relationships with many of the administrators he would be working with.
Campbell is realistic in saying he knows he can’t decrease the price of tuition and increase scholarships, but he said he hopes to fundraise outside of the university to bring in additional funds to Senate and Bradley.
Campbell also wants to use Senate to provide a forum to let students know about scholarship opportunities. This is a great idea, especially in an uncertain time such as this.
Through his work of starting a non-profit, interning for a former Speaker of the House and studying in Washington, D.C., for a semester, he has the experience outside the Bradley bubble to indicate he’s capable of establishing external relationships.
And although he’s used to being at the head of an organization, we are confident that, if elected, he will be professional enough to work underneath people.
Also, as an economics major, he has an understanding of how money works.
We were conflicted in this decision because Lombard, a finance major, also seems to have the knowledge required to serve well in the treasurer position. He has more than a year’s worth of experience working for a bank, and served on Senate this year.
He seems organized and motivated, but may be a bit less professional than Campbell.
While Lombard is not a bad candidate for the position, he seems somewhat like a wide-eyed child eager to learn, while Campbell seems to be confident he already possesses the skills and can put them into use.