Bethel to hold first competitive election in two years
News | Michael Urch
Top, vice presidential and presidential candidates Dan Wanous and Ashley Ancona. Below, presidential and vice presidential candidates Andrew Reynen and Paige Thielen | Photo for The Clarion courtesy of Ashley Ancona
Only the seniors on campus can remember the last competitive campaign for student body president. It has been two years since more than one candidate ran for the position, but this year, the student body has a decision to make.
Current president and candidate Ashley Ancona is running for re-election. Ancona, a junior, is a double major in computer science and business entrepreneurship. Ancona refers to this year’s term as student body president as the “most amazing experience ever,” and she hopes to gain the same experience as president next year.
Ancona’s vice presidential candidate is Dan Wanous. Wanous is a junior studying biblical and theological studies, economics and finance. His background includes two years as an RA and his current role as the executive director of student leadership for BSA. Ancona says she respects Wanous and sees him as a partner.
Ancona and Wanous are both confident that their experiences and relationships have prepared them to represent the student body.
“I think building bridges is really important, and we have the connections that are necessary to get that done,” Wanous said.
Andrew Reynen, a junior studying accounting, economics and finance, is the second candidate running for office. Pulling from three years of experience on student senate, including his current position as senate president pro tempore, head senator, and exposure to many past presidents, Reynen is excited about what he can offer the student body. He said he hopes to help students benefit from all that BSA has to offer.
Paige Thielen is Reynen’s running partner and vice presidential candidate. As a student athlete majoring in nursing and psychology, Thielen is ready for action. She is the only sophomore candidate, but she has senate experience of her own and she believes that her exposure to different areas of Bethel has prepared her to represent students. She stresses the importance of giving back to the students and getting them involved.
“The student government does great right now, and we have done a really good job getting information out about BSA, but we need to take a bigger step still in getting the students involved,” Thielen said. “Their opinions matter.”
The student body president is the primary liaison between students and Bethel’s administration. The student elected will be the voice of the student body. Additionally, the president oversees BSA funding and appoints both the financial officer and BSA department executive directors, excluding student senators. The vice president oversees the legislative branch of the student body government and meets regularly with the BSA executive directors.
Online voting will begin at 10 a.m. on Feb. 25 and end on at 10 p.m. on Feb. 26.