After only a few weeks of college, three freshmen are stepping up to be leaders on campus.
Sebastian Belfonti, Kayla Lawson and Christopher Windbeck are competing for two spots on student senate to represent the class of 2018.
Thursday, Sept. 11, the candidates gave speeches in McFeely’s and fielded questions from the audience. Student Senate President Michelle Bradley started the event at 7:30 p.m.
Belfonti, a computer engineering major from Slatington, was a member of the debate team in high school for three years. He was elected president of the debate team his senior year. Belfonti was also a member of the cross country and track-and-field teams.
Although Belfonti was originally drawn to Shippensburg University by the computer engineering program, he is considering switching his major to political science in the spring semester. “Being a politician has been my life dream since I was young,” Belfonti said.
Windbeck shows similar aspirations to Belfonti. He first started his student government career in middle school and the momentum kept building until senior year, when Windbeck was elected class president.
A resident of Lehigh, Pennsylvania, Windbeck was constantly involved in high school activities, but decided to cut back in college to better manage his time. “Student senate will be my job, essentially,” Windbeck said.
During high school, Windbeck was also the student council president. Now that he is at SU, he is majoring in biology with a pre-optometry concentration.
Like Windbeck, Kayla Lawson of Harrisburg also has experience being a voice for the students. During high school, she served on the school board as a student representative, where she faced challenges like the loss of faculty members.
SU’s diverse population and small size reminded Lawson of her community back home and drew her to the university. She was also a member of the track-and-field team in high school and is continuing to pursue the sport at SU.
Track was a place where Lawson took the role of a leader. During a state track-and-field competition, Lawson’s 4×200-meter relay team was placed in the slowest heat. Her teammates doubted success, but Lawson pushed them. They went on to place in states.
But Lawson is not only passionate about her sport, she wants to be a leader on campus and connect to the study body. “I’ll be a key player in helping execute ideas and thoughts,” Lawson said Thursday.
Between a debate expert, former class president and a track star, SU students will have to select two candidates to represent the class of 2018. Voting will be conducted Monday through Thursday of this week. Students will receive a link, via email, to cast their votes.
In addition to the class of 2018 elections, the student senate is also looking for a nontraditional student representative. There will be a write-in category for this particular seat on the survey.