Meet The Candidates

Student Life Senator

One senator will be elected.

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Zari Irving '25

she/her

Major: Professional Sports Management and Marketing

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Ambitious, Leader, Listener.

I am interested in running for student life senator because I believe that this is one of the most vital positions in the student senate. I have been in many student spaces around campus and I enjoyed sharing experiences with other students. I enjoy talking with students and I believe their experiences should be shared with the Student Life Committee so that we can work to improve the student experience. I take pride in being a communicative individual that cares for the students on this campus.

I would like to enact a survey that is checked weekly by myself and addresses topics brought to me by students about their experiences that will be brought up in SLC meetings.

I was a Student Life Committee member, First-year Senator, a DISC rep. for Black Ensemble, and I worked as a Football manager for St. Olaf last year. I am currently a BORSC member, a Football Manager, and I do PR for Black Ensemble. I have had many experiences in leadership roles and roles that are big on communication.

 

Class of '23 Representative 

Two senators will be elected.

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I was a senator last year and would like to continue the work that was started then and also help to improve campus life in all aspects.

I would like to start an initiative to redefine alcohol and drug use on campus as it has been an issue in the past and state law has changed over the summer legalizing THC edibles.

I was a senator last year.

Simon Allen '23

he/him

Major: Social Work

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Compassionate, Reliable, Grounded.

 

Class of '24 Representative 

Two senators will be elected.

No Candidates Found :/

Class of '25 Representative 

Two senators will be elected.

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Grace Barton '25

she/her

Majors: Quantitative Economics and Political Science

Hometown: Eagan, MN

Passionate, Determined, Approachable.

I served as one of the First-Year Representatives on Senate last year! I know the role well and would love to continue to represent the class of 2025 as a Sophomore Class Rep. Outside of Senate, I serve as a Election Engagement Representative, a SARN member, and the Political Director for St. Olaf Leftists.

     Last year, I had the privilege of serving as the First-Year Class Representative on Student Senate. This experience was beyond rewarding as I was able to forge connections with fellow Oles and act as a student voice for change. This year, I am hoping to continue some of the work that the class of 2025 started during the last academic year. During interim, I had the opportunity of participating in Ole Tank– a senate initiative that allowed students to pitch campus improvement projects for funding. In the spring, I was awarded $5,075 to help provide complimentary menstrual products in all campus bathrooms. Before summer vacation, I was able to purchase some of the products and connect with campus facilities about implementation plans. I am beyond excited to see how the Senate will continue to work with this project throughout the school-year. I am hoping to have the opportunity to represent the class of 2025 again and continue to pitch projects that will benefit the general student body.

     This year, I would also like to increase Senate visibility on campus. After speaking with first-years during my role last year, my co-senators and I discovered that very few incoming students were aware of the role and resources offered by Senate. Senate is a fantastic place to pitch a project, talk about campus resources, and discuss what it means to be an Ole. If elected, I would like to help increase Senate visibility by expanding advertising for Ole Tank and spreading publicity about our various subcommittees and the work that they do on campus. I think that Senate is an incredible hodge-podge of students that can offer great support to their constituents.

     Last year, I had the privilege of serving as the First-Year Class Representative on Student Senate. This experience was beyond rewarding as I was able to forge connections with fellow Oles and act as a student voice for change. This year, I am hoping to continue some of the work that the class of 2025 started during the last academic year. During interim, I had the opportunity of participating in Ole Tank– a senate initiative that allowed students to pitch campus improvement projects for funding. In the spring, I was awarded $5,075 to help provide complimentary menstrual products in all campus bathrooms. Before summer vacation, I was able to purchase some of the products and connect with campus facilities about implementation plans. I am beyond excited to see how the Senate will continue to work with this project throughout the school-year. I am hoping to have the opportunity to represent the class of 2025 again and continue to pitch projects that will benefit the general student body.

     This year, I would also like to increase Senate visibility on campus. After speaking with first-years during my role last year, my co-senators and I discovered that very few incoming students were aware of the role and resources offered by Senate. Senate is a fantastic place to pitch a project, talk about campus resources, and discuss what it means to be an Ole. If elected, I would like to help increase Senate visibility by expanding advertising for Ole Tank and spreading publicity about our various subcommittees and the work that they do on campus. I think that Senate is an incredible hodge-podge of students that can offer great support to their constituents.

