Student government elections are well on their way towards the search for the new president and vice president. With official candidates and campaigns off to a good start something stood out among the 6 candidates that were announced and that’s the one female up on the board.
Rachael Barnes took a leap of faith when agreeing to tackle this challenge after being approached by a friend who suggested the idea and introduced her to Conner Tillo, her running mate. The opportunity was introduced to her at a perfect time in which she was new ways to be challenged as she entered her third year.
“Decisions can not be made when 50% of the demographic is missing in representation,” says Barnes on student government.
Barnes wasn’t the only one who thought this and took action. Emeline Hanscel felt the same way. She looked at her options with her now running mate, Anthony Chavez, and wasn’t seeing what they wanted. Hanscel along with her running mate made the choice to become write-ins on the ballot and dove into the election as soon as they could.
“I have become extremely passionate about politics and there is a lack of representation. What are you even doing? You represent the student body and right now, I don’t see that in our student government,” said Hanscel.
Barnes hopes to find the chance to truly amplify the suppressed voices. She hopes that in taking the initiative as a woman to run for a high position of power on student government this will only encourage others to want to be more involved and show it’s possible.
“People need to know there are other options. There hasn’t been a write-in in about 3-5 years and we want to show we are different. I want my voice out there and I want be able to tell others they don’t need to be afraid and their voice will be heard even if it doesn’t follow what student government wants,” said Hanscel
Barnes and Hanscel want to be the change and bring change to a dominantly white and male student government.
Barnes hopes to offer a voice to everyone who doesn’t have one. Not shying from the rhetoric of the current political climate among diversity and students of color, Barnes acknowledges she is a white female with privilege but want’s to show all students she wants to understand them and represent them.
Hanscel, a fourth-generation immigrant and conservative student hopes to show the student body she is different but she’s not here to tell you what you want to hear but truly show you what she can do to make change.
One on the ballot and one fighting to be on the ballot both come with the same goal: to make change and challenge the current norm.