The race for Columbia College’s next University Senator is heating up, as nine students have officially declared their candidacy for the elections next week.
The candidates have a variety of backgrounds, but most are newcomers to student government. Only two candidates—Alexander Andresian, CC ’14, and Marc Heinrich, CC ’16—have participated in the senate as staffers. The other candidates, however, said they could make changes in the senate as outsiders.
Some of the candidates said that they wished to implement policies directly related to the issues that were currently being discussed in the senate, like the Quality of Life Survey and the smoking ban. Others wanted to focused on more nuanced topics like updating the printing system and creating a larger digital presence for the senate.
One candidate, Cameron Demsey, CC '17, has already dropped out of the race since the contestants were announced on Wednesday night.
The controversy surrounding this year’s elections has generated public interest that candidates say they hope is reflected in high voter turnout. Late last month, Columbia College Student Council President Daphne Chen, CC ’14, and current Senators Matthew Chou, CC ’14, and Jared Odessky, CC ’15, announced that an indirect election would be held to fill the seat left vacant by Cleo Abram, CC ’15. After the class of 2014 council questioned the timing of the announcement, the CCSC leaders reversed their decision and opened the election to all students in Columbia College.
The senate debates will be held in the Lerner Satow Room on Sunday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Voting starts on Wednesday next week and ends on Friday.
All interviews are condensed and edited for clarity.