Still undecided? Q&A with the LUCC Presidential candidates

The election for LUCC President began yesterday, Feb. 17, and will end today at 11:59 p.m. Four candidates are on the ballot: sophomores Anders Hanhan and Kenneth Peñaherrera-Quiroz as well as juniors Malcolm Davis and Hung Nguyen.  

Students can cast their ballots via the Microsoft Form sent to their email.

Malcolm Davis. Photo by Alana Melvin.

Malcolm Davis

Q: What is your background and what makes you qualified for this position? 

A: Davis is double majoring in government and music. Davis has been involved with the Committee on Diversity Affairs (CODA) since his first year, and he currently serves as the chair. He is also an intern in the president’s office.  

“Having all of that experience combined will allow me to be a good president for LUCC and leading the whole organization,” Davis said. “I’ll pull from my past experiences as a connector, a communicator and a leader collaborating with students and non-students at Lawrence.”  

Q: Why did you decide to run for LUCC President? 

A: Davis believes his experience working with diversity leaders has provided him with the capability to broaden his responsibilities and serve 

the campus community on a larger scale. Davis will not only continue to interact with diversity organization leaders but will also interact with student leaders from other organizations, ensuring all student organizations have the resources to carry out their missions.  

Davis also stressed supporting individual students or groups of students who come to LUCC with any concerns or issues.  

Q: How would you describe your platform? 

A: Davis described his platform as community-based. Davis wants LUCC to be more open and transparent toward the student body, which he hopes to achieve through making meetings and club information more accessible. 

Davis also mentioned improving communication with the student body regarding any ongoing work, in order to inform students that LUCC is functioning and representing their interests.  

“We are going to do that by making sure that students know that there is good work that’s been happening,” Davis said. “Making sure that everyone understands that and [knows] that their voice is being represented is going to my whole platform.” 

Q: What would you most like to accomplish during your tenure as president? How will you achieve this? 

A: Davis will maximize the forms of communication from LUCC and increase LUCC’s accessibility to ensure all students are aware of the ongoing business.  

Through communications, Davis wants the student body to understand LUCC’s capability in its influence and jurisdiction, the rationale behind LUCC’s decisions and the items on LUCC’s agendas to maintain the transparency of information as well as equity in representation.  

Anders Hanhan. Photo by Alana Melvin.

Anders Hanhan

Q: What is your background and what makes you qualified for this position? 

A: Hanhan is double majoring in government and environmental studies. He has been the co-chair of the LUCC Sustainability Committee since Spring Term, during which he gained experience in drafting legislation. In addition, Hanhan also worked through club recognition and application processes as a Hub Coordinator for Sunrise Fox Valley.  

Q: Why did you decide to run for LUCC President? 

A: Being LUCC President would provide him with the power of student leadership and the opportunity to directly communicate with the Lawrence administration, Hanhan said. As the president, Hanhan wants to lead LUCC to confront many sustainability issues, such as food security and student wages on campus, with more direct influence.  

In addition, Hanhan has a passion for addressing these issues to the administration, in or to support student wellbeing and environmental actions.  

“I think I’m the best-qualified candidate to be a vocal advocate in front of the administration for some of those changes,” Hanhan said.  

Q: How would you describe your platform? 

A: Hanhan’s platform is based on the three pillars of sustainability: social, environmental and economic justice. With these pillars as guidance for his decision-making in LUCC, Hanhan intends to facilitate concrete improvements in student wages and promote better conditions in Bon Appétit through more conversations.  

Q: What would you most like to accomplish during your tenure as president? How will you achieve this? 

A:  Hanhan listed two urgent issues: underpaid student worker wages and food insecurity due to the unstable open hours at Bon Appétit.  

In terms of sustainability, Hanhan also plans to address the overflowing garbage which has stemmed from the usage of disposable clamshells for dining. In response to this issue, Hanhan will advocate for the usage of silverware at Bon Appétit to reduce the usage of disposable items and save on the financial cost of overflowing garbage.  

“I think that’s something that we have to push really hard and advocate for because honestly, this year, a lot of aspects of student residence on campus have been really rocky,” Hanhan said. “And that additional stress in people’s lives is really unproductive and can kind of keep them from being able to focus on learning.”

Kenneth Penaherra-Quiroz. Photo by Alana Melvin.

Kenneth Peñaherrera-Quiroz

Q: What is your background and what makes you qualified for this position? 