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Donovan Roddy '25

he/him

Major: Quantitative Economics

Hometown: Stillwater, Minnesota

Empathetic, Thoughtful, Driven.

   I am interested in becoming a Sophomore Class Representative because I want to represent student voices and maintain student wellbeing. I believe supporting the diverse clubs, organizations, and students at this college is essential for maintaining a vibrant community, and I want to pursue a role on campus that meaningfully contributes towards this goal for present and future students. I believe campus engagement and involvement are important, and I want to ensure that students feel both validated that their concerns are being listened to and certain that action is being taken to address them. As the sophomore class gains more opportunities to get involved on campus, I hope to advocate for their interests and pursue initiatives that make all students feel safe, welcome, and included. If elected, I will put my effort into ensuring student voices are being amplified, and I want to make sure students feel like they can bring any issue forward without feeling dismissed. Additionally, I would love to run events that facilitate campus interaction and allow students new opportunities to express their voices. Essentially, as a Sophomore Class Representative, I would be dedicated to providing a voice for student concerns while taking the initiative to address them.

I am a member of the College Leftists executive board, and I was a member of the Political Awareness Committee.

I would like to enact an initiative that creates more transparency between St. Olaf Public Safety and students. Specifically, I would like to make it more accessible for students to express any concerns they may have with specific Public Safety protocols, actions, and initiatives.

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Elijah Sonntag '25

he/him

Major: Chemistry

Hometown: Appleton, Wisconsin

Devoted, Approachable, Trustworthy.

People are the driving force in everything I do, and that is my true reason for running for this position. I love getting to meet all of my amazing peers and getting to hear your concerns and ideas for and about campus. As one of the representatives of the Sophomore class, that is what I will strive to be, a representative! My priorities are your priorities, and that is how it is meant to be. I wholeheartedly believe that that is how we make a better campus together, and that is how I promise to be your class representative.

Prior experience includes student government, including numerous leadership roles throughout middle and high school. Here at St. Olaf, I was the Web manager for the SOC branch of SGA last year and was the first-year representative to the School curriculum committee through the Senate.

We need to make this campus more accessible for people with temporary and non-temporary disabilities.

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Gissel Inamagua '25

she/her

Major: Pre-Law Environmental Studies

Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Understanding, Thoughtful, Passionate.

I am interested in this position because I believe it is the right opportunity to represent the concerns of my fellow students and bring about the change that we so desperately desire and need. During my time at St. Olaf, I have had the pleasure to get to know many Oles from all different backgrounds. Because of this, it has come to my attention that there are many things that need to be genuinely addressed within the St. Olaf community. As a senator, some of the things I want to work on during my term include: improving the experience of students that hail from poc communities, low-income & multicultural backgrounds, bettering students’ relationship with resident life, working with St. Olaf College to reform the relationship between students and public safety, and increase safety measures across campus so every student is able to truly feel safe. Additionally, I look forward to collaborating with orgs on campus to promote issues that are important to the class of 2025. Being able to serve in a role such as this one, would allow me to serve my community and help be part of change…change that would better the lives and experiences of not only current students at St. Olaf college but also that of generations to come. “Oles Can. Oles Will.” 

An event that I would like to enact in my role is a annual symposium-like event to ensure that the welfare of all students is a priority. Community engagement is a must if anybody hopes to establish reform that will improve the quality of life for each and every student that is part of the St. Olaf Community!

Prior experience includes being a member of Environmental Coalition. Current Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion of Pre-Law Student Association (PLSA).

 
 

Class of '26 Representative 

Three senators will be elected.

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Logan A. Samuelson '26

he/him

Majors: Political Science and Economics

Hometown: Blaine, Minnesota

Helpful, Friendly, Cheerful.

I would like to enhance campus recreation by installing more quality pool tables and similar styled games into our Residence Hall lounges and campus common spaces.

    Eagle Scout (2021+), Senior Patrol Leader (Boy Scouts Troop 509 2021-22), AP Teacher's Assistant/Tutor (2021-22), Business Consulting Team Project Lead (2021)

Hello, my name is Logan A. Samuelson, a First-Year from Ellingson Hall, and I am pleased to be one of your 2022 St. Olaf Senate candidates.

 

During the course of my life I have participated in innovative projects and organizations (including, but not limited to: the Boy Scouts of America and my school’s 2021 Business Consulting Team), sought to work tirelessly to serve my peers, and witnessed a great many leaders. To me, leadership is much more than a position, it is an oath of responsibility, and a commitment to bettering my community.

