ASGCU candidate profile: Griffin Walker and Jonny Van Ommering
By Cooper Nelson
GCU News Bureau
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Grand Canyon University students will have the opportunity to vote for the 2015-16 Associated Students of GCU president and vice president.
This year’s presidential candidates are incumbent president Cody Dumas (with new vice presidential candidate Slater Herman) and Griffin Walker (with vice presidential candidate Jonny Van Ommering).
ASGCU will hold a political debate at 7 p.m. Monday on the second floor of the Student Union for students to learn each candidate’s platform and ask questions. Students can log into their student portals to vote until 5 p.m. Wednesday. Questions: email [email protected]
Walker, a junior economics and finance major, and Jonny Van Ommering, a sophomore marketing major, both serve in leadership roles on campus. Walker is a GCU Servant Scholar and junior enrollment counselor. Van Ommering is a life leader and part of the promotions team.
Below are Walker’s responses to GCU Today’s questions about his platform. Click here for Dumas’ responses.
What changes would you like to see at GCU next year?
I would like to see more student involvement. I want students to show up next year ready to set the atmosphere. Sometimes students think it is up to GCU staff or student leadership to set the atmosphere, but I want EVERYBODY to be involved. This campus has so much potential.
How will you serve as a mediator between students and the administration?
I feel like I already have a grasp on the culture of the student body. I would continue to mediate by being involved or knowing people involved in every possible faction of the student body. Then figuring out how I can best represent their ideas to the administration.
What are some initiatives you would like to accomplish next year if elected as student body president?
There are so many I would love to explore. I want to improve transportation throughout campus, whether it be bikes or more carts, since it will be twice as big next year. I would love to see our student IDs linked to the Lope app. I would love to create a couple new student leadership positions, such as student section leaders and student chaplain. Obviously, I can’t come in and make executive orders on these things, but I would love to explore ideas like these on behalf of the student body. Most importantly, I would love to accomplish whatever initiatives reflect the ideas of the student body.
In what areas do you feel students are being underserved on campus?
I think students now feel out of the loop. Everybody has questions about what’s next for this school and campus, since it is growing so crazy fast. Whether it be food or construction or classes, I want students to be more informed by their president. My goal is to be the best bridge between students and the administration that I can.
What experience do you possess that you believe makes you an ideal candidate to represent the GCU community?
I believe my involvement the last three years has prepared me very well. I lead a Bible study on campus, I serve as an intern at New City Church, I am a junior enrollment counselor, I have gone on two GCU mission trips and I am deeply involved in intramurals and the GCU student section (Havocs). I have learned through these things how to serve, inspire, be creative and, most importantly, rely on God.
What do you believe voters need to know about you?
That my first priority, no matter what, is my relationship with God. And next that I will work as hard as humanly possible to represent them. I want voters to know that I am genuine and that I love this student body. There’s so much more I could say, but I’ll stop there.
Contact Cooper Nelson at 602-639-7511 or [email protected].