ASWSU Senate to hold special election today

Polls open at 12:01 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. Vote at


OLIVER MCKENNA |The Daily Evergreen

Blake Gurney, a freshman delegate, participates in a senate meeting Wednesday night in the CUB.


After multiple senators vacated their positions this academic year, ASWSU Election Board Chair Bradley Warren concurred late last week with the Judicial Board’s call for special elections, seeking to fill the empty seats for the rest of the semester.




A’Jenae Hardwell

Junior, psychology and human development double major

Hardwell, who has been a secretary and public relations officer for the African Friendship Association and the National Pan-Hellenic Council, said she wants to be an ally for all groups on campus and make sure ASWSU takes their concerns seriously.

“I know I have other people relying on me to [make changes] they want to see,” Hardwell said.


Emma Taylor

Freshman, economic sciences

Taylor, an executive in residence hall government, said she wants to improve student participation and transparency in student government. If elected, she would seek to help create community and equal opportunity. Taylor hopes to go into public service and work as a government economist.

“I believe in the original purpose of ASWSU,” Taylor said. “It’s about public service and about giving back.”


Troy Clevenger

Junior, political science

If elected, the Air Force ROTC cadet would take his first ASWSU position. He described himself as a good leader and an “average joe.” Clevenger, who grew up in Pullman, said he understands the struggles of students and hopes to find a solution to racism on campus by encouraging constructive discussions.

“[I want to] use the advantages I have to give back to the community,” he said.




Ryan O’Dea

Junior, French, Chinese and international business

O’Dea, an Honors College mentor, said ASWSU has a responsibility to help students become better-informed voters. He said the student government could communicate better with international students by using social media they use, like WeChat, which is especially popular among Chinese students.

“I want to help students understand ASWSU as a whole,” O’Dea said.




Alexis Wyatt

Freshman, not certified

Wyatt described herself as a great leader who is easy to talk to. She said she wants to increase her involvement at WSU to hear a range of opinions, so she can be a voice for underrepresented people on the Senate.

“I really like hearing people’s opinions,” Wyatt said. “Get your words out and listen to others.”


Michael Highfill

Freshman, not certified

Highfill said he has been interested in student government since he first came to WSU. He said Alive! summer orientation needed more student involvement, and sexual assault prevention and mental health are important issues for him. Highfill said he wants the university to explore new ways of confronting mental health.

“Now’s the time to continue and push suicide prevention programs,” Highfill said.


Jack Ellis

Freshman, not certified

Ellis, a first-year honors student, said acting financially responsible is an important responsibility for an ASWSU senator. He wants to ensure students have sufficient mental and academic support. Ellis said he is passionate about leadership and meeting new people.


Kelly Monro

Freshman, not certified

Monro said civic engagement is one of her greatest passions. If elected, she said, she wants no divide between her and her constituents. Two of Monro’s core principles as senator, she said, would be transparency and advocacy.

“Leave it in a better condition than how you found it,” she said.


Ryan Vance

Freshman, not certified

Vance said he has been involved on campus since first coming to Pullman. He lobbies for WSU students as part of the Cougar Lobby Team and hopes to accurately represent the needs of uncertified students, most of which are freshmen.

“[I want to] help uncertified students with understanding how to get certified into their major,” Vance said.




Synthia Alcantar

Junior, political science

Alcantar said that as a transfer student, she had a hard time getting into her comfort zone, but that has since changed. She said she is passionate about representing marginalized groups on campus. There are people whose voices are not being heard, she said, especially regarding budget cuts.

“If I say I’m going to speak up for you,” Alcantar said, “I’m going to hold myself accountable and do that.”


Brissa Perez

Junior, political science

Perez said she wants solutions for students. In the current campus and political climate, she said, some students do not feel included, and she wants students to be able to speak up without fear of being judged. She said being a part of the decision-making process would break down barriers, and she could inform students about what happens behind the scenes.

“I want to be able to be that voice for students that don’t feel comfortable bringing up issues to the university,” Perez said.


Jacob Lizarraga

Senior, microbiology

Lizarraga, current Pharmacy Student Advising Council ambassador and Pre-Pharmacy Club public relations officer, said transparency is the most important attribute of any governing body. He said the College of Veterinary Medicine is underrepresented on the Senate, and everyone on campus should be treated equally.

“I want students to come to me and think of me as an advocate,” Lizarraga said.


Nhu Huynh

Junior, neuroscience and psychology double degree

Huynh, a first-generation student, said representing STEM students in the arts and sciences, veterinary medicine and pharmacy position is important because they come from the smaller part of a very broad category. She has been involved in the Neuroscience Club and has held two officer positions in her Greek chapter.

“I come from a different background,” Huynh said. “I would offer a different perspective.”


Devinae McNeil

Junior, basic medical sciences major on a pre-med track

McNeil, a transfer student, said she wants to help students, especially overworked ones in STEM, socialize and find time to do things they love in order to improve their mental health. She said she could act as a voice for underrepresented students like herself.

“I’m a team player and I listen to others,” McNeil said. “[ASWSU] should be a team.”

This article has been revised to reflect the new web address of the ASWSU polls (from to and that students now have until 11 p.m., instead of 8 p.m., to cast their votes.

ASWSU polls open online until 11 p.m. today