SA executive candidates debate for election


Student Association President candidates Elliot Echols and Derek Koegel take part in the SA executive election debate Tuesday night in the Hertiage Room of the Holmes Student Center.

By Jacqueline Evans

DeKALB | Election season is in full swing.

The Student Association hosted a debate between the executive candidates for the upcoming election on Tuesday night in the Heritage Room of the Holmes Student Center. The debate gave candidates an opportunity to voice their opinions and allowed the students of NIU to pose questions.

Election Commissioner Matt Venaas oversaw the debate and presented questions about important issues concerning the SA, such as the possible plus/minus system change, campus safety and improvements needed in the SA.

Presidential candidate Elliot Echols touched on his position as an SA director, a role that, he said, proves his competence to be president.

“My position as director of athletics and recreation is not just a job, but my passion,” Echols said. “It has given me a good grasp on how things are done at NIU and how I can make it better. As Student Association President I would strive to improve the SA, the campus, safety on campus and student experience.”

Echols’ only opponent, Derek Koegel, said his involvement with the SA Senate that makes him a good candidate for president.

“Through the Senate, we’ve made changes that overall improve the SA,” Koegel said. “My first priority as president would be to get the students’ voice heard to see what they want and come together as a campus.”

Jen Johnson, who is running unopposed for the position of vice president, said her experience as the vice president of her sorority helped her to prepare for the position.

“I want to offer student organizations a friendly face and build close relationships with them in order to improve student involvement,” Johnson said.

Jeremy Sanchez, the single candidate for treasurer, said his experience in Interfraternity Council has prepared him for the position.

“I have gone over the bylaws and constitution in order to better prepare for the position, and my position as vice president of community events in the Interfraternity Council has given me experience in programming and planning that makes me a qualified applicant,” Sanchez said.

Student trustee candidate Nora Lindvall said she plans to focus on becoming more involved with the student body to improve unity.

“I want to put a face on the students of NIU; we’re not just numbers,” Lindvall said. “I want to give the students a voice and represent the student body well. I want to get the students and faculty on the same page and bring us together.”

Lindvall’s opponent, Jaemin Robertson, said his current position as vice president qualifies him to be the student trustee.

“As vice president I have personally learned the requirements and needs for the position of student trustee,” Robertson said. “It is very important to get to know students and receive feedback in order to improve the university.”

Some who attended felt the debate was important in order to help students decide who to vote for.

“[The debate] got everybody’s opinion and views on topics that are very important to NIU students,” said Guadalupe Barraza-Ramirez, junior nursing major. “Now the students will know what each candidate stands for; which will help with the voting process.”