Historic Write-In Campaign Successfully Takes Over ASWWU Elections
By Eli Haynal
The ASWWU elections occurred on February 23, but before the election, a new candidate, Hannah Stonas, senior business administration major and current ASWWU chief of staff, entered the race for social vice president in hopes of attaining write-in votes on election day. Stonas’ write in campaign was successful, and she ended up winning the social vice president election with 55% of the votes.
Normally, candidates for ASWWU executive elections submit declarations of candidacy by January 22. This year, three candidates had declared their intention to run for social VP by this date: Brendan Sickau, Jack Darrow, and Joshua Peinado, although Peinado left the race before the election. However, Stonas’ name was conspicuously absent from this list.
“To be honest, I didn’t think about running until my friends told me the night before primaries that I should consider it,” said Stonas, “I have been so busy working for ASWWU that I hadn’t even considered running for an elected position.” 
Due to her delayed arrival to the race, Stonas did not have the same opportunities to present her platform as the other candidates, but during an interview before the election she was given a chance to answer questions similar to those the other candidates have confronted:
Why did you run for the position of ASWWU Social VP?
“I love Walla Walla University because of the people who go to school here and how much impact student leaders have on our campus. ASWWU has such a rich legacy of fun and exciting social events and I want to do my best to make sure that legacy continues. From Spring Banquet to Barn Party, dating mixers to Battle of the Bands, I love it all. I’m also super excited for the opportunity to plan new events and brainstorm new ideas that will appeal to all students and all interests.” 
Explain your platform. What will you accomplish as ASWWU Social VP?
“As Social VP, I would make sure every student has an outlet from their busy lives. I would plan different events that appeal to different students, knowing every student is different and won’t enjoy the same thing. As a senior, I have seen and enjoyed all of ASWWU’s traditional events and I want to bring them back in their full glory. 
Do you have any previous experience in or outside of ASWWU that will help with the position?
“Yes! I’m blessed to have had a bunch of opportunities in ASWWU and in other leadership roles over the years. As a sophomore I was on the ASWWU Spiritual team, so I know what’s involved in planning typical ASWWU events.
“Currently I’m the ASWWU chief of staff which means I work with all the departments regularly and quite closely with the ASWWU president. I am acutely aware of what a huge undertaking the social VP position is and I don’t take that lightly. I know it’s a lot of work, but I’m ready and excited to dive right in.
“Outside of ASWWU, I was my high school’s ASB president and planned many events from banquets to an Amazing Race. I also held several leadership positions at Camp MiVoden.” 
Stonas campaigned through friends on social media, by word of mouth, and through posters around campus. She described a write-in campaign as “an uphill battle, the only way I [could] promote myself is through word of mouth and over social media.” However, before the election, she was clear that her campaign was “progressing quite well” nonetheless and that she was “honored and humbled by the response [she] received.” 
- Email interview with Hannah Stonas, Senior Business Administration Major and ASWWU Chief of Staff, 2/16/2021.
Hello! The name at the top of this page might say “Elijah Haynal,” but if you ever meet me please call me Eli. I am a freshman at WWU this year majoring in Biology, Math, and Pre-Med, and in my free time I enjoy reading, thinking, and going places (although I sadly haven’t been able to do the last of these much this year). I hope you enjoy my articles and if you ever see me around campus I hope you’ll say hello!