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55th Session Candidates

President and Vice President Candidates

Phillip Rynish and Mark Morgan

Phil Rynish and Mark Morgan have 5 years of combined Student Senate experience under their belts and they are excited to put that experience to use for another year of serving the students of UW-Eau Claire, with your help they will be able to in the positions of Student Body President and Vice President. Phil and Mark believe that even though we face tough times in the great state of Wisconsin, and our University faces dire budget cuts, UWEC can continue to move forward and not only maintain, but improve its tradition of Excellence.

The experience the duo brings to Senate and their undying commitment to the students of UW-Eau Claire makes Phil Rynish and Mark Morgan the right choice at the right time.


On-Campus Senator Candidates: In ballot order

1) Bryan Larson
Hello!  My name is Bryan Larson and I am a Freshman here at UWEC.  I am double majoring in Business Administration and Political Science.  I am involved in campus politics and attended the protests against Governor Walker's Budget Repair Bill both here in Eau Claire and down in Madison.  Aside from my political involvement I am also in the Honors Program and am an avid intramural athlete.

2) Brianna Burke
My name is Brianna Burke, and I am a second-year Microbiology/Pre-Med student here at UW-Eau Claire.  I have been on Senate for one session now and am involved in the Student Services, Student Life and Diversity, and Academic Affairs Commissions.  I am running for re-election to Student Senate because I want to give students who don't believe they can have an impact at this university the opportunity to voice their opinions and be heard. 

3) Stephen M. Kahlow
I am an Economics and Political Science major, currently in my second semester at UW Eau Claire.  I have been involved in student government on several levels throughout my two semesters here, ranging from Hall Council, RHA, and to Student Senate.  In addition, I have participated in many leadership and professional development conferences throughout these semesters and have a solid grasp on the important workings of student government.  I would appreciate your support during this election.  Thank you.

4) Matt Bailey
My name is Matt Bailey, and I am currently a freshman at UWEC; I am majoring in Business Economics.  I feel I can be an effective leader and representative for the student body because of my will to stand up for what I believe in.  Even with the deep budget cuts, I feel that I can make the money we do have go as far as possible by only putting it towards the things that really matter.

5) Greg Hofmann
I'm a freshman here at UWEC majoring in Biology. I would like to represent the students of UWEC by being a Senator because I have some experience and would like to further do my part in leading and representing the students of the University. I have served on the Environmental Endeavors Commission of Student Senate since November of 2010, and have represented the residents of Governors Hall at the Residence Hall Association since the beginning of this academic year. Throughout this past year, I represented the University at several leadership conferences that promote social, personal, and leadership growth and development.

6) Sarah A. Tweedale
My name is Sarah Tweedale, and I am a junior sociology major and psychology minor at UW-Eau Claire. The three years I have dedicated to Student Senate have helped me to improve my communication with other students, find issues on campus to work to improve, and care about the decisions that are made about the education and environment of myself and my fellow students. Representing and advocating on behalf of the student body is one of the things I am most passionate about, and I would be honored to continue to do so with a role as an on-campus student senator next year.

7) Steven Van De Laarschot
Hello, my name is Steven VanDeLaarschot and I am running for reelection to Student Senate.  I am a junior and a comprehensive major in world politics.  I am running because I want to help provide the best possible environment and experience for everyone attending UW-Eau Claire as possible.  I serve on multiple commissions and committees on Student Senate already; such as the Dean of Nursing Search and Screen Committee, Academic Affairs Commission, and Intergovernmental Affairs Commission.  Thanks to my experiences on Student Senate over the past year I believe I can better serve the interests of the student body if elected to a second term. 

8) Linda Y Lee


Off-Campus Candidates: In ballot order

1) Katherine Stuckart
My name is Katherine Stuckart. I am a junior majoring in accounting. I am a member of Alpha Xi Delta women's fraternity and have been involved in local politics for the last three years. I have excellent communication skills and would work to close the gap between student body and student government.

2) Brittany Whited

3) Benjamin Ponkratz

4) Melissa Rae Opitz
Hello everyone!  My name is Melissa Opitz and I am a senior Marketing Major, a Music Minor and have received a Business Communication Certificate.  I have been on senate for the past year as an Off-Campus Senator and served as the Secretary and Webmaster for senate.  I serve on the Public Relations Commission and the Student Services Commission.  If you re-elect me, I will continue to work on parking issues and Haas 24/7 access.  I am also looking into ways to enhance the music program and the College of Business curriculum.  Two large issues I want to watch closely next year are the transparency of the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate and the spending of the large budget of the Environmental Endeavors Commission and the Student Senate budget as a whole.

