With no competition for top spots, Brown, Schaefer win race early

Jeremy Fugleberg

Jeremy Fugleberg

Well, that was easy.

With the Feb. 12 closing of nominations for the next Students’ Association senate leadership, only two names even asked for the two-person job – Alex Brown for president and Chris Schaefer for vice-president.

“I never thought, coming here as a freshman, that I would ever be in a position like this,” said Brown, 21, a two-year student senator and political science senior. “I want to continue on, and try to give back a little bit for what this university has given me.”

Schaefer, 21, an agronomy junior and also a student senator, credited the work done by the last years of student senate leadership that “paved the way.”

While they are the guaranteed winners, Brown and Schaefer won’t truly be chosen until the SA elections in several weeks. But while the campaign trail is over, the communication is not.

Both men served as senators – Brown for two years and Schaefer for one. And both worked during their terms to keep in touch with the colleges they represented – something neither plan to stop doing now.

But now, they represent all students. And so the conversation is with a much bigger audience – many campus groups and deans from all the colleges.

“The combination of us is very good, in that we come from the two biggest colleges in the university,” Schaefer said. “It helps us represent the whole student body well.”

Brown said the uncontested election could actually help the pair in their efforts to form a united student senate – especially after two years of hotly contested leadership races.

“People aren’t divided,” he said. “It gives us a chance to work with everybody.”

SA adviser Zeno Wicks, a professor of plant science, has worked with both senators and said choosing an agenda can be tricky.

“It’s always picking those issues not that high on the administration’s radar but that the administration is not opposed to doing,” he said. “I think we’re going to have a great year. Every indication is the two are going to make a lot of progress for students.”

The outgoing SA president, Alex Halbach, thinks both senators are experienced and will do a great job. But he advises them to hit the ground running.

“It’s amazing how what you think takes a week can take months, and how fast time goes,” he said. “One second you’re at Hobo Days, the next second you’re on Christmas break – and then it’s over.”

#1.883765:3412332973.jpg:presvicepres.jn.jpg:Incoming Students’ Association leadership Alex Brown, left, and Chris Schaefer, right, stand in The Union’s Main Street.: