2018-19 ASSP Elections Candidate Summary


ASSP Office Core elections will be held March 7. They open at midnight and will be open all day, closing at 9 p.m. Sarah Kirschner and Drew Cortez, who are running for Vice President of Finance and Vice President of Intercultural Affairs respectively, are running unopposed. All other positions have two candidates running to take office for the upcoming academic year. These summaries are a culmination of each candidates’ public platform as well as their speeches, which were given on Monday, March 5 in the SUB Gazebo Room at 6 p.m.



afCandidate: Audrey Franks

“I want to give students the school they are proud to say they attend.” – Audrey Franks

In campaigning for ASSP President, Franks wants to ensure that students feel more included and connected on campus. She has noted that she realizes there are ways SPU could be improved and would like to focus on fixing these shortcomings. One of her top goals is to make sure that students feel like the ASSP Office Core hears what they have to say, to listen and receive feedback.
This year, Franks worked with the Menstrual Product Committee, which has shown her “what it looks like to value everyone’s story.” She has also worked as a marketing intern as well as worked in Senate.
Through these experiences, Franks believes that the best results are achieved when everyone is respectful of one another’s ideas, working together to complete tasks and goals.

nsCandidate: Nathan Samayo

“I want to create effective dialogue between students, ASSP and upper administration for effective change.” – Nathan Samayo

Samayo’s desire is to be part of a “powerful leadership team on campus” that creates a better foundation for students to feel comfortable during their time at SPU. Among his goals, one that he is passionate about is creating an intercultural hub on the SPU website that showcases intercultural teams/clubs and what they are doing on campus. This is in hopes of providing accessible information for everyone, especially those looking to find community within these groups.
Samayo has leadership experience in working as a Housing intern for SPU Admissions, as the student ministry programmer for Catalyst and as a member of the Quest College Ministry Team. From these positions, he has developed a skill in “being very intentional and passionate about creating an inclusive environment in any decision, event, or solution.” He looks to create a positive attitude in all the work he does.


Executive Vice President

abCandidate: Abbey Brandt

“ASSP’s motto is ‘Students serving students,’ and that’s exactly how we should view it.” – Abbey Brandt

Utilizing the tools and platforms provided by ASSP, Brandt believes that students have the ability to make a difference at SPU. Her primary goal is to increase student awareness about the purpose of Senate and the power students have to create change. Other goals include having a full senate body by the end of fall in the 2018-2019 school year as well as inreach outreach to out-of-state and international students.
Serving on Senate for two years, she has worked with “a diverse group of student leaders” made up of students with “differing racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities, as well as leaders with disabilities.” As the lone non graduating returning member of Senate, she considers herself the most qualified person on campus to hold the position of executive vice president as the primary duty of the role is overseeing Senate. She promises to welcome any feedback and to consistently interact with a wide range of students to better represent and serve them.

kpCandidate: Kaitlyn Payton

“I believe that if we were able to have those moments of relationship amongst each other, there would be huge change.” – Kaitlyn Payton

Payton says that she was drawn to leadership because she believes that “we are called to advocate for those who are not able to advocate for themselves. Her goals include enabling Senators to create change in their departments, creating a workshop for Senators before the first official Senate meeting to and to provide Senators with a form of compensation for the hours they spend advocating on behalf of students.
Prior to her enrollment at SPU, Payton founded and led a Bible study at her high school, encouraging spiritual growth among her peers. She has also studied abroad, which gave her the opportunity to be involved with numerous international students. Through her experience, she has learned to make “quick and effective decisions, adapt to different cultures and situations.” Her time abroad gave her the ability to adapt to different situations and communicate with people from different languages and backgrounds.


Vice President of Finance

skCandidate: Sarah Kirschner

“I want students to feel heard and I want you guys to feel like there are no stupid questions.” – Sarah Kirschner

According to Kirchner, it is easy for students to underestimate the power that they have to make “effective growth” when it comes to student government. She wants to change this. Among her goals, she hopes to make SPU’s fiscal decision-making process more transparent to students. She wants to help students understand that “our money does so much more than what we think it does.”
As the ASSP publicist, she has worked in the office with Officer Core, and has seen how they influence and support SPU as a whole from various places of leadership. She has worked on budgets as the Hill/Moyer office assistant for a year. As a result, she has had the opportunity to “see more than the typical student” while still having an “objective lense from the outside the core team.”