5) Paydon J. Miller
My name is Paydon Miller, and I am seeking my third term on UWEC's Student Senate.  Over the past year, I have fought to tighten the budgeting process while voting to save the Music Therapy program and introducing legislation to oppose unnecessary restriction on students' ability to vote, both of which I am very proud to have on my record.  This coming year, I will continue to strive to keep Eau Claire on the forefront of environmentally sustainable technology, spend money wisely and frugally, and work with campus media to promote transparency and accountability.  I currently serve as the Chairman of the College Democrats of Wisconsin and have been a political leader both on and off-campus since my arrival at UW-Eau Claire in 2007.  If you give me your vote, I will continue to be an active and vocal ally to students and a partner in continuing UW-Eau Claire's academic and social progress.

6) Patrick M. Martin

7) Steph Mabrey
I am in my second year at UW-Eau Claire, and an Economics major with a minor in Political Science. I was appointed to Student Senate in the middle of my freshman year and have served on the body ever since. This past year, I planned House Day and brought Places4Students, an off-campus housing website, to campus. If re-elected, I will continue to work to find new student services that can be provided at little or no cost to students. Similarly, being in the midst of difficult economic times, I will ensure that Student Senate spends student dollars responsibly, maintaining the programs that make UW-Eau Claire excellent. I look forward to serving the student body another year!

8) Melissa Hauck
Hi my name is Melissa Hauck and I’m running for the position of Off-Campus Senator. I am a Junior Political Science major, and I hope someday to work closely with members of our government. I transferred here in the fall from the University of Minnesota and am a member of the UWEC Cheer and Stunt Team. During my time here I’ve found that a large number of students aren’t sure what the Student Senate does, or even who the president is. I hope to use my perspectives and passion to get students engaged in what we do and to understand and address their issues. This is your university, and if elected I will be sure to be a voice for what you really want.

9) Jacob Bernardy

10) Corydon Fish
Hello everyone.  My name is Corydon Fish,  I'm a sophomore here at UW- Eau Claire, and a Political Science and History double major.  I am running to become one of your off campus Student Senators.  Over the last two years at UWEC I have come to love the campus, and would like to help the campus and you, the students, to prosper.  Since the beginning of second semester this year I have been on the Student Senate Academic Affairs commission, and am working to make sure that the programs our Blugold Commitment dollars funded have proper oversight.  If elected to Student Senate I will continue to be an advocate for the intelligent and responsible spending of student dollars and proper oversight for the programs they are spent on.  

11) Matt Sias
Hello! My name is Matt Sias, and I am a senior Information Systems major with a Computer Science minor. I have been involved in Student Senate for the past two years as a Senator, and served one year as the Webmaster and another year as the Information Technology Commission Director. During my time on Student Senate I have worked to get wireless Internet throughout the residence halls, getting 24/7 access to the Haas Fine Arts building, increased technology access for students, increased student oversight for academic and environmental issues, spending student fees pragmatically, and many other things. I am asking for you to vote for me so I can continue to represent you to the best of my ability.

12) April Ross
April Ross is a senior economics major with minors in mathematics and political science. She has served on Student Senate for one semester and works to develop initiatives that add value to a degree from UWEC. She believes that students deserve a fiscally prudent, environmentally friendly campus that blends real world experience with classroom learning. April plans to push for 24 Haas Access for all arts students and more opportunities for ALL students to work with Student Senate in the next term.

13) Ben Streeter
Hey Blugolds! My name is Ben Streeter and I'm an Economics Major and Information Systems Minor here at UW-Eau Claire. I currently sit on Student Senate's Executive Board as the Parliamentarian, am a member of the Student Life & Diversity Commission, and most recently became a student representative on the New Education Building Committee. I'm also a member of Peer Diversity Educators and I do Econ research for CVCERD here on campus. Here are two quick issues/topics I think we should be considering: 1) Keeping the UW-System strong and UWEC's voice loud and clear through United Council representation/lobbying and 2) Exploring Self Run Food Service as an alternative to Sodexo.  It would be a great pleasure to represent my peers as a Senator here at UWEC and I hope to have your support! Stop me in the halls or on the mall if you want to talk student politics!

