As students prepare to depart for February break this Friday, elections will determine the next Student Body President and Vice President.
Kiernan Majerus-Collins ’18 and Tomás Jurgensen ’17 were the only candidates named during the official nomination period for Student Body President and Vice President. First-years, sophomores and juniors were eligible to run, provided they had a Vice President to run with.
Majerus-Collins brings experience in politics and government to his candidacy, as well as an ambitious agenda driven by his belief that “it’s time for student government to think big.”
“If I am fortunate enough to earn the support of my friends and classmates, I hope to make measurable improvements to college life for all our students,” Majerus-Collins said. “I want to raise wages for Bates workers, deepen the College’s commitment to environmental protection, and work to fight racism and discrimination on campus, among other things.”
If elected, Majerus-Collins’ reach would extend beyond campus boundaries. He pledges to fight for students rights, especially in local elections—referring to the petition to move elections to June when most students are no longer on campus.
“The Republican plan to prevent Bates students from voting in local elections is a travesty, and I’ll fight back,” Majerus-Collins said. “I can’t do these things alone, but if people come together, we can make a real difference in our community and in our world.”
If elected, Majerus-Collins wants a “Cabinet that represents Bates.” At the debate held Tuesday, Majerus-Collins acknowledged the need for diversified leadership to ensure broad outreach and for thorough, strong connections with the student body.
As for his running mate, Majerus-Collins is confident in Jurgensen’s leadership capabilities and experience.
Jurgensen also brings years of experience with Student Government to his candidacy. He has learned a lot from his time in student government, particularly the “importance of consistent and clear communication.”
“I plan on being a more present leader, voicing myself on more issues than my position has historically done,” Jurgensen said. “Elaborating on this, traditionally the President of the Senate would work solely in the realm of internal affairs—dealing with politics and little else. I’ll change that precedent, working closely with the Senate and with Majerus-Collins to effectively enact meaningful agenda to better our beloved Bates community.”
Jurgensen’s agenda includes improving dialogue between students and administration, working closely with Chase Hall Committee on social events, monitoring club spending, and increasing funds for clubs and campus activities.
At Tuesday’s debate, senior Sarah Stanley asked the candidates to discuss their involvement in last year’s turmoil within student government and how they plan to move forward if elected.
Jurgensen said student government “spent far too much time last year working against one another,” which was not productive. Majerus-Collins acknowledged his obligation to the students to deliver, and if he seeks re-election in the future, he will be running on a record from this term, if elected.
As mandated in the BCSG Constitution, elections for Student Body President should be held by the end of January. According to Jurgensen, who currently serves as the Vice President and presides over the Senate, “institutional hurdles in hosting the elections on time” prompted the Senate to postpone the elections, with the intention to run them as soon as possible. A Senatorial ad hoc committee determined the February dates.
Voting will take place on Garnet Gateway from February 17 until 11:59pm on February 19. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in the elections, as well as note that a write-in option is available on the ballot.