Before the vote, presidential candidates Lance Shaull and Brittany Dardis answer your questions about Augustana, ASA.




Q: How did you decide to run together?


Brittany: We’re both currently in ASA, and we feel that with our different leadership positions throughout Augie we would be a good representation of the student body.

We know a lot of different people with different interests, so I think that we would be able to lead and effectively communicate students’ various concerns and ideas.

Lance: I had been thinking about [running] for a long time, knowing that I was really excited about some of the changes that were coming up, especially with the budget. …

Once I started to think about it, no vice-president really got me excited about the idea of running  … until somebody brought up Katelyn, and I had a few conversations with her.

She seemed really excited, and the fact that she was a freshman was the main reason behind me getting so excited.

So it was the changes for next year and the idea that I’d have such a great vice-president to run with that were the big decision- makers.

Katelyn: For me, I hadn’t thought about running for vice-president. I was going to run for ASA again, but then I talked to Lance, and it kinda just hit me that I have a voice, why not use it while I can?

I’m going to be here all four years. I might as well make the campus how I want it to be, not just a last year type of deal. I wanted to have as big of an impact on campus as I could, and Lance seemed really enthusiastic.

We talked, had some good ideas and really connected, so I felt that he would be a great person to run with. I think being a freshman is really beneficial because I will be able to look at long-term goals a lot more than juniors or seniors would.


Q. What makes you a great team?


Brittany: We know each other pretty well through choir and ASA. We’re both pretty laid back and approachable, so we have very similar personalities.

Elliot: We’re also both very persistent and hard-working. We get things done.

Katelyn: We’re both very approachable, and we like to have fun. But at the same time, we do know when to be serious. Lance is so ambitious, and I’m more of the organized one, but we work off of each other really well.

Lance: I think that the age difference is big too. The fact that I’m a junior, and she’s a freshman allows us to cover most areas of a campus, so we can really connect with anybody on campus.

I haven’t been on ASA before, but the fact that I haven’t been has been an asset for our team because I’ve been able to develop a different kind of relationship with the administration, a relationship that allows me to speak my mind because I haven’t been tied to any role or anything like that.

I’ve always been able to voice my concerns as a leader, but not one involved in any ASA role.


Q. Of all the things you plan to do if elected, what do you consider to be the most important? What’s your top priority?


Elliot: Creating a better relationship between ASA senators, faculty, and students.

Brittany: Yeah, I think any success that we would attain would be through that communication, because if you don’t have strong communication throughout the whole campus, everything gets lost.

It gets hard to figure out who you need to talk to and how to voice all the different concerns. There are obviously a lot of different opinions so you really need good communication to be successful.

Lance: We really believe in making a transition for ASA from what sometimes seems like a secluded group to what it actually is, which is all students in the student body having a voice.

So really making that transition to where every student is an active player in ASA and issues are brought up early, and students are informed so they can play a role and make their voices heard.


Q. Is this a position you’ve planned on going after for the majority of your college career or were you recently inspired to run for office?


Brittany: I would say I was more recently inspired. Coming into college, I wasn’t on student council in high school so it wasn’t something I was adamant about being in, but then I got really immersed in Augustana’s community and began calling it home.

I grew to love it so I really care about making Augie the best it can be. I just love Augie.

Elliot: It was definitely in the back of my mind when I first came, but I didn’t really know if I would fit the bill or not.

Being involved in ASA this past year has really opened me up to a lot of the concerns people have and just to all of the things that are going on at Augie and that’s inspired me to want to change things and make them better for students here.

Lance: For all of my college career I’ve known that I was going to play a big role in some way, and I’ve been working throughout my last three years to get a feel for everyone on the campus and to put myself in different leadership roles and this is what really fit that climactic biggest impact event.


Q. How do you think the existence of student government affects life at Augustana?


Elliot:  It makes a really big impact, through making sure that student concerns are heard when they’re discovered. Also, ASA deals with allocating money to all the groups on campus so that’s a very large part of Augie lifestyle, supporting what those groups do, especially larger groups such as UBG and Viking Days.

ASA kind of keeps watch over them and also allocates the funding for that, so that’s a pretty big deal. It’s a really great way to connect the students to the administration. I think if there wasn’t a student government there’d be much more of a gap and everything would be even less transparent than it is now.

Katelyn: It’s huge. If we didn’t have ASA distributing money to different groups, everything would be so inconsistent and biased. Some groups would thrive, and some would die out if ASA wasn’t there to keep them going.

Lance: Administration always has our best interests in mind, but without ASA they wouldn’t know what those best interests are. Our job is to say things like we hear them from the students. Without ASA there would be no one to do that and administration would just be left guessing what the students want.


Q. Why should a student vote for you over the competition?


Elliot: We both have experience on ASA, so we know how it works and what its goal is, what it strives to do. We’ve both been able to observe how the current president and vice-president have run things, and that’s incredibly useful experience.

Brittany: We know who to talk to to get things done, we’ve observed how to run the Senates. We’re also involved in many other groups, so we have experience throughout the Augustana campus.

Katelyn: I think one of our strengths is that we’re so different that we can cover all aspects of campus, and we branch out to students really well. I think students feel pretty comfortable talking to us.

Lance: Our ability to and our desire to have a conversation with every student on this campus is something that our competition doesn’t necessarily have in the amounts that we do.

We both feel that we’ve had conversations with and will continue to have conversations with all students on campus, rather than just a group of student leaders. We really feel that the common student is what really represents this campus.


Q. Describe your leadership style in one word.


Brittany: Openness. Transparency is very important to me.

Elliot: I like to lead by example.

Lance: Empathy. It’s my biggest strength on Strengths Quest. When I’m leading a group, I can tell right away if somebody’s uncomfortable with the decisions that I’m making or the way that I’m doing something.

I think that that’s the biggest thing that helps me everyday in being a leader, is the fact that I can sit in a room and know that if Katelyn isn’t fine with the way I’m doing something I’ll know to change it.

Katelyn: Thoughtful or analytical, because I really think about things before I make any decisions, and I’m not afraid to speak out if I don’t like someone’s decision.