Carman, Ehlers and O’Connor win Student Senate election, plan to address inaccessibility on campus


Joseph Eichele

The Winona State Student Senate elections ended last week with it’s new executive board for next year. Pictured from left to right is Emma Ehlers, Alizabelle Carman, and Jack O’Connor who all won Vice President, President, and Treasurer respectively.

Heidi Hanson, Features Editor

With another semester almost complete, it is the time in many clubs and organizations on campus to start electing new executive boards for the future. The Winona State University Student Senate, one of the most influential organizations on campus, just announced their executive board for the 2023-24 school year.

Alizabelle Carman, Emma Ehlers and Jack O’Connor have only four cumulative years in senate, which is less than previous boards, but they are determined to not let this impact their performance next year in a negative way.

Carman is a second-year majoring in psychology and is currently the Student Services Chair on Student Senate. As president, Carman will be responsible for running weekly senate and cabinet meetings, meeting with Winona State University Administration monthly, potentially taking up some personal projects and be an overall support system for the entirety of senate and campus in general. 

Being president of Student Senate comes with a lot of responsibility, and Carman is not only ready to take this on, but passionate and excited to have the opportunity of giving students a voice on campus. An executive position often allows for students to reach out about issues that are not usually acknowledged.

“It is so important that administration and faculty know what students expect in their higher education experience that we pay a lot for,” Carman stated. “Being in a position where students know you can make an impact is very valuable.”

Emma Ehlers, a third-year environmental science-biology major and vice president for senate next year, commented on Carman’s work ethic and why she will be an exceptional senate president in just four short months. 

“Liz is probably one of the most reliable people I have ever met; she is always there for me and everyone in senate,” Ehlers stated. “She is also a very passionate person which you can see in the work she does for senate.”

Ehlers is currently one of the junior class representatives in senate and ran for vice president with Carman and O’Connor to play a bigger role in giving students a voice on campus and seeing more of the “behind the scenes” decisions that are made as an executive board. As vice president, Ehlers will be responsible for coordinating orientations, overseeing elections, co-chairing the judicial board among other obligations.

“I am so excited to be a voice for students,” Ehlers said. “This position really allows for me to make more change on campus. Additionally, I look forward to working with some amazing people to do so.”

Jack O’Connor is a first-year majoring in statistics and data science and currently holds the freshman seat in senate. O’Connor hopes to take this opportunity to make Winona State the best campus it can be. As treasurer, O’Connor will be responsible for assisting clubs in their allocation of annual funding. 

The two main issues this executive board group wants to improve are the issues of accessibility and mental health resources on campus. With the lack of openings in counseling services seen in previous years (see Sierra’s and Lilliana’s articles here) and an overall lack of accessible locations for students with disabilities on campus, students have been hoping for changes in both areas. 

“We believe that Winona State, although they may try, is not very accessible,” Ehlers said. “Many ramps and automatic doors are broken or run down, and our very own access services is not very accessible, seeing that it is on the third floor of a building.”

Carman, Ehlers and O’Connor hope to acknowledge this inaccessibility of physical locations and mental health resources on campus, bring awareness to each of these issues and pursue potential solutions for each. 

“We want to make sure everyone can get what they need to be successful,” O’Connor said. 

Meghan Magner, a math education major and the other freshman seat in senate along with O’Connor, explained that she is looking forward to Carman, Ehlers and O’Connor being the executive board next year because of their passion for each of their future roles. 

“Being a part of senate with them currently, I know that they are dedicated and are willing to speak out about their opinions when ideas come to senate,” Magner said. “They are not afraid to advocate for change.”