 

Through my leadership I have demonstrated and maximized thoughtful and efficient skills to achieve my goals and have discovered a model of leadership which is acutely situated to handle difficult responsibilities. Foremost, effective communicative and organizational skills form the core basis of my leadership strategy. Communication is essential to building trust, and trust is integral to ensuring strong connections with those I serve. With strong connections, it all becomes far easier to work with those I serve, understand their needs, and comprehensibly serve their interests. While I serve my community, I am also sure to diligently apply innovative thinking, and passion when confronting challenges and opportunities. It is important to me that I examine a problem or opportunity from many perspectives, listen, and plan my actions thoroughly.

 

Through my experiences with leadership, the best model of leadership, and the one I use steadfastly, is when leaders keep their people at the center of what they do, always. With this model of leadership, I have succeeded while serving as Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) and Eagle Scout in my Boy Scout troop, Project Lead of my 2021 Business Consulting Team, and most recently as a teacher’s assistant/tutor for an Advanced Placement class. Through these undertakings, I have managed large and small groups effectively by planning and leading a variety of events; including 10+ camp nights and ski trips as an SPL, and an extensive tree planting project to achieve Eagle Scout. As Project Lead, I engaged with my local chamber of commerce, a local development/construction company, and my dedicated student team to address and research ways to engage young adults with high growth careers. While serving as a TA, I planned study sessions, worked with students outside of class, and even taught for a brief stint when the teacher was quarantined, to help my class prepare for their exams and learn history.

 

Here, in the St. Olaf Student Government Association, my model of leadership and unique skillset will not only translate to my work as Senator, but it will be an incredible asset for serving you better. As your Senator, I will apply my tested planning skills and collaborate with my fellow SGA members to execute bold, yet practical solutions for a variety of critical objectives; including enhancing campus recreation, reducing unhealthy congestion around Stav, and prioritizing campus engagement with our surrounding community. This Tuesday, September 27th, please cast your vote in support of me. Thank you!

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I believe that if people want to see a change in the way things are done in either the student body government on campus, or in real life situations, they must be an active participant.

I would enact a communal clean up around Northfield every month.

Winter Johnson '26

she/her

Major: Undeclared

Hometown: Billings, Montana

Smart, Open-Minded, Curious.

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Adrian Ayala '26

he/him

Majors: Economics and Studio Art

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Charismatic, Determined, Open-Minded.

I believe as Senator, or representative, for the first year class I would be able to listen to other fellow freshman and understand the issues they wish to express with a open and understanding point of view. I want everyone in the first year class to feel like their voices are being heard, even if we are new to the school. I want to insure that everyone’s voice is heard. I know what it’s like to feel like there is no one there that could hear your struggles, so I want to step up and make sure that there’s no one left behind. I want this position to be the megaphone to everyone in the first year.

I have had multiple leadership roles in the past, including being treasurer, secretary, and president of Pet Club during high school, secretary, Playwright, and treasurer of Drama Club, an active member in SGA, and student counselor for underclassmen. I have also worked in instructing and teaching younger children in the past.

I believe an all campus gathering or social where all could participate in a fundraiser or charity event regarding issues such as inequity or inequality in terms of resources would not only be a great way to help those in need but would unite the community under a more united front. We could use some of the funds to reach certain goals like hosting a block party or having an all hall pizza party.

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It would also be a opportunity to use my problem solving skills, share my voice, and represent the voice of my dormmates and class as a whole. Additionally, I am leaning towards majoring in political science and therefore student government interested me. I think it would be a great place to learn how organized bodies work and participate in a legislative assembly.

I would get the air hockey table in Buntrock fixed. I would organize a better system for sharing/rotating people on the pool table.

I have participated in some mock governments.

Christopher Flemming '26

he/him

Major: Undeclared

Hometown: McFarland, Wisconsin

Smart, Loyal, Determined.

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Evgenia Roth '26

she/her

Majors: Environmental Studies and Political Science

Hometown: Hudson, Wisconsin

I am interested in being a First Year Class Representative because I have a desire to connect with my peers, examine St. Olaf policies, and be a voice for my class. I look forward to improving the relationship between St. Olaf students and administration, and working towards creating school policies that will accurately reflect the voices and opinions of the students. Another reason I am interested in this position is because I am hoping to someday become and environmental lawmaker, and possibly have a governmental role- such as a member of Senate!

