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Officer election races underway for vice president, treasurer and secretary

The nameplates of Campus Union’s current vice president, secretary and treasurer. The executive elections will take place April 13-14. Photo by Anna Lee Hoffman.
The nameplates of Campus Union’s current vice president, secretary and treasurer. The executive elections will take place April 13-14. Photo by Anna Lee Hoffman.

Written by Chalmers Rogland, managing editor, and Sadie Saunders, staff writer.

Officer elections for the student body Campus Union are now formally underway. The deadline to sign a petition for candidacy for an officer position passed at 5 p.m. on Mar. 30, and the elections will take place Apr. 13-14. 

The vice presidential race is a three-way contest between Cecil Elikem Asimenu ‘24, Tayvian Gass ‘23 and Sarah Owens ‘23. The treasurer race is between Matthew Shouse ‘23 and Devin Stewart ‘25. Simrin Channa ‘25 and Alexis Walker ‘25 are running for secretary.  

Gass and Owens both bring prior Campus Union experience to the table. Owens served as a junior delegate and Gass as an at-large delegate this past year. 

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“It’s my senior year, and I feel as though after all the work I’ve done on campus, just trying to be the best student, the best activist of the students, the best student leader I could possibly be – I feel as though the culmination of all that would to be on the executive committee of the Campus Union,” Gass said. 

“This was a decision I have put a lot of thought (into), I wanted to make sure I was going to be able to support the campus in the best way,” Owens said. “Campus Union has improved a lot, but there are still some gaps to fill. I want to make the Campus Union assembly more accessible to all.” 

While Asimenu does not have the same student government resume as Gass and Owens, he pointed out that pre-Campus Union experience is valid. 

Asimenu reached out to the 100k Mentor Challenge, enabling them to have a spot on campus and has advocated for open hours in the Career Center that is better tailored to students’ schedules. 

Asimenu is also the co-chair of the International Students Organization; he has solicited donations for bikes to be used on campus, and has already talked to President Nayef Samhat about allowing Terrier bucks to be used during short breaks when international students do not always have the opportunity to return home. 

Additionally, Asimenu is involved in Wofford’s campus as a member of the Bonner Leadership Team, an ambassador for the career center, Wofford’s National Coalition Building Institute, Wofford Men of Color and the Black student alliance. 

Gass, an aspiring attorney and U.S. senator, asides from Campus Union is involved on campus as a member of the football team, Wofford Men of Color, the Black Student Alliance, the Advisory committee, Wofford Anti-Racism Coalition, Residence Life and the Pre-Law society. 

He noted a bill he proposed that touched on the issue of race as one of his proudest moments on Campus Union and emphasized a desire to enhance inclusivity for all races if elected. He also wants to seek a better sense of connection between students of different walks.

In terms of infrastructure, Gass wants to add on to the Stewart H. Johnson Greek Village and make more career-oriented buildings. After what he saw in his time as a Resident Assistant, he wants to completely remodel Marsh to give Wofford first-years a better experience. 

Owens has plans for positive improvements to campus, from the addition of a colored printer in Milliken to bringing in different groups of people with different niches to campus, giving all an opportunity to educate oneself for the betterment of Wofford. 

Likewise, Owens hopes to create a more clear line of communication between the Campus Union assembly and the students it aims to represent. 

Owens is involved as a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, the pre-Law society, the mock trial team, the Student Experiences committee, Wofford women of color, is one of three student co-chairs for Orientation Staff and serves as the communications director for Wofford Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander student organization. She mentioned that, even prior to joining Campus Union, she made a habit of attending Campus Union meetings. 

Asimenu’s major platform issues are improving career-advising opportunities for all students, but especially student-athletes and international students. While Asimenu says the Career Center does a great job assisting students, a career advisor specializing in assisting student-athletes would be an asset to a core group of students who attract prestige and brand recognition to the college.

“With athletes, I’m looking at career-advising because they’re a niche group of people,” Asimenu said. “You cannot advise them for their career like just anybody (else), because their schedule is so tight that they cannot have extracurricular activities. So literally, their resume is empty – the only resume they have is their sporting resume.”

Asimenu also wants to grant student-athletes pre-registration privileges, since many feel stretched thin between athletic and academic commitments. He also wants to establish a connection between nearby Virginia College of Medicine and Wofford’s large pre-medicine population. 

All three candidates shared the perspective that defines their candidacy. 

“Listening is something that is crucial to being in a leadership position, especially one like Campus Union,” Owens said. “We aim to make ourselves a working, active and highly functioning resource for students. We need to keep doing what we’re doing, but make things more cohesive for the students’ behalf.” 

“The biggest killer of momentum is complacency,” Gass said. “That is my biggest worry – that we don’t grow into what we have the great potential to be.”

“I usually say my origin is African or Ghanian, but my perspective is global,” Asimenu said. 

In the race for treasurer, Shouse brings several years of Campus Union experience, and currently serves on the Financial Affairs committee, which serves under the treasurer. The committee is in charge of allocating funds to organizations, and has helped Shouse garner first-hand knowledge of the process. 

Shouse, along with the rest of the Financial Affairs committee, proposed to the Assembly a manual detailing financial guidelines for student-chartered organizations, hereunto nonexistent. Currently in a reading week, the manual would be a proposed change to the Campus Union bylaws.  

Stewart served as a freshman delegate this past year, and was inspired to run for an officer position by a desire to make an impact on campus. Stewart also wants to ensure student organizations efficiently and effectively use the funds allocated to them. 

The secretary race features a pair of current first-year students in Channa and Walker. Channa has served the Wofford community this past year on Campus Union as an at-large delegate. Channa hopes to bring something new to the Campus Union Assembly and the position of secretary that will trickle down and benefit all who come into contact with Wofford.

Channa mentioned her desire to create a method of direct communication between the secretary, reporting from the Campus Union Assembly directly back to the students. Whether this be in an email format or a suggestion box link, the point of the initiative is to create a stronger and more meaningful connection between Campus Union and the campus it serves. 

“So many people feel like Campus Union is untouchable or above them,” Channa said. “We are the same people you eat dinner with, are classmates with and the ones you hang out with on the weekends. It is important to connect to one another so we can make our goals happen.”

Running against Channa, Walker has been a regular attendee of Campus Union meetings, though has not been on Campus Union prior. Walker joined the race excited to find a way to get involved within her campus community. 

“When I first got to Wofford, it was a little overwhelming and I wanted to take things slow. I had lots of friends on Campus Union and after attending a few meetings, I realized (that) I love procedure and how things like that work,” Walker said. 

Walker mentioned how as a student she felt very disconnected from the Campus Union assembly. Similar to Channa, if elected, Walker hopes to bring a level of clear communication to the assembly. She plans to take detailed, concise and efficient minutes that would then be presented in the form of an Instagram post so all students can have access to what goes on in the meetings. 
To contact any of the candidates with questions about their campaigns, they can be found at the following email addresses: Cecil Elikem Asimenu at [email protected], Tayvian Gass at [email protected], Sarah Owens at [email protected], Matthew Shouse at [email protected], Devin Stewart at [email protected], Simrin Channa at [email protected] and Alexis Walker at [email protected].

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