Students choose Frost and Kalt

Jordan Frost and Garrett Kalt embrace upon hearing they are the new ASWSU president and vice president.

Jordan Frost and Garrett Kalt won the ASWSU presidential election Wednesday night by more than 1,000 votes, a landslide victory that earned them just under 70 percent of the vote.

At about 8:30, an hour and a half after the polls closed, a knock at the door cut through the sounds of laughter at Kalt’s fraternity house, where he and Frost were awaiting the results. They walked slowly toward the front door, their friends tiptoeing behind them.

Then ASWSU Director of Diversity Victoria Wright walked through the door — a false alarm.

As people relaxed again, ASWSU President Taylor Christenson and Vice President Kyle Strachila jumped out from a hallway.

The crowd of close to 60 supporters erupted in cheers once they saw Christenson and Strachila. People began to clap and shout as they pulled out their phones. Someone turned on “We are the Champions,” and the crowd sang along, looking at their new leaders.

“To think that we’re here right now is so crazy,” Frost said. “We’ve come so far.”

Frost said the next step is for them to release their staff applications and to thank everyone who helped them get to where they are.

They plan to focus first on creating a master plan for their administration, so they do not lose focus of everything they want to achieve. They have said they never want to stop reaching out to students throughout their term.

“We just want to make sure we’re always hearing students,” Kalt said, “hearing their stories and knowing what’s going on on campus.”

Frost, Kalt, a number of close friends and several ASWSU leaders walked from campus in the snow and rain to Sigma Phi Epsilon earlier that night. They spent the day campaigning and trying to get as many people as they could to vote until 7 p.m., when the polls closed.

The party began at about 7:30 p.m.. The excitement was palpable as more and more people gathered in what is referred to as “the formal,” the living room of the fraternity house.

The crowd mingled and ate pizza as Frost and Kalt anticipated Christenson and Strachila’s arrival. Every year, the current president and vice president personally visit the winning ticket’s election night party to bring them a signed letter of transition.

“On the way over, I had butterflies,” Frost said while he waited. “We’ll see, I feel good.”

At 7:45 p.m., Frost and Kalt addressed the growing crowd, giving their thanks and explaining the two possible ways the night could end.

“Thank you to everybody who helped us throughout all of this,” Frost said. “Even if you just talked to one person, you made a difference.”

At about 8 p.m., the blinds were shut looking out over Colorado Street so no one could see the executives coming. Every time a door shut or a light flickered, everyone in the room held their breath.

At 8:30 p.m., Christenson and Strachila jumped from their hiding place screaming, engulfing Frost and Kalt in a hug. Christensen told the new executives she was proud of them as she handed them the formal letter of transition.

People began to chant, “Speech! Speech! Speech!” pushing Frost and Kalt back into the main room. Frost took the mic and gave a short speech, after which his opponent, Zachary Anders, called to congratulate him.

Frost looked at the name on the phone and got quiet, showing it to the people next to him. People began to shush and signal for silence. Anders congratulated him, but Frost, still choked up from the news of his win, could only say, “thank you.”

The idea to run all started as a joke over dinner, Kalt said, when a mutual friend suggested it after the ASWSU debate in 2016. But the more they thought about it, Kalt said, the more real it became.

One of the pair’s major policy issues is campus safety, after the Greek moratorium, increasing reports of sexual assaults, drug-related deaths and deadly collisions during drives to and from Pullman this year.

Frost said he wants to create a universal sexual assault protocol for the entire university and a new position in their cabinet, director of campus safety. This position will be a full-time sexual assault prevention director and in charge of all new safety initiatives.

Kalt displayed his dedication to this issue by creating several Senate resolutions addressing sexual assault on campus during his time as an ASWSU all-campus senator.

He also acknowledged a strong correlation between sexual assault, mental health and drug abuse on campus. Where one issue exists, Kalt said, there is a high chance another will exist as well.

At the debate on Sunday, Kalt opened up about his own personal struggle with mental health issues when he was a sophomore. The Frost-Kalt administration have said they want to normalize the discussion of mental health on campus.

The new executives will be sworn in on April 18 at the Lead Award ceremony.

“I’m just excited to get to work,” Frost said.