Candidates Statements September 2017

Class of 2021 President(s):

Abigail Benz:

Hello Bryn Mawr Beings! I am Abigail Benz from the class of 2021, and I am running for the position of Class of 2021 president. After being at Bryn Mawr for several weeks now, I am finding more and more ways to immerse myself in the unique community, this position being one of them. I participated in my high school senate and also a attended a government/leadership program, so naturally I want to continue my interest in government, while also becoming more a part of my community here. As far as my responsibilities go, I view my position as a liaison between my class and the SGA. I am responsible for communicating what matters to my class and to work on solutions to the issues we feel are important. In terms of my background, my life at home very much mirrors the community and function of the SGA. I come from a very small town and community in Middlebury Vermont, where the Quaker values and close-knit community are all very familiar to me. I am accustomed to listening really well and putting a large emphasis on having everyone’s voice be heard. In a similar vein, living in a small community has prepared me to live under the honor code. Believe it or not I do not own a house key, and during the day my house stays unlocked. My community trusts one another to do the right thing even when no one is looking, and that acting with honesty and creates a stronger community. I am also one of four siblings, which has taught me a lot about being independent, but also how to compromise and work together. Additionally, in high school I participated in theater by doing stage managing. This task is a feat within itself as it takes a large amount of leadership, organization, and patience. I had to collaborate with many people’s visions and assess what would be best for the entire production and not simply convenient for myself. I believe that both my experiences of growing up in a small community and of my opportunities in high school, have well equipped me to take on this position. In order for my position to be effective I don’t want my campaign to be about false and empty promises. While I may be the one with the official title, it is about our class as a whole. For this position to be effective I want to incorporate as many people’s ideas, suggestions, and opinions into making change as possible. I recognize that I am only one person and have my own identity, so I feel that it is important to surround myself with my wonderfully diverse class to effectively take on this position. My goal will be to hold office hours so that transparency is increased and there is a fluid dialogue between the student body its representative. I feel that I bring a unique perspective coming from a small community and being a Vermonter. Nonetheless I am not the boss, my class should be the boss of me. I am here to work for them and help to lead their initiatives and what matters to them. Since I have only been on campus for three weeks, my current knowledge of SGA is limited, as I have not had many opportunities to experience it. However, the experiences that have been offered so far I have taken advantage of. For example, I am a dorm representative for Merion, and I attended my first plenary several days ago. While these are only small actions that have gotten me involved with SGA, taking on the role of class president will enable me to be an even more active and engaged member. Thank you for all of your support!

Saskia Holman and Claire Hampton

Hey Class of 2021!

We are Saskia Holman (she/her pronouns) and Claire Hampton (she/her pronouns) and we’re excited for the chance to be your class presidents! Saskia is from Austin,Texas and learning to love actually experiencing four seasons. Claire grew up in a small town right here in Pennsylvania and absolutely loves PA.

Claire did everything humanly possible in highschool, except for sleeping. (If you want to know: three varsity sports, marching band, choir, musical theatre, and she was president of Mini-THON, a 12 hour dance marathon fundraiser for pediatric cancer research, which raised $60,000!). She’s really passionate about giving back through philanthropy and community involvement. Claire chose Bryn Mawr because of the way it fosters community amongst its students, giving them a home for more than just four years but a lifetime.  

Saskia was a theatre, band, and regular type of nerd in highschool. Some of her favorite things are working with kids, volunteering in the community, meeting new people, and Tex-Mex food (Y’all don’t even know). Saskia chose Bryn Mawr because she felt like it could become a home for her (despite being 1,668 miles away from Austin).

If you haven’t gotten the hint, we love Bryn Mawr. It’s only been three weeks, and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else (Have you tasted Haverford’s food??). But more than just loving Bryn Mawr, we love our class. And red. And owls. We want all of us to grow closer and have an amazing four years together. We understand how unique it is to have a school that actually values its students’ opinions, and that’s why we wanted to get involved with Student Government. You are more than just a number, especially to us. 😉 We’ll be hosting dance parties, karaoke, a few rounds of Charades, casual hangouts, movie marathons, Netflix and food binges…whatever y’all are into. We’ll keep you updated with all the latest and most hip happenings at Bryn Mawr through email, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and basically all of the social medias. But most importantly, we’ll respect our class (you all!) and fully represent your needs, desires, and ideas for change.

If elected, we are looking forward to leading our fellow Reds in a fundraiser! We’d love to help people who live in the areas that were devastated by recent natural distasters. Claire would love to use her knowledge of running Mini-THON to make an concrete impact by uniting our class to help the less fortunate. We know that some of you or your families were affected by these disasters, so it’s an issue close to our hearts. ❤

If you want to contact us you can email Saskia at sholman@brynmawr.edu and Claire at champton@brynmawr.edu, or text/call us at (512) 838-1302 or (484) 949-1181. We’re interested in hearing from you how we can make this year great! Elections will be conducted through a Google form sent through email, so make sure to vote on the 28th or 29th! If you have any questions about elections make sure to contact elections@brynmawr.edu, and check out the other candidates at https://elections.blogs.brynmawr.edu!

