As a class officer and vice president for student advocacy, she helped to put on the King and Queen Ball and the Homecoming pep rally. As the chair of the Student Alumni Council, she was the integral force behind building relations between current and former students of the College of William and Mary. Now, as the new Student Assembly vice-presidential nominee, Kristen Slawter ’09 has even more potential to work with students and the administration on issues pertaining to the College.
Slawter, who was named yesterday as the vice-presidential nominee by SA president Valerie Hopkins ’09, will be filling the spot left vacant by former SA Vice President Zach Pilchen ’09. Slawter, a native of Wayne, Penn., is a government major with minors in biology and process management and consulting.
Slawter said that one of the main reasons she applied for the job of vice president was because it was something she had always wanted to do.
“I’ve been able to watch students who have a diverse array of interests and how they interact and get to work with the administration, and it seemed like something that I always had an interest in,” she said.
Moreover, Slawter said that she wants to better clarify roles within the SA.
“I really wanted to work for the students and put a good name to it and actually get things done and refocus it on what the goal of the SA really is, which is not a lot of politicking and divisiveness, but looking toward the students,” she said.
Valerie Hopkins said that one of the key reasons she chose Slawter was because she had not been entrenched in the debates or the growing factions within the SA.
“She’s shown to be someone who students have confidence in and who students trust for four years in a row,” Hopkins said. “But she’s also someone who’s been outside of the inner dramas.”
She also said that she was looking for someone who would be able to carry out an adequate balance between the roles the vice president must fill.
“We were trying to discuss who I was going to work best with, who has the best intentions of the College at heart, who is going to be able to step in at this moment and fill the breach of trust,” she said. “Kristen embodied the kind of balance we were looking for.”
Before she can officially take office, however, she will first have to be confirmed by three out of four members of the SA senate. Hopkins and Slawter both doubted that the SA would reject the nomination.
“I don’t think that Valerie, having everything that has happened … would have picked someone that would have posed a major challenge to the senate,” Slawter said.
In addition, she said she believes the senate requires someone who has been fairly removed from the recent conflicts in the SA.
“I think the senate wants someone who has a working knowledge of how the organization works but isn’t caught up in that same kind of politicking,” Slawter said.
Slawter has served several leadership positions in campus organizations. As a class officer, she started the Class of 2009 newsletter, an idea that the SA executive is considering adopting. She is most noted for her work on the Student Alumni Association, in which she played a part in creating the “Dinner with 12 Strangers” program, which aims to introduce students to alumni.
“We doubled the amount of dinners we had and the amount of success and the amount of alumni that were coming out and our dinner of 12 ended up being around 16,” Slawter said.
Slawter also serves as a member of social sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma and the Pi Gamma Mu honor society. She is involved with the Women’s Leadership Program, Student Leadership Foundation and the Student Mentor program. She serves as a tour guide for the College.
Hopkins summed up Slawter’s role as a future vice president of the SA as a balance of College leadership.
“We kind of come from two different parts of working for the College,” Hopkins said. “I’m working from the government, and she’s working to shore up alumni power bases and to ensure that students from William and Mary leave with a good experience of the College.”