The editorial board has followed the campaigns of the candidates, interviewed each candidate, and attended the debate. After careful consideration, we have selected a candidate for each position we feel has the best potential to succeed in his or her job and as a collaborative team.
President: Eric Fullerton
Executive Vice President: Melinda Leavitt
Financial Vice President: Laura Cardle
This board endorses Eric Fullerton for ASWU president. Fullerton possesses extensive political knowledge and experience that will aid him well in the role of president. This knowledge stems from experience gained outside of Whitworth and his firm grasp of the ASWU Constitution and Bylaws, as well as the Financial Standard Operating Procedures. Fullerton possesses a more cohesive vision and well-prepared approach to the position, and seems to have a better plan overall for helping ASWU better connect with the student body.
With that said, we encourage Fullerton to make full use of his leadership potential. As student body president, it is imperative he step up to the plate and lead by example. If Fullerton were to win, this board would like to see him take a more assertive approach to the position than he has shown as a senator and in his campaign.
This board feels that although Andy Wilkes has more visible passion and energy than Fullerton, he does not appear to have concrete plans and ideas to channel that passion, nor as clear a vision. Although enthusiasm does play an important role in the position of president, it is only one of many qualifications that make a strong leader.
If Wilkes is elected, we would encourage him to research and map out concrete plans to accomplish his goals for ASWU.
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
The endorsement of an executive vice presidential candidate was difficult. Both candidates are extremely well-qualified, and we feel both have the potential to do the job well. Ultimately, we have decided to endorse Melinda Leavitt for EVP.
While both candidates would do well in the position, we feel Leavitt is more approachable initially than Brittany Roach, which is important when first forming bonds with the Assembly. We feel Leavitt has a more holistic approach to the responsibilities of the EVP position, and that she would be effective at motivating and monitoring senators and representatives. She has a good understanding of the roles of the various positions within ASWU, and we feel she will be able to be approachable as well as capable of assisting Assembly members with any issues that may arise throughout the year. Additionally, we think Leavitt will be better able to keep her opinions neutral and act as an effective mediator should a controversial issue arise.
In addition, we feel Leavitt will make the strongest EVP should Fullerton be elected as president. Their leadership styles and personalities seem to balance well, creating the potential for a strong team.
However, we do feel that if Wilkes is elected, Roach would be a better selection for EVP. She has the experience, the focus, and the knowledge to help Wilkes direct his passion and excitement in an effective manner.
One of Roach’s strongest campaign platforms is her vision for addressing diversity issues. We greatly admire her passion and commitment to diversity on campus, but we feel her drive has the potential to be more productive outside of the EVP position. As EVP, Roach would have to take a step back, delegate some of the responsibility and take a more neutral stance than she may prefer. Our official recommendation is that the diversity subcommittee be reformed with Roach in a leadership role; this will allow her to focus her passion and energy into a campus issue that needs immediate attention.
FINANCIAL VICE PRESIDENT
While Laura Cardle is the only candidate running for financial vice president, the board feels she is nevertheless a qualified candidate for the position. She has expressed great enthusiasm for the job and her experience should serve to prepare her for the tasks she will face. On top of the ability to work numbers, she has also shared a desire to work one-on-one with her constituents, helping them form budgets and meeting financial goals. She wishes to keep clubs afloat, as she sees them as the main barometer of student interest.
We do have some concerns about her ability to adapt to unexpected changes or difficulties. Cardle is a by-the-book individual; this is important for the FVP position, but she may still find herself needing to think outside the box. If budget issues arise next year (as they have in recent memory), Cardle will need to exercise flexibility and compassion to ensure that any necessary cuts to student programming are dealt with fairly and with the student body’s best interests in mind. Overall, however, Cardle wants all clubs to flourish – a tribute to her commitment to diversity – and should be able to manage the nuances of her position well.