LUCC presidential and vice-presidential elections are being held Friday, Jan. 20 through Monday, Jan. 23.
Students will receive an electronic ballot via email from the student life office on Friday, Jan. 20. Additionally, there will be a 250-word statement on the ballot from each of the candidates in case students are not yet decided and want more information before they cast their vote.
Junior Anders Hanhan, co-chair of the Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC) Sustainability committee, is running unopposed for LUCC president.
“I think I have learned a lot of skills to be able to push a lot of good change.” said Hanhan. “Working through this system that was kind of set up to stay the same is something that I’ve learned a lot about. I think that skill qualifies me to go into LUCC and actually meaningfully, and purposefully, push for stuff. Push for things for the student body and be a true advocate for some issues that I think haven’t been pushed for.”
Hanhan is the co-chair of the LUCC Sustainability committee. Hanhan’s top issue is sustainability which led him to get involved with LUCC. He said that he is in student government not because he wanted to be in a position of power, but because he was passionate about environmental issues. As well as sustainability, he is running on a platform of increased wages for both student employees and staff, as well as increasing transparency at LUCC and making LUCC more accessible to the student body.
“I think there are a lot of issues, like student and staff wages and working conditions on campus,” said Hanhan. “My number one priority always will be the treatment of workers on this campus. Student and staff wages are way too low and it’s unacceptable. This has been presented to the student body. Students support it. It’s time we have a president of LUCC that goes to the board of trustees and is willing to tell them that this is what students need. This is what will actually fix the campus.”
Hanhan hopes to put together a newsletter that will be sent out to students instead of what he characterized as inconsistent and sporadic emails. Hanhan believes that this will allow students to receive more information and, in turn, inspire more engagement. He also proposed a new system for community engagement with LUCC where students can directly voice their concerns to members of LUCC in a town hall style meeting. Members of the community would be able to come and voice their questions and concerns directly to decision makers. Hanhan noted that he had successfully implemented both changes into the LUCC Sustainability committee on a small scale to test If these changes can work. He also brought up holding Lawrence University’s administration accountable for certain systematic failures, such as issues with Bon Appétit, the company responsible for providing food service for the University, which according to Hanhan have led to food insecurity.
Hanhan feels the LUCC presidential election is important to the student body because the LUCC president makes a presentation to the board of trustees and meets with the President. The LUCC president is responsible for bringing the voices of the student body directly to the administration, according to him.
The candidates for Vice-President are junior Caleb Yuan, the LUCC Finance Secretary and Sophomore Class Representative Isabel Dorn.
Yuan is running on a platform of streamlining the budget application process for student organizations as well as increasing campus engagement. He feels that it’s important that student clubs get the attention they need from the LUCC.
“I care a lot about student clubs because of the fact that I’ve been involved in student clubs in the past” Yuan said. “Because I was in clubs before, I was able to understand how money works within these clubs and understand how they feel if the money doesn’t come in.”
Yuan discussed some of the issues that have come up when trying to get club budgets approved in a timely manner. Last spring, there were 45 student clubs that needed to have their budgets approved within a 5-week timeframe. Yuan believes that this is not feasible. Yuan talked about a new system that he is trying to implement to help clubs get their money sooner by allowing them to submit their budget requests in advance, giving club treasurers and the Finance Committee more time to prepare for budget requests. This legislation is currently moving through LUCC.
As Finance Secretary for LUCC, he feels that this experience has given him insight into how clubs are funded.
“As the finance secretary, I’ve been dealing with finance a lot,” said Yuan. “We have to ask the treasurer about how their events are run, how they advertise their event, stuff they’re going to purchase and what stuff are not necessary to be purchased. It’s those kinds of small details that have to be done through conversations in the finance committee…Especially in the position I’m running for, the VP, whose duty mainly includes leading the finance committee or dealing with other finance stuff which is stuff I’m dealing with now.”
As an international student from China, Yuan feels that it’s important to focus on the wellbeing of International Students at Lawrence. Yuan believes that International Students at Lawrence have needs that are not being met. To address this, Yuan hopes to make Lawrence International an LUCC committee so that international students can have a platform to bring their concerns and needs directly to LUCC.
Yuan believes that student government should be important to students because the student government is the connection between the student body and the administration. He feels that the student government deals with a lot of important things ranging from housing policy to food services on campus. Yuan is running for Vice President because he wants to contribute to the community in a way that is more impactful than his current role as the Finance Secretary.
Dorn is running on a platform of increasing accessibility to the LUCC from the student body along with advocating for marginalized students and supporting universal student welfare.
“We are serving as a liaison between the students and the administration,” said Dorn. “We are the people who bridge that gap and help make sure the students are getting that they need from the administration and the admin knows how to best serve the students.”
Dorn said that she supports bridging the gap between the student body and the administration. She believes that Lawrence students often hear about things that LUCC is doing but aren’t told how it is relevant to the student body. Dorn wants to build better communication between the student body and LUCC to get more people informed and involved. She also believes in increased wages for student workers on campus.
“I would like to raise the minimum wage for student workers so the wages they are paid better reflects the work they put in and is also consistent with the cost of living at Lawrence,” said Dorn. “Currently the wages they are being paid are not consistent with being able to support life here.”
Dorn also wants to increase stipends for class representatives in the LUCC. She hopes that by doing this they can show their appreciation for the work class representatives and community chairs put in. Her other priority is to advocate for more diversity, equity and inclusion policies across campus to ensure that marginalized students are able to thrive. Dorn is hopeful that she can effect change as vice-president and wants students to take it seriously.
“LUCC is an amazing organization in the fact that it has the power to effect change on the campus,” said Dorn. “It’s not a job to be taken lightly.”