The Flat Hat guide to freshman elections: executive candidates

__Alexa McClanahan also wrote this article.__


Jerome Carter ’12 from Baltimore, Md., was president of the National Honor Society, vice president of Student Council and the founder of the Black Awareness Club at his high school. Carter says he is running for president because he wants to improve the freshman class’ college experience by focusing more on the community beyond campus. Goals for his administration would include trying to convice more local restaurants to accept Flex and Express. He also wants to plan more activities that promote awareness of different issues within the community.

Kobie Gordon ’12 from Fairfax Station, Va., served as president of his high school’s Spanish Honor Society and Tri-M Music Honor Society. He was also a drum major and served on the Student Leadership Council. Gordon said he cares about the students who have encouraged him to represent the class. He said he will be approachable, caring, friendly, dedicated, involved; and will do his best to advance the goals of his peers and enhance student involvement in the various aspects of student life.

Lisa Iverson ’12, of Amherst, Va., was secretary and vice president of her high school student council. Iverson raised over $1,500 for charity and provided free t-shirts for the student body. She served as co-captain of her high school’s scholastic bowl, debate team and soccer teams and participated in YMCA Model General Assembly. Iverson wants to provide students the opportunity to share their ideas and will offer the freshman class her “blood, sweat and tears.”

Ryan Leavitt ’12 from Richmond, Va., served as the senior class president of her high school. She was also the head drummer for her school’s orchestra and jazz band for two years. According to Leavitt, she has spent most of her life in leadership positions. As a people-person and an extremely hard worker, she would be disappointed if someone was elected who would not enjoy working for the class as much as she would. Leavitt said she is confident that she can do the best job, and says she offers an easy and efficient way to communicate ideas and input between the student body and the administration.

**Vice President for Advocacy**

Robert Abbott ’12 of York County, Va., is active in many activities — including club soccer, backpacking and hiking — and understands the busy schedules of his fellow freshmen. After serving as the junior and senior class president at Hampton Roads Academy, Abbott brings experience and an open mind. He stresses being active both on campus to learn more about the College, and in the Student Assembly as a liaison between the senate and executive class officers to make sure “our policy and social worlds are running smoothly.”

Imran Husain ’12 of Sterling, Va., seeks to act as an intermediary between the Class of 2012 and the senate, with an emphasis on including all student organizations and promoting transparency in the SA. A self-described “people-person,” Husain also advocates the implementation of dorm-wide forums for freshmen to express concerns and ideas to their representatives. Husain considers politics, comedy sketches and sports among his interests. Husain said he hopes to augment the responsibilities and exposure of this “already-vital office.”

Hassan Khan ’12 of Herndon, Va., was the Command Master Chief of his Navy JROTC unit during high school. As a participant in organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life, Khan recognizes the importance of diverse interests, including promoting bills such as “the one to make sure we don’t get apple juice out of the orange juice fountain.” He encourages the input of other students and notes that he is “literally a pocket away from his phone and e-mail.” and encouraged freshmen to contact him to learn more about his plans.

Jackie Stykes ’12, from Long Island, N.Y., wants to give all College of William and Mary students a chance to “unleash their inner hero.” Her campaign theme — “Super Stykes” — seeks to unite the diverse expectations and experiences of the freshman class. She admits that “as a freshman, [she] is yet to see much that needs to be changed,” but she stressed tackling problems as they arise and taking risks to enhance her class’ experience at the College.

**Vice President for Social Affairs**

Alison Baeuchler ’12 from California remembers student government as her favorite part of high school because of the feeling of involvement it gave her. She exercised her leadership skills with four years in Model United Nations. If elected, she plans to organize events such as dances, cookouts, and other “super fun” activities. She emphasized the need for student input in planning events for the class to ensure that “events are fun for everyone and a lot of people will show up.”

Walter Hickey ’12 of New York said his goal for education at the College is “to give [College President] Taylor Reveley a high-five by graduation.” He is running for office because one of his skills is “throwing sweet parties.” Hickey also leads an active extracurricular life as a member of the Young Democrats, Amnesty International and president of Monroe Hall Council. He is already starting to organize events for students, including a meet-and-greet with Students for a Better Williamsburg. He said his main goal, are to get as involved as possible and “help in any way [he] can.”

Nicole Skarpness ’12 brings an experienced approach to understanding the role of vice president of social affairs — as a member of Pi Beta Phi, the International Relations Club, Model United Nations and a tutor for C Pals, her goal is to get more freshmen involved on campus and with the Student Assembly. She plans to make the SA more accessible through Facebook, campus media and word of mouth. In addition, Skarpness hopes to create more social events for freshmen such as formals, tailgates, day trips, and holiday-themed events. In her words, she wants to “change the image people have [of the SA] … to a body that actually accomplishes what the students want.”

Michelle Yuan ’12 was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and graduated from Chantilly High School in northern Virginia. Outside of extracurricular activities such as field hockey and mock trial, she has been involved with the D.C. music scene and has traveled extensively from places like Mongolia and Ireland. As candidate for vice president of social affairs, Yuan has a detailed platform that includes instituting mixed music exchanges, sports rallies and a “‘Free’ Free Market,” a barter-based student market exchange.


Stephanie Maguire ’12 from Centreville, Va., was involved in student government all four years of high school and served as class senator, Student Government Association secretary and SGA president. She said she loved working behind the scenes and enjoyed helping plan events and solve issues. As secretary, she plans to contribute to the class by bringing her experience and passion for helping others. Maguire said she would keep the information discussed at meetings organized and work on making the freshman class connected.
Juliet Sabol ’12 from Houston, Tex., spent all four years of high school on the choir council. She has experience advertising, publicizing, planning events and working in clubs. She was a co-founder of her high school chapter of the Gay-Straight Alliance. Sabol said she knows how to work with administrators. As secretary she plans to “do more than just take notes,” saying she will send out weekly e-mails following Student Assembly meetings. She describes herself as organized, thorough and creative, and is running because she wants to immerse herself in the college experience and meet new people.


Brandon Bleakley ’12 from Virginia Beach, Va., was treasurer of his high school class and president of S.E.T.A. and the percussion club. He is currently the president of the Yates Hall Council and plans on studying finance. Bleakley said he has been handling money his entire life. “I think I have the experience and responsibility needed to raise and manage funds for our class,” he said.

Xiaoyu Guo ’12, originally from China, has lived in Florida for one year. She served on her student assembly in high school in China and founded an organization called “Love Society,” which sponsored students who couldn’t afford school in China’s Yunnan Province. She also served as editor of her high school yearbook. Guo said she wants to join the Student Assembly to work for the student body. She said she loves math and feels as though she exemplifies the class’s diversity, which she said should be represented in the SA. She said she will spend conservatively to make sure all goals can be achieved and will make accurate budget reports to be certain things are “clean and clear.”

Katelyn Salonish ’12, from Bowie, Md., served as class treasurer as a sophomore, junior and senior and as student government president. She said she is running for office because she has a passion for student government. Salonish, who loves being a part of a group that is able to make changes and affect so many people, says she can offer the class experience.


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