DSG President and VP Candidates

DePauw Student Government has a special place in my heart, and my last year as a member of the Executive Board has been incredible. Last time I wrote about my DSG experiences, I reflected on my personal time as a member of the organization, but this time, I get to give others the spotlight! Meet the candidates for DePauw Student Government President and Vice President, Claire Halffield and Charlie Douglas and Perrin Duncan and John Cusumano

These candidates are amazing, devoted, talented and passionate members of the student body, and I'm excited about their campaigns and what they have the potential to do for DePauw. Get informed, check out their answers to questions regarding their qualifications, expectations, weaknesses and anticipation for their campaigns and potential DSG careers next year. Make sure to attend the DSG Debate on April 20th at 5pm in Peeler to hear more about the candidates, and others who are running for DSG Executive positions as well!

1.      What motivated you to run for DSG this year?

C&C: I love DePauw, but I know that there are still ways that we can make our campus better for all students. I feel like I have the ideas and the drive to make significant strides towards making DePauw a great experience for all students. I have been involved with student government since my freshman year of high school, and I have always seen student government as an effective way to make changes. I love how DSG connects students across campus!

P&J: I see a lot of potential in the organization. I've been involved in DSG since my first year at DePauw. I have always enjoyed the access DSG has to administrator and students, but know that it can be further utilized and improved. I feel that I am a good representative of our Student Body and I want to give back to DePauw for the happiness and life-changing experiences I've had in the past three years. I love this place, it has become my home. I know that regardless of where I go after DePauw, Greencastle will always have a special spot in my heart.

2.      What's the strongest characteristic of your candidacy in your opinion?

C&C: I think one of our strongest characteristics is our experience as leaders together. Charlie and I have a ton of leadership experience and we have both been on student government since coming to DePauw, but we were also Co-Presidents of Code TEAL our sophomore year. We really learned how to work together and we know how to play off of each other to continue our effective leadership team.

P&J: We are well-liked, relatable people. We are both incredibly passionate about DePauw and in our combined experiences, we have great perspective to help make sure that our presidency/vice presidency looks out for the needs of all DePauw students.

3.      What's the weakest characteristic of your candidacy in your opinion?

C&C: I (Claire) was off campus first semester, and because Charlie is off campus currently, it has been difficult to run a campaign as the only member of the team on campus. Charlie has been in charge of the social media and I am in charge of the physical on campus campaigning. However, I also see our time off campus as a strength because both Charlie and I have had the chance to connect with other student governments and expand our ideas based off of what is working at schools already. Because of these experiences, we also understand the struggles of being off campus like many students choose to do!

P&J: John's inexperience with DSG is probably our weakest characteristic. I believe that my 3 years of experience makes up for his lack of. We are both excited about the outsider perspective John will bring to the organization. It's hard to see the changes that need to be made when you are on the front line of an organization.

4.      What's the most significant thing that DSG has accomplished this year in your opinion?

C&C: I think that DePauw Student Government has created a great deal of effective legislation. For example, this year I have played a role in legislation that has increased the student allocations fund by over $100,000, changed the meal plan system to not restrict swipe usage, and legislation is currently in the works to ask DePauw to evaluate the use of the birthday book.

P&J: I believe that there are three equally significant things that DSG has accomplished throughout this year: change in how the meal plan and swipe system works, the Spring Into Involvement fair, and all the work making sure that Day of Dialogue was a success. 

5.      What is your hope as an individual and as a team should you win the election?

C&C: I really hope to connect students across boundaries by encouraging students to support one another. Students are doing amazing things, and if we can communicate better, schedule a little better, and advertise a little better, we can all attract larger crowds to student events. From student performers to athletes, we all deserve support for events that we’re a part of.

P&J: Our hope is to bring the student body closer together, to encourage goal-setting within the senate, and to better communicate within DSG and to the student body what everyone's roles are and what differences we are making for our University. We both also feel very strongly about creating a good relationship between DSG and President Mark McCoy. We want to establish a good relationship with our new administration and DSG so that  student voices are heard.

6.      What would you like the student body to understand about your candidacy?

C&C: We have really tried to engage students through creative campaign strategies, and people are loving our campaign! We have made our own version of the “Marvin for President” shirt, put up sheet signs, and have a strong social media campaign. I want students who don’t know us to stop and talk about us and what we have done for the school already, and ask us questions when they have them!

P&J: We would like the student body to see our passion and our care for all people. John and I have energy and positivity that could really transform DSG for the better. We want everyone to know that we are accessible and here for them!

7.      What do you believe has equipped you to take on this role should you win the election?

C&C: My experience on multiple DSG executive boards and now as a junior senator has given me a chance to watch the student government in many forms, as well as see the strengths and weaknesses of past leadership styles. I’m a good listener, and I am always looking to gauge student opinions from all across campus. I have experience as an independent, as a Greek student, interacting with students of all grade levels and from all places. I also make an effort to take classes that will better prepare me to be a student leader such as Communication and Cultural Identity and Women and the Internet!

P&J: I believe that my 2 years on senate and year on the executive board has prepared me well to win this election. I also feel that my involvement with the First-Year mentor program, my sorority, the Admissions Office, DePauw Community Service, the Presidential Search and Transitions committee, and other various organizations has allowed me to see DePauw from a big picture perspective. I also have gotten to know a very large portion of our student body through my involvement. We are both outgoing people and tend to make friends easily. John had an older brother at DePauw and he has seen DePauw change both positively and negatively in the past 6 years. I believe that we each bring something a little different to the table, and I think that's really exciting!

8.      What do you think is the greatest threat facing your candidacy?

C&C: I think our biggest threat is how many students will go and cast their votes online. It’s vital that the student body elects the person that the entire student body thinks is best to represent and lead the student body. 

P&J: Our biggest threat is getting people to get on e-services and vote! We need people to understand that every vote matters and can make a difference especially when there are only two candidate pairs to choose from. I know it's going to be a tight race, but I'm feeling confident and at peace that everything will work out either way. John and I wish our best to Charlie and Claire in their campaign efforts!

All answers were submitted by the Presidential candidates - Perrin and Claire - but were collaboratively developed answers with the VPs. All answers are included as they were submitted with no editing made by Her Campus DePauw.