On Thursday, Feb. 16, Maine Campus Media interviewed Vice President of Student Leadership Micheal Delorge and his running mate representative Kaitlyn Sterner, who have recently announced their bid for Student Body President and Vice President.
Both Delorge and Sterner are third-year students at the University of Maine and have prior experience with the General Student Senate. This is currently Delorge’s sixth consecutive semester serving on the senate. When he first came to campus his freshman year, he was elected as a student senator, and shortly after was elected to VP of Student Leadership.
When asked why he is involved with student government, Delorge said that he is simply passionate about the work.
“I enjoyed the advocacy and the work that we do and having accomplishments both big and small, that’s the reason I stuck with it,” Delorge said. “I just think that there is so much good that we could do this year. I’m very excited about it.”
Prior to serving on the student senate, representative Sterner had been involved with student government in highschool as VP of the senior class. Sterner is currently serving in her third consecutive semester in the student senate as the representative for the Panhellenic Council. Sterner is also Panhellenic President and has a multitude of experience running meetings as well as having been trained in Robert’s Rules.
“It’s really important to elect somebody who not only deeply cares about the way things go at school, but has the policy and procedure know-how to really get it done, and I think Caitlin and I are definitely those people,” Delorge said.
When asked about the kinds of issues that student government can help solve, Delorge referred to improving aspects of residence life.
“The university is currently considering a new contract for all of the laundry machines on campus, and we, as representatives of student government, were able to sit down with him as a small group and ask for a student to be put on the committee that’s going to help choose the new laundry contract. That’s huge, and that’s something that student government can do,” Delorge said. “That wasn’t just luck. That didn’t take a ton of work. It just took a simple conversation with somebody in administration who’s willing to listen and there’s no reason why we can’t do more of that next year on many different challenging issues.”
Sterner then discussed how experience plays a large role in the effectiveness that a president can have.
“Michael has been there this entire time, so he knows student government like the back of his hand,” Sterner said. “It would be very helpful, instead of having someone that is newer and may not fully understand the workings of student government as well.”
Delorge then outlined the goals of the campaign that both he and Sterner are running on.
“We want to increase mental health awareness and resources, create different bridges and connections between student government as advocates of the student body and different university departments, strengthen connections with administration and increase the transparency between the students and the university by providing students with as much information as we’re allowed to,” Delorge said.
Sterner added that she hopes to help rebuild school spirit and strengthen the connection between students and the university.
“We also want to make students more aware of the services at their disposal on campus, improving student’s knowledge of how the student government can advocate for them,” Sterner said.
After interviewing Vice President Delorge and representative Sterner, optimism for the future of the university appears to be at the forefront of their campaign. Each genuinely cares about student government and seeks to affect positive change for the student body. Delorge and Sterner plan to provide some more updates on the election timeline, as well as how students can vote on their platform on their Instagram @delorge.sterner.23. If you have any questions regarding their campaign, feel free to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.