The 2010 Student Body Elections showed a few characteristics Wabash has not seen in awhile: Steve Henke was abroad in Spain while campaigning and the results revealed an independent/Greek President/Vice President combination.
Steve Henke ’12 won President over Adam Miller ’12 with 64 percent of student votes and Tyler Wade ’12 won Vice President over Michael Mondovics ’13 with 78 percent of the votes tallied. Henke and Wade will assume their positions in office next semester on January 25.
An amendment to move elections to February was defeated earlier this fall. Thus, Henke found campaigning to be difficult while in Spain
. As a freshman, he witnessed former President Mark Thomas, who was also abroad while campaigning, win. That encouraged Henke to proceed with confidence.
“I’d worked out a lot of our ideas about legislation and administrative vision with Tyler and other students, but hadn’t actually planned out much of the campaign,” Henke said. “I was confident that I was ready for an increased role in student government, but hardly confident in the campaign from my distant perspective. But we had some great people back at Wabash running things, and I trusted their involvement.
“I really hadn’t planned on going this far with student government, I just saw an opportunity to help Wabash and several people encouraged me that I was the man for the job. Wabash is bursting with leaders around every corner, so knowing that my work could help everyone from APO to the Zombie Survivalists is very exciting.”
President of the Student Body Cody Stipes ’11 was proud of all candidates and sees them continuing to help Wabash progress.
“Steve and Tyler are going to continue the positive momentum that started before me,” Stipes said. “Mark Thomas did a great job trying to bridge the student body together with the administration and faculty before me and I know Steve and Tyler will definitely be able to continue that progress.
“I’m also very proud of Adam Miller and Michael Mondovics. It takes a lot of courage to step up and put your name in the hat and they both did a good job. Both are great men and they will continue to do great things within different leadership positions.”
With Henke in Spain, internet communication became more apparent. He and Wade created a Facebook group, which they used to share their plans as a President-Vice President. Wade found the campaigning process fascinating because of the role of technology.
“It’s always interesting to see the power of social media and how that has changed,” Wade said. “I obviously can’t get around and talk to everybody on campus, but by sending emails, you get the message out there, leave contact information, and answer any questions people might have.”
What was also interesting about the election was that Henke, an independent, was elected alongside Wade, a member of the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity. To Henke and Wade, this will help represent the entire student body as a whole.
“Historically, Wabash independents have struggled in extracurricular participation,” Henke said. “Today, it seems that balance may have swung disproportionately in their favor. Tyler and I are looking to continue a tradition of Wabash unity, so his perspective as a FIJI is definitely a strong asset to our administration of student government. Tyler’s got a great grasp of Wabash, and I’m definitely optimistic about increasing campus involvement from fraternity and independent men alike.”
Wade was satisfied with the increased representation of fraternity men primarily with class representatives. To him, Wabash has been slightly non-proportional in representation, but he sees his role as Vice President as an opportunity to help independents and fraternity men coincide in a fairer manner.
“It has been awhile since fraternity men have been in the higher ranks in student government and that is something I think is good,” Wade said. “It’s a 60-40 split in the student body, but that always has not been reflected in the student government and I think that is a welcomed change. But I do not want to make it that I am a pro-fraternity guy. Obviously Wabash has a multi-sided opportunity and we are willing to work with everybody and listen to people who have ideas.”
For class representation the winners were: Class of 2012: Brandon Alford, Adam Becerra, Reed Hepburn, and Mark Osnowitz; Class of 2013: Michael Carper, Rob Dyer, Tyler Griffin, and Alex Robbins; Class of 2014: Scott Campbell, Ben Cook, J.T. Miller, and Jeremy Wentzel.