A: Peñaherrera-Quiroz is majoring in neuroscience and minoring in government. He has been a class representative since Fall Term and is part of the Steering Committee and the Committee on Community Service and Engagement (CCSE).  

In addition, Peñaherrera-Quiroz is the Community Outreach and Event Coordinator at VIVA Hispanic Culture Club, the Vice Recruitment Chair for Sigma Phi Epsilon, the Treasurer and Event Coordinator for Building Intergenerational Relationships, as well as a general member in Lawrentians Inspiring Global Health Together.  

Q: Why did you decide to run for LUCC President? 

A: Peñaherrera-Quiroz believes that LUCC could further improve its public relations, and he wants to seek direct feedback from the student body in order to better meet the needs of the students. Peñaherrera-Quiroz also thinks that his numerous connections on campus would allow him to excel in decision-making and problem-solving.  

“I ultimately decided to run not because I believe I am the best possible candidate, but rather I believe I have a capability to deal with a larger scale of things and pick the best students in my cabinet,” Peñaherrera-Quiroz said.  

Q: How would you describe your platform? 

A: Gathering from his background experience as an international as well as a first-generation student, Peñaherrera-Quiroz’s platform is service for all the student body. For example, Peñaherrera-Quiroz will have all cabinet members participate in student organization re-recognition, rather than having the president alone lead the process, in an attempt to make the process easier and more efficient. 

In addition, Peñaherrera-Quiroz will enforce training for all student organizations to help ensure that the student body can have the best experience.  

Q: What would you most like to accomplish during your tenure as president? How will you achieve this? 

A: In addition to implementing a better training process for student organizations and class representatives, Peñaherrera-Quiroz also wants to increase volunteer opportunities on campus and have a conversation with the student body regarding the lack of student employees as well as career resources on campus.  

“We have to realize that students have way more power than we think we do,” Peñaherrera-Quiroz said. “And I want the students to understand that with LUCC, not only will they have a voice in the student government, but also they will have a voice within the Board of Trustees and bigger echelons, whether it is going to be achieved through conversations or activities.”

Hung Nguyen. Photo by Alana Melvin.

Hung Nguyen

Q: What is your background and what makes you qualified for this position? 

A: Nguyen is double majoring in economics and computer science. Nguyen has three years of experience in LUCC, with two years serving as a class representative before becoming LUCC Treasurer.  

In addition, Nguyen is a two-year Community Advisor, as well as a member of the Vietnamese Culture Organization (VCO).  

Q: Why did you decide to run for LUCC President? 

A: When Nguyen first came to Lawrence, he saw the LUCC President gave a welcome speech to all new students on the first day of orientation. From that moment on, Nguyen felt the desire to become LUCC President.  

Over his time in LUCC, Nguyen has learned many things regarding the legislation procedure, LUCC’s operations and the role of LUCC in the student body, which ultimately led him to run for the president position.  

Q: How would you describe your platform? 

A: Nguyen mentioned two key principles: simplifying the procedures in LUCC and understanding concerns from both the student body and the administration. 

LUCC’s operations, such as requesting student organization funds, are often encumbered by the legislation and procedures, Nyugen said. In response to this situation, Nguyen seeks to ensure all student organizations can receive their funds equitably with more accessibility to LUCC.   

In addition, while continuing to address issues surrounding student worker wages, environmental justice and diversity, Nguyen emphasized that LUCC should also consider the limitations for the administration. According to Nguyen, Lawrence administration has experienced a staff pay cut due to the decrease in finances as a result of COVID-19 and its related costs, including purchasing personal protection equipment and quarantining or isolating active cases.  

Q: What would you most like to accomplish during your tenure as president? How will you achieve this? 

A: Nguyen will re-examine the role of Public Relations (PR) in the Cabinet, potentially adding more positions for PR and communicating with the PR Secretary regarding what information, such as meeting minutes, can be shared with the student body to increase transparency. 

Besides that, Nguyen will organize bonding activities within LUCC to help form interpersonal connections among class representatives beyond the professional level.  

“Last year, because of COVID restriction codes, we were online, we didn’t have that kind of mentality… that we feel that we are a part of a team,” Nguyen said. “So some more bonding activities or some way of connecting class reps together.” 

In addition, Nguyen wants to collaborate with The Lawrentian for greater communication with students, streamline the finance and recognition procedures and develop closer connections between class representatives and the student body.