14) Frank L. Heaton
My name is Frank Heaton and I currently a sophomore double majoring in Criminal Justice and Political Science. I am seeking to be re-elected for a second term on Student Senate for the 55th session. I am currently in Mendoza, Argentina, however this past fall I served on the Student Services Commission, Finance Commission, Organization Commission, four committees, and as a off-campus senator. I am seeking to be re-elected to once again vote to the best of my knowledge what the students value in allocation of finances and creation of programs.

15) Victoria Hay
I am a junior social work major with a certificate in child welfare. I will be graduating in the fall of 2012 (with any luck). I am a supervisor at the service center on campus, a job I thoroughly enjoy. I enjoy reading classic novels, Harry Potter, and watching the Colbert Report.

16) Nick Hogan
I am a junior public relations major with a minor in marketing.  In addition to having spent the last year with Student Senate as Public Relations Director, I have held a variety of other leadership positions on campus from housing and residence life to a variety of student organizations.  These experiences have shown me that student insight can have a real impact on improving this university.  I also share a last name with Hulk Hogan, Paul Hogan and Ben Hogan.  Since Hogan knows best, I am destined for greatness in serving the student body.  Thank you for your support!

17) James Kust

18) Paul Coates
I am a Junior Marketing Major with an emphasis on Professional Sales and a Finance Minor. I have just recently been appointed a Student Senator when I got back from studying abroad in Ireland, but have served on various committees of Student Senate throughout my academic career (Including the Organizations Commission, Parking Appeals Committee, Recreation & Sports Facilities Committee, and Differential Tuition Committee). The reason I want to remain in Student Senate is to help bring the Business insight into the political scene. I enjoy representing the students and want to make sure that the money we are all paying is being allocated properly.

19) Charles Kulas
My name is Charles Kulas and I am a Junior, majoring in Economics and Finance.  I am finishing my first term in the senate and am seeing reelection as senator for my final year as an undergraduate.  I have been involved with many organizations on campus, including the Student Economics Association, Beta Upsilon Sigma, and many others.  I am running for reelection because I am a strong believer in the concept of shared government.  UWEC is a model for student leadership, not only through the UW System, but in the region at large.  It has been an honor representing the student body in my current role and I hope to be able to serve in the next Session.

20) Benjamin Krall
Hi, my name is Ben Krall and I am a Political Science/History double major.  I have been on Student Senate for the last year and have been the Director of the Intergovernmental Affairs Commission since October.  I have loved my time on Senate, and want to continue to represent the student voice for the next year.

21) Jacob Fishbeck
My name is Jacob Fishbeck. I am a sophomore this year, and I am a Comprehensive Political Science major with a Legal Studies emphasis. I have spent the last two years networking and getting to know my fellow students here at UWEC, and now I believe it is time for me to step up and represent their interests. I have volunteered with the Music and English Departments, as well as with several student political organizations. It is my main priority to make sure that professors and administrators, especially those who deal with academic affairs, have a wise allocation of resources with which to work. Transparency in government, cost-effective green technology, access to computers, and wise spending of students' tuition dollars are also my main goals as a senator. I humbly ask for your vote in this election!

22) Hannah J. Sutherland
Hi, my name is Hannah J. Sutherland and I am a freshman this year at UW-EC.  My major is Political Science, and I have yet to decide a minor; I hope to go onto Law School for Veteran Affairs.  I was an on-campus student senator this 2010-2011 school year.  Throughout high school and middle school I was on our Student Council, my senior year I was Vice President.  In my sophomore year of high school I was nominated to be in the Wood County Teen Leadership Program, which I completed and was rewarded high honors for.

23) Tim Duffy
Hello! My name is Tim Duffy. I am a sophomore with a Political Science major and a Finance minor. Please consider myself as one of your off-campus Student Senators for the 2011-2012 school year. My goal is to see our university succeed in its goal of "Excellence" and to ensure that students' needs are met. While providing for student excellence, I want to see money allocated appropriately, especially during our state's budget cuts. Technological availability is also something I want to pursue. Fun, friends and success are the main things that I strive to accomplish. I am looking forward to meeting many more students as a Student Senator so that I can serve the student body in the best possible way.