Vice President of Campus Activities

caCandidate: Celeste Ajayi

“I know exactly how much work it is and I know what I’m getting myself into and I know I can do it.” – Celeste Ajayi

When she first came to college, Ayaji knew leadership was going to play a large role in her college experience. Her leadership roles, such as being a member of the Student Union Board, have been what keeps her connected to the SPU community.
If elected as the VPCA, she would like to see the leadership of the Student Union Board and Outdoor Recreation Program expand. She would also like to support club coordinators and work with different clubs to collaborate and create new events that are inclusive to all people.
Ayaji’s first sense of leadership came in the form of Emerson Hall Council as their Public Relations Director. This, in addition to her other leadership positions, has taught her to become “extremely disciplined with organization and time management.” According to her, student leaders need to know how to adapt and persevere through various mishaps.

emCandidate: Elizabeth Myers

“Clubs are an integral part of student life and should be represented well.”- Elizabeth Myers

Myers is campaigning for VPCA because she values the leadership on campus and she believes she is being called to work alongside campus leaders. She wants to advocate for a stronger presence of dance clubs on campus. In addition to this, she would also like to ensure that club funds are utilized in places where they are needed and are fairly distributed.
Among her leadership experience, she has been a part of Emerson’s hall council as vice president of finance and administration. She has discovered that she enjoys empowering others to succeed and providing them with tools and information they need. Having worked on student-led teams, she understands the value of making decisions on a deadline.


Vice President of Ministries

mfCandidate: Maddy Fulcher

“My parents taught me to value, and, first and foremost, identify myself in Christ.” – Maddy Fulcher

Over the past five years, according to Fulcher, God has continuously molded and shaped her to follow God into leadership opportunities. If elected as the VPM, her main goal would be to empower the student body to “worshipfully approach reconciliation of issues regarding social, political, racial, and economic diversity.” She would also like to seek a Christ-centered mission that welcomes diversity as well as practically apply creativity in advertising, event planning and coordination.
As a theology student, in being able to learn the stories of her peers, she has learned to see and understand different people’s points of view and passions. This, in addition to her various leadership positions, has taught her that “when it comes to leadership, especially Christian leadership, it is not about me.” She emphasizes that if elected, she would seek to bring this important aspect of leadership to her position as VPM and encourage those around her to so the same.

asCandidate: Andy Spalletta

“I would want to use my energy in this position to promote the voices of SPU that are continuing to not be heard.” – Andy Spalletta

Spalletta is campaigning for this position because they know that they have the abilities to work towards representing and making room in leadership for different facets of the SPU body through “a good work ethic, a compassionate heart, and a drive.” One of the goals they want to achieve is to develop programming within Latreia to connect SPU and a few organizations inside Seattle. Within this project, they would like to find ways how ministries can create accessible spaces for people of different faiths.
They see diversity existing in the intersections of identities and those representation of people of various backgrounds and identities “existing, speaking, and having authority in the setting.” Growing up, they saw firsthand how “availability of resources and privileges aid in people’s chances of success.” As a trans and bisexual latino/x, they see how spiritual spaces and the general SPU spaces can grow in cultural inclusion without “tokenizing or isolating minorities on our campus.”


Vice President of Intercultural Affairs

dcCandidate: Drew Cortez

“Change is not achieved with a single action; rather, it’s a process and it involves a reworking of your own attitude, your own mindset, and your own general state of being.” – Drew Cortez

Ultimately, Cortez plans to create a student body that is “not only conscious of difference, but also capable of collaborating and letting these differences be the foundation of an inclusive, harmonious SPU.” His/their first goal, as VPIA, would be to bridge the gaps between intercultural students by beginning a quarterly gathering of intercultural club leaders, providing a space for them to have fellowship with one another. His other goals includes working with the John Perkins Center for Reconciliation as well as the admissions department to make expand admissions events, and to continue a movement and review SPU’s current non-discriminatory policy.
Cortez is currently a leader of Haven, SPU’s LGBTQ+ club on campus. As a Filipino-American as well as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, he understands that people have different strengths and means of operating “while all having the same general vision of our collective main goal is a lesson that is learned and relearned through trial and error.”
overseeing Senate. He promises to welcome any feedback and to consistently interact with a wide range of students to better represent and serve them.