Editorial: Rebekah Vensel is the right choice for SGA president


Rebekah Vensel Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

The Loyola Maroon editorial board makes the following recommendation for the student government association election:

President: Rebekah Vensel

Rebekah Vensel Photo credit: Cristian Orellana


Vice President: Brianna Daniel-Harkins

Brianna Daniel-Harkins Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

At a time when Loyola is dealing with tight budget issues, trying to implement new diversity measures and soon replacing one of the longest serving presidents in university history, it is critical that the student body have a strong and active voice that university administrators will hear when making key decisions.

Rebekah Vensel will be that voice.

Vensel has a good relationship with Interim Provost David Borofsky and has spoken on behalf of the student body on critical issues in the past, such as when schedule changes were proposed that would have reduced the length of the semester.

Vensel is active in student government, where she currently serves as a senator along with Daniel-Harkins, her running mate.

In that role, Vensel has seen what works and what doesn’t work in student government. Her experience will help in that she will have a mild learning curve, already having the knowledge of student government in place that will allow her to improve on the accomplishments of the current president.

Vensel has been specific about the changes she’d like to see, which she has outlined in her several initiatives for the next year, which include creating a position for a director of Dance Marathon and making SGA more visible by having the first senate meeting in the Peace Quad.

She has shown good judgment in her choice of vice presidential running mate, Bri Daniel-Harkins.

Daniel-Harkins also has an impressive record of getting things done on campus through her excellent relationship with administration, which she used to help organize the Bagels with Borofsky event last semester, a chance for students to speak face-to-face with the interim provost and a chance Daniel-Harkins used to lobby for continued funding for the classical studies department.

She is active outside of SGA as well, serving as president of Delta Gamma. Daniel-Harkins has shown great ability in being able to balance this role with her time in SGA, making her a strong choice to be vice president and the next leader of the senate.

This choice of Daniel-Harkins as running mate, experience in student government and a successful history of representing students in administrative decisions make Vensel the right choice for SGA president.

Advice for our future president:

When The Maroon editorial board met with each of the three tickets on Wednesday, March 14, one thing was clear: whoever our next president is has the passion for the job.

All candidates showed they want the position and want to help the student body.

That’s a great start, but success will take more than just passion.

That’s why we also took the opportunity on Wednesday to discuss what we’d like to see in the next president. So to whoever ends up winning, here is our editorial board’s advice for you to have a successful term.

At the top of the list is that you must have a good relationship with administration and have knowledge of critical university issues. On the flip side, you must be skeptical, not allowing your close relationships with administrators to blind you when they make the wrong decisions.

And on the same note, if you are currently in SGA, apply that same rule to your own organization. Being a part of it may make you miss a problem that someone outside of the organization would clearly notice.

Remain aware of your organization. Do not consider it a club — it is not. Like any form of government, a club mentality will lead to exclusion, not drawing people in. It’s fine to be friends with those in SGA, but keep in mind that you represent ALL students. Don’t get too laid back.

SGA could do better by putting more effort into addressing commuter student needs. This is one of the largest groups on campus — comprising over half the student body — yet one of the least represented in SGA.

Don’t refer to this community as “the commuters” — it is not a niche. There are more of them than residents. Do not forget.

Hopefully you’ll be able to follow this advice, while succeeding as the voice of the student body.

And that’s our last point— remember that you are a voice. You do not accomplish something, we all do.

We are Loyola, a community that cares for each other and listens to each other’s opinions as we move forward making tough decisions.

So from The Maroon to our future president — we wish you all the best for a successful term and hope we will all work for a greater Loyola.