Voting for the position of first year senator opened up on WildcatLink at 12 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26 and is closing at 11:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27. Both of the candidates vying for the position, biology major and Williamson Hall resident Isaiah Laurencelle and business major and Stoke Hall resident Phillip Kimera, are traditional first year students. Also included on the ballot are three write-in spaces.
“The first year senator position was created to represent the student body, mainly due to the fact that first year students did not have a chance to vote in the election for the student body president, student body vice president and student trustee,” a flyer for the election read.
All traditional first year students, non-traditional first year students and first year transfer students have been given the access to vote in this election. The results are to be announced publicly Friday, with the approval bill concerning the elected candidate going through Student Senate during a Sunday, Oct. 30 meeting.
Prior to having their names placed on the ballot, Laurencelle and Kimera had to apply and petition for their candidacy. UNH Student Senate Director of Public Relations Patrick J. Butler said that the candidates must first fill out a form declaring their intent to run and then must collect at least 100 signatures from first year students. The Student Senate Election Committee then processes these signatures in order to authenticate that each name is from a registered first year student. Butler said that both candidates had collected more than the minimal amount of signatures they needed, though neither collected over 200.
Laurencelle said that he wants the position to “to promote UNH community development, as well as encourage all first year students to get involved and enjoy their first year as much as possible.”
“I just feel as if there’s over 250 activities/clubs that are offered through the [Memorial Union Building] and that a majority of these things could give an advantage to someone in their resumes and could lead them to having a better experience at UNH,” Laurencelle said.
Kimera said that he wants the position for many reasons. “The first reason is that I want to help people. By helping people, I mean to make this first year the best year it can be, and I believe I’m the best person for the job because I’m a very outgoing person. So I’m going to use this outgoingness to reach out to people that aren’t really spoken to about issues in their lives…and do the best I can to find out about things that can help them to better their first year. Second, I want the first year class to have the best [representative] they can have and I’m a very, very, very good person for that job. I’m trustworthy, and I just want to help people… The main reason is that I want to be the person that represents our class [and] help us be the best we can,” he said.
Student Body Vice President Carley Rotenberg said she believes that the individual holding this position should have a specific kind of “drive.”
“They want it. They’re not doing it for the resume builder or power trip,” Rotenberg said. “They’re doing it because they care.”
“No first year students are going to have experience, we’re not looking for experience,” Student Body President Jonathan Dean said. “We’re just looking for someone who’s enthusiastic and wants to get involved because they’re the future.”