Big John & T. Maas/Thor Wills Facebook pages
SG Vice presidential candidates Wills Brown, left, and Terrence Maas, right, each on the campaign trail
After scandals, lawsuits, restraining orders and election postponements, opposing student government candidates John Lawler and Thor Lund both agree that they are relieved for elections to begin Wednesday and Thursday. Winners will then be announced Thursday evening.
|SG Vice presidential candidates Wills Brown, left, and Terrence Maas, right, each on the campaign trail||Big John & T. Maas/Thor Wills Facebook pages|
After scandals, lawsuits, restraining orders and election postponements, opposing student government candidates John Lawler and Thor Lund both agree that they are relieved for elections to begin Wednesday and Thursday.
“We’re absolutely relieved that the elections are actually going to occur,” said Lawler. “We believe that now that a lot of this controversy has left the election students will actually be able to focus on the positive things we’re trying to bring to the table, where we came from, where we want Student Government to go, and our vision for what the student body can accomplish next year.”
Student Government elections are a huge deal but at the end of the day you’ve got to realize what’s important. Whether or not you have these positions doesn’t define who you are. I focus on who I’m becoming rather than what I’m obtaining.
Starting with the disqualification of Yaman Desai and Whitney Langston on Feb. 20, Madison Gardner and Antonio Guevara were also removed from the election ballot just two days afterwards. Gardner and Guevara were disqualified for associating their campaign with another campus wide candidate in their promotional materials, and after failing to appeal their removal Gardner filed a lawsuit against the University.
The lawsuit postponed elections for two weeks until Gardner was placed back on the ballot after the University consulted with their outside legal counsel. Then after only a few short days of being reinstated as a candidate, Gardner was once again disqualified without challenge to the judicial court’s decision.
In response to how Lund has maintained his sanity throughout it all, he said he tried to “keep an internal perspective on it.”
“Student Government elections are a huge deal but at the end of the day you’ve got to realize what’s important,” Lund said. “Whether or not you have these positions doesn’t define who you are. I focus on who I’m becoming rather than what I’m obtaining.”
Lawler said it also takes passion to remain in a campaign as drawn out as this one has been.
“I don’t think anyone who wasn’t passionate could have stayed in [this race],” Lawler said. “If you were in it for selfish reasons I can’t see that person sticking through it.”
Aside from passion, Lawler said his friends and family have been instrumental in helping him through this campaign.
“What they always kept telling me was that even if you don’t win this election you’re fighting a greater battle,” he said. “And the greater battle I see is showing student that informed, passionate candidates could win an office in student government. Not just the most involved, not who was the most vetted in student government circles – but who had the most knowledge of issues and were concerned with getting that platform with those issues accomplished.”
Lund also spoke of his good intentions for student government and the student body, stating that he wants to make sure student government is about the students and providing service to them. However, unlike Lawler, Lund believes he can provide a “fresh perspective” since he does not have prior student government experience.
Although Lawler disagrees with this, citing experience as one of strong points, the opposing candidate also said that Lund brings a “breathe of fresh air.”
“I think we both share the perspective and idea of how student government could be for the students, so I think the thing that really separates us is experience, and the simple fact is that [running mate] Terrence and I have strong relationships with the community,” Lawler said. “I think the mayor’s endorsement and passed student body leaders and current student leaders show we’re not the ‘established candidate’ but we’re definitely very serious candidates with an outside perspective.”
Both candidates envision a win though, and only time will tell with elections taking place today and tomorrow. Winners will then be announced Thursday evening.