If I was elected to senate, I would like to work towards the initiative of increasing the amount of flex dollars students receive with their meal plans. Over the last year, the Cage prices have increased, but the amount of money students are given has not.

Approachable, Hardworking, Zealous.

Previously, I have co-chaired the beginning of a composting program at my school, led a service project to film and share a tour video with HS freshman, was a section leader in my choir, and taught summer theater camps. These experiences will help me with my role in senate, as I have experience working simultaneously with both students and administrators, and have actively worked for change within my school.

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Kaia Kempf '26

she/her

Majors: Undeclared

Hometown: Swisher, Iowa

Ambitious, Creative, Open-Minded.

I am interested in this role because I believe I can be an accurate representation of students' thoughts. I love talking to people and hearing different perspectives on issues or ideas, and I would be able to apply that as a representative. At my high school, the student government did not take interest in what the wider population of students believed about different issues. This made it incredibly difficult for any meaningful change to happen at our school. If I am voted in, I will put in the effort to talk and interact with as many first-year students as possible so that I am well informed on what a variety of students think about different topics raised in SGA. I would love the opportunity to have a positive impact on my school!

I would love to start an initiative that promotes lessening waste in day-to-day life. I'm very passionate about the environment, and thinking about waste definitely impacts a lot of my decisions. However, it can be really hard to start making environmentally-conscious choices. I know from first hand experience that looking into zero waste living can be overwhelming and stressful. I would work with the environmental representative to create a college-friendly guide that helps students find small, achievable, and important changes they can incorporate into their daily routines without introducing more stress into their lives. Small changes are the foundation for big differences!

I haven't been in any sort of government before, but I have been a leader in many activities. I was a Section Leader in my high school marching band. This role taught me how to be patient with those around me and understand that many people have a thousand different things going on at once. It also helped me learn how to work with other leaders, like those from other sections or the Drum Majors. Furthermore, I volunteered with middle school girls from my area as a mentor. Mentoring them taught me that everyone has a unique point of view, and hearing these different perspectives can have an impact on your own. These experiences will support me in my role because I will remember to be open to the perspectives of others and I'll know how to work well with other SGA leaders.

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A meeting speaking on behave of the class of 2026 and what we need as a class to continue to thrive in the first meeting, etc.

Melanie Hernandez '26

she/her

Majors: Undeclared

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Ambitious, Creative, Open-Minded.

In today’s world people my age don’t have much of a voice unless it’s protested. The intersectionality of identities can make it even harder for our voices to be heard. As a queer Latina woman, I’ve always been living in fear because of the policies created without people like me in mind. It’s rare for minorities to have a safe space and have an influence on any sort of policies. As a first-year student in the class of 2026, I recognize that we are the most diverse class at St Olaf. To help foster this I want to create and cultivate the best experience for the class of 2026 in the upcoming years. At St Olaf, we are challenged “to excel in the liberal arts, examine faith, and values, and explore meaningful vocation in an inclusive, globally engaged community” and it would be a pleasure to keep St Olaf just as safe and inclusive while still trying to improve. The concept of inclusivity while searching for colleges scared me. St.Olaf, being a predominantly white institution, made me feel as if I would feel excluded while existing in predominantly white spaces on campus but in reality, I have felt very safe at St.Olaf thanks to the previous senator members who paved a way for real inclusivity on campus that not many predominantly white institutions who claim to have, actually have. I hope to improve upon this, using what has been previously done on campus as a platform, to create conversations and enact change for the better, making for all students to feel more comfortable on campus. I am still trying to find myself but being a representative will help me become a better leader and listener. As a posse scholar, I want to better enact my role on campus. The Posse Foundation is an organization that promotes leadership by grouping diverse people of different backgrounds and by bringing these scholars to campus. As a Posse scholar, I went through PCT (Pre Collegiate Training) with nine other posse scholars in which we explored concepts like inclusivity, discrimination, teamwork, and how to navigate “different” environments, like St. Olaf. I love being involved in my community and creating new things. St Olaf is a strong and friendly community, I grew up in a diverse community back in Dallas, Texas where I worked at a community store Starbucks where talking to new people and getting to know them became my hobby on the weekends and an active theater kid who was costume designer, playwright, actor, and director at my highschool on the weekdays. Even though St Olaf is far from home it is a second home for us as students and it is where we socialize, study, work, and live. It is our responsibility to keep it as such. I want to give a loud and strong voice to my class and for everyone to be respected and tre

 

Environmental Student Senator

One senator will be elected.