Carlie Hansen & Delphine McCann:

Hello Bryn Mawr! We’re Carlie and Delphine, and are running for the Class of 2021 Class President positions on the Bryn Mawr Self-Governance Association. We are striving to be engaged, approachable, and responsible liaisons between the SGA and the freshman class as a whole. We want to bring our energy and passion to the SGA in order to best serve you, our fellow classmates.

Both of us have multiple years of experience in student government and student engagement, and hope to use that experience in ways that benefit the entire freshman class. One of our priorities is to reach out to you and encourage participation in SGA, and help our class familiarize themselves with the opportunities available for engagement within the organization. We are interested in exploring the development of workshops and resources to help freshman understand how different aspects of SGA operate – as a result of being new to Bryn Mawr, most of us are unfamiliar with the conventions of the organization’s events, such as Plenary. Thus, we want to organize events and make resources available that demystify SGA processes that may be new to us as freshmen.

We also will set up office hours where you can bring your questions, suggestions, and concerns to us in person so that we can pass them on to the SGA for implementation, and will always be prompt in responding to emailed suggestions. On the topic of communication, we’d like to facilitate dialogue about how the college can effectively reach both incoming and current students about important items pertaining to college life. Additionally, we want to recognize the importance of coming together as a class to form new friendships. We plan to host several get-togethers throughout the year where the class can meet together for a fun event, hangout, or outing, and grow as a community.

All in all, we want to serve as the most effective and approachable representatives of you as possible, to help us grow as a class and as people. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to cjhansen@bmc or dmccann@bmc!!

Thanks, Carlie and Delphine

Chloe Liu and Yabundu Conteh

Dear Class of 2021, Chloe Liu and I, Yabundu Conteh, are running to serve together as your Class Presidents this school year. As people who value fostering and developing diverse relationships, we are committed to ensuring that our class feels welcomed and heard. As Student Body President of my high school, I promoted religious diversity on my campus by beginning a petition as Islamic holidays were not recognized. Although I do not practice Islam, I understand that the struggles of my peers are just as significant as my own. At Bryn Mawr, Chloe & I want to ensure that all identities are not only acknowledged but respected as well. I felt compelled to advocate for my colleagues because I know too well the disadvantages that inevitably follow the unprivileged. In the spring of 2017, I hosted a public forum titled Harlem Shaking: Evaluating Gentrification, which allowed 160 community members of all ages to discuss with political leaders, collegiate academics, and activists about the current urban housing epidemic in New York City. Chloe: I was involved in my high school’s orchestra council and served as the President my senior year. We oversaw a group of over 300 students and hosted community events, fundraisers, and international tours. My experience has led me to acquire leadership skills and recognize the impact that a representative can have. Yabundu and I want to be representatives who you are confident in and feel that you can communicate with at any time. With your vote, we promise to voice the Class of 2021’s concerns and represent our class in the best light. We are listeners and friends of the community and want to contribute as much as possible to the Bryn Mawr community

Pensby Rep

Deborah Ekwale:

Hello everyone!

My name is Deborah Ekwale, she/her/hers pronouns, Class of 2021, and I am running for the Office of Intercultural Affairs (Pensby Representative).

Being an immigrant from Nigeria, I found myself occasionally trying to adapt to western culture. While in high school, people held stereotypes about me. They assumed I lived in trees or jungles; they reduced my entire existence to hunger and poverty; and they never failed to remind me of my heavy accent. They would laugh and repeat my words and sentences mockingly.

However, being at Bryn Mawr, I have felt a piece of home. Bryn Mawr thus far has allowed me to expose myself to a lot of the things I was sheltered from as a kid. Whether it be movies, music, art, people, and experiences. This is why I laud the work of the Pensby Center for, “ addressing issues of diversity, power, and privilege, with the goal of improving the climate of our campus and enhancing the Bryn Mawr community for the betterment of all.”

As unique members of the Bryn Mawr campus, we should not have to prove that we are worthy of inclusion, which is why I would love to be voted in as the Pensby Representative. As your Pensby Representative, I will continue to celebrate the uniqueness of each member of the community and raise awareness of how labels are impacting our perception of and interactions with the world.

Driven by my talents, I am adept at dealing with problems. Whenever I experience a personal loss, make a mistake, or experience failure, I tend to investigate. I have an enthusiasm that is contagious. I am also upbeat and get others excited about things. I do not enjoy conflict; rather, I seek areas of agreement. By nature, I can naturally sense when a person can benefit from my support, kind words or thoughtful deeds. I periodically go out of my way to generate laughter and merriment by amusing people with stories, jokes, or comical actions. I understand that human beings need to experience moments of exuberance — that is, unrestrained happiness and delight.

For generations to come, I want my presence being the Pensby Representative to be felt. I am not plagued by uncertainty or self doubt, which means I readily embrace the challenges I may face in this journey ahead.

Embrace inclusion, defeat hate! Vote for me!

Deborah Ekwale

Class of 2021

dekwale@brynmawr.edu

Representative to the Faculty

Julia Moore: