Senate elects new President, Vice President

Andrew Zienty

Image Courtesy of Kelly Kitahata

Illinois Wesleyan University student senate elected a new president, Daniel Maisch and vice president, Kelly Kitahata for the 2021 calendar year.  The elected president and vice president  serve as leaders on campus as well as manage the student senate which is in charge of all campus registered student organizations  (RSOs) and the activities budget.

Maisch, currently a junior, first joined the student senate as a freshman and has held the roles of senator on the internal affairs committee, as well as the assistant treasurer of the Financial Advisory Board. Although he is originally from Long Island, New York, Maisch graduated from high school in Batavia, Illinois. Kitahata, a native of Lombard, Illinois is also a junior, who first joined the student senate as a Freshman.

A fun fact about Maisch is that he does not like shoes and so he calls them “feet prisons” and a fun fact about Kitahata is that she loves music, specifically nineties hip hop.

“The true appeal of this position is the ability to actually make a difference” Maisch said. 

Maisch and Kitahata have been friends since they both arrived on campus their freshman year and are looking forward  to working together in this realm.

“I am the optimist, and she is the realist. Not to say one is better than the other, as they both serve us in our own way,” Maisch said. 

With the events of this past summer and the social justice movements that swept the nation one goal they have is to be strong advocates for all members of the student body and all the identities they possess. 

Both Maisch and Kitahata are involved in many other student organizations and they pride themselves on their involvement in the IWU community. 

Kitahata is the vice president of the RSO Women of Color, a part of model UN, involved with IWU’s autism social group, an IMPACT pre-orientation mentor as well as working in  the Dean of Students Office.

Maisch is the vice president of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE), community house manager for all fraternities, model UN president and a member of students organizing community awareness (SOCA). He has also worked closely with the Action Research Center and Counseling and Consultation Services as he continues to develop his passion for outreach and mental health awareness.   

“I am most excited to make more connections on campus, this role has allowed me the privilege to meet and talk with so many folks across IWU. With that, I hope to connect campus together and be an advocate for change in our community” Kitahata said.

Both Maisch and Kitahata are pursuing dual degrees. Maisch is an economics and hispanic studies double major with a minor in advocacy. Kitahata is a business and sociology double major.

Both students attribute some of their success as leaders on campus to their favorite professors, faculty and staff. 

“I can say confidently that I would not be nearly the person, student, or leader that I am today without the help and support of ARC Director,Deborah Halperin , and the director and assistant director of Student InvolvementKevin Carey and Marjorie Miller” Maisch said.

“Professor Meghan Burke has left a large impact on my life and has always encouraged and believed in me  inside and outside of the classroom. When I was a freshman, I took her Race and Racism course, and it changed my life and my college career,” Kitahata said. 

After IWU, Maisch plans to join the AmeriCorps or Peace Corp and eventually pursue a legal degree for a career in public policy. Kitahata plans on pursuing public policy as well and hopes to use her expertise for political speech writing to continue her path of advocacy. 

“Now is the time to act, and I encourage everyone to come to me, my board or the General Assembly to voice their concerns. Senate is ready and prepared to respond to these changing climates through structural reorganization, events/programs, and continued support to the student body. Moreover, throughout this journey, we are excited to redefine who the Student Senate is to the rest of campus” Maisch said.