Molly Vanhoy, a third-year studying microbiology and the current Student Senate president pro tempore, is running against Conner Paszko, a fourth-year studying political science, for Student Senate president in the upcoming Student Government (SG) elections. The Student Senate president is responsible for hosting and organizing biweekly meetings, meets with Chancellor Randy Woodson and advises other senators.
Vanhoy has served in the Senate for three years and has participated in various committees, such as appointments and government relations and oversight .
“My role [as Student Senate president pro tempore] is to serve as the vice president of the Senate,” Vanhoy said. “I make sure that everything runs smoothly with Coleman, our current [Senate] president. I also take part in working with individual senators. I help oversee the Senate committees, and I serve as a liaison for the Student Senate to the faculty and staff, respectively.”
As pro tempore, Vanhoy said she has reached out to senators she normally wouldn’t work with on certain issues. She also encourages her colleagues to turn on their cameras during SG sessions. Vanhoy said she believes seeing a person can help reduce polarization within politics.
If elected Student Senate president, Vanhoy said she wants to invite leaders of various student organizations to participate in SG meetings. She said she also hopes to streamline the roll-call and voting process, as it can be time-consuming.
“This session created a voting sheet, where students can input their votes within a certain time on the spreadsheet, and then the roll is called afterward for anyone who couldn’t vote on the sheet,” Vanhoy said. “I would like to do something like that, some sort of electronic voting so that we don’t have to call roll every single time.”
Vanhoy would also like to implement a consent agenda, where legislation can pass without a full Senate vote to ensure SG is being time-efficient and allowing other students to voice their concerns.
Vanhoy has written and sponsored many bills during her time in the Student Senate. She sponsored a COVID-19 relief bill, which advocated for transparency by the University and the implementation of more safety measures, such as additional testing locations, last semester.
Another bill Vanhoy sponsored was the The Food and Housing Call to Action Reaffirmation Act, which raises awareness of food and housing insecurity caused by the pandemic to university officials.
Vanhoy is also in the process of writing her own legislation. One bill she is currently writing would allow students to submit teacher evaluations in the middle of the semester, so professors can make changes if necessary. She has been working on this bill since her first session with the Evaluation of Teaching and Standing Committee.
Vanhoy also helped create the Peer Mentor Program, where older senators mentor those who are new to the Student Senate. Vanhoy wants to expand the program further if she becomes the Senate president.
“I’m currently working on a curriculum for that, so basically a set of resources that older senators can use to help mentor new senators,” Vanhoy said. “So hopefully, I could utilize my office hours to meet one on one with [new senators] to make sure they are adjusting well, feel comfortable and answer any questions they have.”
In addition to sponsoring and drafting various bills, Vanhoy has also served on various Senate committees. Some of these committees include the finance committee, where she helped allocate funds to various student organizations; the records committee, which keeps records from each session; and the tuition and fees committee, which reviews fee proposals from organizations like Student Health Services and NCSU Transportation.
Vanhoy said she believes the Student Senate president should be able to unite senators and continue to advocate for the student body.
“I think the biggest thing the [Senate] president does is connect and empower other senators to be able to advocate on the behalf of the student body,” Vanhoy said.
Students can vote on Student Senate president and other positions starting Monday, March 15 at midnight until Tuesday, March 16 at 11:59 p.m. To learn more about Vanhoy's platform, visit her campaign presentation and Instagram for more information.
Editor's Note: Updated article with Vanhoy's campaign links.