Meet UW-Eau Claire’s student body presidential candidates

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McKenna Dirks

More stories from McKenna Dirks

UW-Eau Claire elections began Monday morning

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Alex Stout and Montana Piper-Thomas

Alex Stout, a fourth-year computer science student, is running for UW-Eau Claire student body president, alongside vice presidential candidate, Montana Piper-Thomas, a third-year business economics student.

Stout said he’s been involved with Student Senate for a total of eight semesters, occupying many positions through the years. He is currently the Information Technology Commission director. Some positions he has previously held include campus affairs, finance commission and information technology commission member, he said.

“Through my experience and leadership time in Student Senate,” Stout said, “I think I have the skills to be able to run the Student Senate and lead the organization to make it the best it can be and keep the strong tradition of student senate going.”

Piper-Thomas said she has been involved with Student Senate for three semesters, taking part in finance commission, student wages committee and being a student senator.

“We got to know each other on the finance commission,” Piper-Thomas said. “We saw attributes that would mesh together well.”

Alex Stout (left) and Montana Piper-Thomas (right).
“We can talk as much as we want,” Stout said, “But if we don’t listen, we won’t understand the real problem.”

Stout said he and Piper-Thomas were both on the same page in terms of listening.

“We can talk as much as we want,” Stout said, “But if we don’t listen, we won’t understand the real problem.”

Stout said their campaign slogan is “breaking down barriers.” He and Piper-Thomas have realized Student Senate can seem like it’s in its own bubble sometimes, he said.

“Nobody really knows who we are,” Stout said. “The student body seems to be intimidated by us, but we’re elected by the students, for the students. We want to be more approachable.”

Stout said the problem has been recognized in the past but hasn’t been completely solved. He wants to make an effort to get out there and get involved, he said.

“With my involvement in last semesters,” Piper-Thomas said, “I’ve reached a lot of people, and we need to take the initiative to reach people.”

With the voting beginning this week and going until Wednesday, Stout said it’s stressful, but, overall, he said he likes seeing the student engagement.

“There’s not a lot of times when Student Senate is put in front of students,” Stout said. “The most fun part is getting out there, seeing everyone engaged and excited about it and the mystery of not knowing what’s going to happen.”

Charlie Johnson and Anna Ziebell

Charlie Johnson, a third-year political science and integrated strategic communications student, is running for student body president, alongside vice presidential candidate, Anna Ziebell, a second-year political science and social diversity student.

Johnson, who has participated in Student Senate for six semesters, said he currently holds the position as director of the intergovernmental affairs commission.

Ziebell said this is her fourth semester on Student Senate. She is currently an off-campus senator, as well as the Equity in Student Matters Commission director.

“Anna approached me,” Johnson said, “and we realized we have similar viewpoints and vision for the university.”

Charlie Johnson (left) and Anna Ziebell (right).
“We feel we can give the voice to the student body,” Johnson said.

With both his and Ziebell’s background outside and within Student Senate, Johnson said they feel they can bring wide viewpoints to the university.

“We feel we can give the voice to the student body,” Johnson said.

Johnson and Ziebell’s slogan is “building for the future.”

“We want to make this university fantastic for the students of today,” Johnson said, “and the students of the future.”

Johnson said when they are talking about students of the future, they could be referring to two weeks or even three years from now — comprising building projects or building connections within the student body.

Being able to reach out and connect with other students, particularly students running on their ticket, is one of the things he enjoys most about the campaigning process, he said.

Ziebell said their ticket consists of 27 students running underneath them, with 11 on-campus senators and 16 off-campus senators.

She said she enjoys sharing how passionate her and Johnson for the university and the excitement of meeting and talking with students, she said.

“Simply by campaigning, we are able to connect with a wide majority of the student body,” Johnson said. “It has provided us with new perspectives on campus.”

Dirks can be reached at [email protected]

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