Luther College Chips

Student elections

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Student elections

Elected President and Vice President of Student Senate Janet Irankunda (‘19) and Wyatt Anians (‘19).

Elected President and Vice President of Student Senate Janet Irankunda (‘19) and Wyatt Anians (‘19).

Photo courtesy of Mimi Finger (‘19)

Elected President and Vice President of Student Senate Janet Irankunda (‘19) and Wyatt Anians (‘19).

Photo courtesy of Mimi Finger (‘19)

Photo courtesy of Mimi Finger (‘19)

Elected President and Vice President of Student Senate Janet Irankunda (‘19) and Wyatt Anians (‘19).

Dirk Umbanhowar, Staff Writer

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Student Senate and Congregational Council held elections to choose new leadership positions in their organizations last week. Janet Irankunda (‘19) and Wyatt Anians (‘19) were elected President and Vice President of Student Senate and Madeline Ajack (‘20) was voted President of the Congregational Council for the 2018-19 academic year.

Irankunda and Anians ran on a platform of enhancing the presence and transparency of Senate on campus, improving Senate’s accessibility, and striving for a more inclusive environment for all of those involved in the Luther community.

“Wyatt and I are very excited about it,” Irankunda said. “Each group running did a very good job of explaining their arguments and what they wanted to get out of Senate next year. Wyatt and I were lucky enough to be voted President and Vice President next year.”

Irankunda said that she and Anians decided to run for President of Student Senate earlier in the year. This was the second time Irankunda ran for a position in Senate. Irankunda had run for Vice President a year ago with Katie Hendrikson (‘18) and lost, but she took this year to learn more about Senate.

“In our positions that we’ve held, we’ve seen a lot of the great things Senate does and the tough conversations that they have to have to make great things possible,” Irankunda said. “We wanted to help facilitate that, which is the main role of the President and Vice President. We [want to facilitate] conversations and connections with the administration and the student body.”

Irankunda said that she and Anians are looking forward to improving connections with the Luther student body next year.

“We want to make sure that every voice is at the table from every demographic on campus, and therefore make sure that we are making the best decision for everyone,” Irankunda said. “I’d also like us to get more involved with the student body and meet with them on a more one-on-one basis so the student body really knows who their representatives are.”

Anians was unavailable to comment as he is currently spending the semester in Malta.

In the elections for Congregational Council, Ajack was voted president for the 2018-19 academic year. Ajack said she will focus on inclusivity in College Ministries.

“My main intentions for the congregation next year are to focus on inclusivity and having more opportunities for community service work,” Ajack said. “I want to make College Ministries a place where all people feel welcome, regardless of who they are before they come to College Ministries.”

College Pastor Mike Blair says he looks forward to working with Ajack next year.

“Madeline and the council as a whole bring an openness, a desire to use faith as a resource for building community, and also just a joy in gathering others,” Blair said. “Those resources will be very influential on how the council works together.”

Besides the presidency, the rest of the positions in the Congregational Council were chosen as well.

Faye Lee (‘20) was elected(‘20) was elected as vice president, and Kai Storvick (‘20) was elected Secretary. Megan Gmitro (‘20) was elected treasurer, Kari Jacobson (‘21) as Deacon of Worship, Alex Sekore (‘19) as Deacon of Community Action, Sarah Jennings (‘20) as Deacon of Global Concerns, Elise Carlson (‘21) as Deacon of Spiritual Formation, and Alexis Olson (‘20) as Deacon of Outreach. Jana Mueller (‘19), who is on this years council, stated that one of ministries main goals next year is creating a place of hospitality and community here at Luther.

“Yes, we are predominantly ELCA Lutherans, be we also sponsor the Muslim Student Association, the Interfaith Student Association, the Catholic Student Community, and more,” Mueller said. “We are working on collaborating with students from a variety of faith traditions to expand people’s perceptions of what College Ministries is, and are eager to reach out to more students and to hear from their perspectives no matter what faith traditions they come from!”

Pastor Blair also emphasized these goals for next years council as stated by Mueller, as he brought up building more relationships and collaboration across campus and outside of the CFL.

“We are looking at making sure the campus knows that the CFL is their place as well, not just the ministries,” said Blair. “Next year we are collaborating with the diversity center in a sustaining dialogues project, and myself and the council are looking for better ways to foster community here at the CFL when people come as well.”

While Congregation Council elections are all over, there will be more elections involving student senate this Thursday as the student body will choose their class representatives for next year as well as other positions on the student body, such as secretary and treasurer.

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