As seniors complete their final term with student government, fourteen first-year students compete for the five student government representative positions to fill the positions in their class.
Chair of Representation Bilal Akbar ‘18 said that although the number of candidates from the incoming class sank from 25 last year, the students’ qualification has improved.
“We’re really happy with the  students who are running,” Akbar said. “They’re all talented people, and it’s a diverse group of individuals. I think the quality is even better than last year in many ways.”
Akbar noted that their qualifications include demonstrating that they have been involved before they declared their candidacy, going out of their comfort zone and interacting with many people.
The Lafayette reached out to the candidates for the Class of 2019 representative positions through email.
With some of the candidates, experience with student government in high school was an important reason for running for office.
“I was class president for three years in high school, and I always prioritized it first in my life because I never wanted to let down those who had entrusted me to make the right decisions,” Lucy Kahn ‘19 wrote.
“I was involved in high school and I had a lot of fun being a part of it then and I know that in college it’s different, but it’s something that I believe I will enjoy,” Blossom Jiang ‘19 wrote.
“I served as student body president in high school, which gave me the opportunity to positively change many aspects and create new traditions. I loved being able to be the face and voice for the school I loved, and it would be an honor to continue that here,” Emily Saba ‘19 wrote.
Other students highlighted different kinds of experiences that they felt made them fit to run for student government.
“I think something that differentiates me from the other candidates is I was an in season athlete this fall which forced me to be organized and manage my time wisely,” Ryan Peslis ‘19 wrote.
“I was homeschooled for most of my precollegiate education, giving me the ability to act totally as an individual without being undermined by peer pressure,” Zechariah Nelson ‘19 wrote.
“I’ve worked for a politician, a mobile veterinary agency, and at a convenience store instead of finishing my education…I was elected president of my high school before I had to drop out [for medical reasons], so it’s definitely half unfinished business and half passion to speak out on behalf of those who don’t care or want to get involved but don’t know how,” Ryan Powers ‘19 wrote.
“I’m…an international student from Morocco…The transition from a known homely environment to a new college lifestyle is not only a challenge but scary, too…I would like to propose ideas and follow them through to provide guidance and resources to better facilitate that transition,” Shreya Nebhwani ‘19 wrote.
Other students emphasized particular character traits that they believed made them a good choice for first year representative.
“I’m brash and energetic; I’m not reserved in getting my ideas out. If I think something, I say it, and if I say something, I mean it,” Conlon Kiesling ‘19 wrote.
“I pride myself on being able to interact with my peers in a productive and positive way, which is an imperative character trait that Student Government representatives must have,” Jesse Glaser ‘19 wrote.
Others discussed what they hope to achieve if they get elected.
“I would like to help make student life more entertaining and engaging by pushing for the creation of more campus-wide events. I think that they really bolster school spirit and create a stronger community here,” Connor Burwell ‘19 wrote.
“Through Student Government I hope to help improve the daily lives of my classmates by creating a more inviting and social environment at Lafayette,” Riley Godshall ‘19 wrote.
“I wish to be involved in student government because my goal is to make a difference during my time here at Lafayette. More specifically, I hope to be able to leave Lafayette better than I found it,” Lauren Steinitz ‘19 wrote.
“If you see me on campus and you have a concern come tell me. Write me a letter. Send me a telegram. Use smoke signals. In order to speak for the students, I want to speak with them as often as possible,” Joshua Kramer ‘19 wrote.
Francis Clarke ‘19, also running for a representative position for the class of 2019, did not respond for comment.
Six representatives are running for the representative offices for the class of 2017, and seven for the class of 2018. Student government elections will conclude on Friday at 8 p.m., when the results are also planned to be announced.