A crowd of students clustered in the Michel Student Center Atrium Wednesday afternoon to hear the announcement of the incoming 2018-2019 Student Body Officer election results.
Voting for the elections began at 6:30 p.m. Monday following a debate held by the Student Senate elections board, which allowed candidates to answer questions from current student senators and the student body. 55 people attended the debate, according to Student Senate check-in records. Voting ended at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, and a total of 963 votes were recorded.
Junior health science major Mikki Tran was voted as 2018-2019 Student Body President. Tran received 610 of the 871 valid votes recorded during the voting period, good enough for a 70.03 percent majority. According to Tran, she aims to strengthen the relationship between Bradley and the Peoria community during her term.
“For this upcoming year, one of my goals is to build a strong relationship with the Peoria community and our Bradley community,” Tran said. “Both of these entities possess very little knowledge about the other, and we want to change that. Peoria has so much to offer, and we hope to propel the student body into discovering all that Peoria has to offer. Overall, I want to bring awareness and give the student body the voice that they deserve while providing them with the knowledge about Peoria.”
Tran served on Student Senate this past school year, during which she worked closely with current Vice President of Campus Affairs Cal Weisman and the Campus Affairs committee.
“Through [Weisman’s] leadership, I helped implement the on-campus food pantry, Lydia’s Cupboard, to fight food insecurity within our student body,” Tran said. “My first year on Senate taught me many useful skills, such as policymaking, effective leadership, and the importance of teamwork and group cohesion, that I hope to use during my presidency.”
Junior Spanish, biochemistry and philosophy triple major Malini Wijesinghe ran uncontested and received 900 of the 915 votes to secure the Speaker of the Assembly position. According to Wijesinghe, she looks forward to facilitating helpful and meaningful conversations between Student Senate and the student body.
“As the Speaker, I hope to be able to mediate a lot of positive conversation about integral subjects to student success and development here at Bradley,” Wijesinghe said. “I also hope to be able to bring in guest speakers who will not only inform our senators, but challenge them to be positive and innovative leaders on our campus.”
Despite not having any previous Student Senate experience, Wijesinghe said she has been meeting regularly with current student senators, including current Speaker of the Assembly Kelsey Vogt.
Sophomore sociology major Camille Sanders won the majority for Chief of Staff by receiving 447 of the 867 votes. She has been a Student Senator throughout her time at Bradley including serving as the Geisert Hall senator during the 2016-17 school year and the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion this past year.
According to Sanders, she hopes to utilize her time as Chief of Staff to create stronger communication between not only the students but also the community.
“My main goal this year is to create more collaboration across clubs [and] organizations on campus [and] in the Peoria community,” Sanders said. “I think sharing resources and creating a stronger sense of community between clubs and the larger Peoria community will be beneficial to everyone.”
Junior music education major Nolan Ruthe secured the Director of Administration position by receiving 579 of 891 votes. Ruthe said he would like to spend his term focusing on public relationships and connecting with students in person.
“My number one goal in terms of public relations is just communication,” Ruthe said. “Because I feel like a lot of time, students, whether they be individuals or student organizations, miss out on potential opportunities because they just don’t know because there is just so much information to sift through.”
Ruthe said he is also looking forward to working with his fellow Student Body Officers, who all ran on the same ticket during elections: Bradley & Beyond.
“I think we all know each other pretty well, and we have a good dynamic already,” Ruthe said. “So I am really just looking forward to take that chemistry and that connection that we have and really use it to benefit the student body.”
The installment of the new SBOs will take place during Student Senate General Assembly at 5 p.m. on April 16 in the Garrett Center. University President Gary Roberts will install the SBOs, and it is open to the entire Bradley community.