Error: No Candidates Found :/

 

International Student Senator

One senator will be elected.

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Kate Zhylinskaya '25

As the International Student Senator I want to represent interests of the global student body by creating a safe space to share their concerns and listen to their suggestions on how their experience on campus could be improved. By actively working and collaborating with BORSC and Taylors center I want to ensure the well being inside and outside academics, reduce the bias towards internationals and provide them with opportunities to show and educate students about their culture, traditions and values. As a person coming thousands miles away from the United States - I know how you feel, how much unknow there is in that new environment. My goal is to provide all possible resources for you to feel safe, welcomed and appreciated in our community! Our world is diverse, so let's make this diversity seen in St. Olaf!

As one of my projects I will create a physical space - projections and posters, where international students can share their culture. It can be anything from some interesting facts and national dishes to serious issues that your home faces. This opportunity to educate others about political, social, environmental and economical problems your nation faces now or was facing for years is the greatest way to share the knowledge and find support.

she/her

Majors: Biology and Computer Science

Hometown: Minsk, Belarus

Supportive, Honest, Enthusiastic.

I was Interfaith Senator 21-22'.

 

Multicultural Student Senator

One senator will be elected.

Error: No Candidates Found :/

 

Gender and Sexuality Senator

One senator will be elected.

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she/her

Sarah Seebacher '25

Majors: Psychology and Gender & Sexuality Studies

Hometown: Innsbruck, Austria

Attentive, Determined, Honest.

My objective is to speak to the whole campus regarding gender issues and inclusion of the whole LGBTQIA community. On a small scale, I hope to turn more bathrooms into gender-neutral restrooms, equip these with more sanitary products for people with periods and, working closely together with the wellness center, provide resources for students and faculty to gain access to a political voice promoting equality. I hope to find speakers that can educate the campus regarding these issues, hosting an event where everyone can share a part of their life on campus and where they experienced sexism, homophobia or any sort of critical social issue and how we can all work closely together to solve them.

Ever since I was a young teenager, I have been made aware of the fact that I am part of a marginalized group, identifying as a queer female. Subtle acts towards maintaining patriarchal power structures have even been present in the highly privileged country I grew up in. As a Gender and Sexuality senator I hope to support the voices that have been silenced for way too long and fight against even the smallest forms of inequities that are visible on our college campus, with particular attention to how gender and sexuality intersect with race, class, ethnicity and belonging. Focusing on the individual student and also campus culture and society as a whole, I want to raise awareness for the LGTBQIA community and the importance of representation. In an PWI like St Olaf, it is of high significance to improve concerns such as individual identity development, promote an inclusive campus climate, and analyze social policies, while also keeping in mind the aspect of intersectionality that comes with every student being part of a minority group. This said, I hope to use my holistic knowledge I have acquired in my major so far, my personal experience as a bi-sexual female and my passion for equity in order to be the best possible fit to represent all genders with whatever sexual orientation they identify as.

 

Interfaith Senator

One senator will be elected.

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Samsam Ali '26

she/her

Majors: Social Work and Creative Writing

Hometown: Stillwater, Minnesota

Kind, Outgoing, Sweet.

My goal is to promote a safe campus space where everyone shares their shared values, and interests. A community confounded on acceptance, and love is what I hope to achieve as an Interfaith Senator. I am interested in creating a safe space where students have the freedom to practice freely without judgement, or bias is valued.

As an interfaith senator, I would like to initiate safe spaces for students from different faith backgrounds, such as, creating a space to practice freely through varying study sessions/events that bring all students together. I would also like to initiate having information sessions for students to be mindful of other students who may be practicing: such as of why students might wear a certain clothing type, or do a certain ritual. I believe that learning about these from different student perspective eliminates pressure, and bias from students.

As someone who identifies herself as Muslim, I do get bias, and get asked questions a lot. From why do i wear a headscarf, to why I pray five times a day. It is not just Muslim students on campus that go through this, but also other students from other faith backgrounds. It is important for our campus to shed light on other faith backgrounds, no matter if they are a minority or a majority. It is through events that celebrate different faiths, that we can eliminate bias, feel inclusive, and get closer together as a community.

 

Off-Campus Senator

One senator will be elected.

Error: No Candidates Found :/

 

Curriculum Committee Senator

One senator will be elected.

Error: No Candidates Found :/