By Nora Kajamaa
Editor’s note: This news story is part of a collaboration between The Herring and AUC’s journalism course. The story was entirely reported, written, edited, and fact checked by members of the journalism course. Some material may have been altered by The Herring’s editors to fit its style guidelines.
—In the last two weeks, AUC caught a good glimpse at our four choices for the upcoming student council elections. It has now reached the end of the two-week campaigning period and the debate is scheduled for this Wednesday, May 17. It is expected that the debate will heated, but from what can be seen now, the parties all agree on one thing: they want to leave a legacy.
Legacy is in the name for Alma Matters. They’ve hung up posters all around the AB, their party name playing a pun on ‘alma mater’, a term used to call one’s undergraduate university. “The time at their alma mater should be something that fills alumni with pride,” said Jaime Lopes, first on the party list and first-year Social Science major. Alma Matters wants to make the time at AUC matter. “The slogan ‘excellent and diverse’ should be representative of what happens here,” said Lopes.
Alma Matters promotes itself on its practicality. “All our proposal points are achievable,” said Lopes, gesturing to the party’s proposal plan that can be found on their Facebook page. One of them is “Making your Student Council matter”.
When Lopes told his friends that he was running for the student council, a lot of them asked, “The student council? You mean the AUCSA?”. This happened so often that Lopes got the impression that the student council is almost like a “shadow organization” that runs the university college. It made him realize that student council visibility to the student body is top priority. Especially because it is such an important organization within AUC, as it represents the interests of the student body.
Accurately representing the student body is at the top of the list for Triple C. The first of the C’s even reflects it: Communication. Their goal is to increase communication of students with the student council and teachers.
“The most important thing is to talk to people rather than just sit in your room and philosophize about ideas,” said Lea Bonasera, first on the Triple C party list and second-year Humanities and Social Science major. “AUC is already great and I want to make it an even better place. And this is only possible through communication.”
The other two C’s in Triple C stand for Curriculum and Continuation. “We want a more liberal arts and science vibe,” said Bonasera about the curriculum, “There should be a broader introduction to all courses.” She wants to give students more opportunities to try courses outside of their majors. “We’ve seen from our polls that people want to try out, but can’t because of time and space in the curriculum.” Triple C also wants to set up a solid platform for the future, as the master base is good, but not updated enough.
W.I.S.E. stands out differently from the rest. “AUC is a young school, so it’s important to set a strong foundation,” said Adele Beinaravičiūtė, first on the party list and first-year Social Science major.
One such foundation brick is the wellness, both mental and physical, of AUC. They stand for Wellness, Interaction, and Sustainability for Excellence after all. Eleonora Gelmetti, second on the party list and first-year Humanities student, said: “You cannot excel at the academics if you’re stressed or unhappy. We should focus on our humanness.”
W.I.S.E. placed a whiteboard by the stairs Thursday May 4 as a part of their campaign. “Take what you need,” they wrote on it, referring to the post-its of compliments and encouragements pasted on it for any student or staff to take in need of a morale boost. “Wellness is one of the core things for student and staff,” said Beinaravičiūtė, “And we want to encourage this by opening up a larger dialogue.”
Unlike the other parties, Poppin’ Pillars remains a mystery for now. Their posters are all around the dorms and on the boards dedicated for the campaigners, their Facebook page is set up, but otherwise there has been little activity. The prime candidate in the Poppin’ Pillars party list and second-year Social Science major Suzanne Broer was not available for a comment. But with a week and a bit to go before the debates, we may still see more of them around.
The elections this year will take on a list-system. That means that instead of the Student Council elections being a popularity contest between candidates, voters will have to choose parties based on their ideals.
So who has the greatest chance in winning? Current Secretary of the Student Council and second-year Social Science major Sarah Stapel said: “I’ve got to stay neutral, but each of the candidates have been involved heavily with AUC before, so I have no doubt each will do well.”