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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

‘Connection, vision and trust’ drive Powell, Grajeda’s student presidential campaign

Student body presidential candidate Aiden Powell and vice presidential candidate Diana Grajeda pose for a photo. (Photo courtesy of Powell and Grajeda)

Aiden Powell and Diana Grajeda are one of two tickets for student body president and vice president with a platform centered on connecting the different areas of Wichita State. 

Powell is a junior in organizational leadership at WSU. The presidential candidate is the director of student organizations in Student Government Association (SGA) and the president of the InterFraternity Council.

He said these positions have given him the chance to meet and connect with various groups around campus. “I tend to have a strong relationship with organizations,” Powell said. “I was an organization president my sophomore year, so having that experience has also really helped me a lot.”

Grajeda is a sophomore studying health management along with sociology and leadership. She joined SGA as a senator her freshman year and currently serves as the director of student leadership.

In her role as director, she runs the Freshman Leadership Council, a group of freshmen introduced to organizational planning and networking within WSU. Grajeda said freshmen and commuters are one of their campaign’s focuses.

“Interacting with all these freshmen students, I’ve been able to … hear what they like about what they like about Wichita State, what they don’t like, and what they’d like to see,” Grajeda said.

Powell and Grajeda’s campaign points are connection, vision and trust. 

One of Grajeda’s goals to build trust is to create a more transparent relationship between the student body and SGA.

Aiden Powell takes pictures at the Interfraternity Council Beard Auction on Nov. 21, 2022. The event was meant to raise money for men’s mental health for Movember week. (Mia Hennen)

“Not every student knows what SGA is, and not every student cares,” Grajeda said. “So hopefully (we) get more out there and let them know what we can do for them because we are by students for students.”

Powell says that it’s necessary for clear conversations around SGA and that he believes that there should be a zero-tolerance harassment policy. 

“Having that trust, the ability to be able to feel free to come forward, is something that is super important with our ticket,” Powell said.

Student government experience

The candidates said executive branch membership under Student Body President Iris Okere’s administration has impacted their perspective of operations.

“We are wanting to continue the path that has already been laid,” Powell said. “They’ve (the current administration) done a lot of great work, but there’s always some new initiatives that we can start.”

Grajeda said she takes keeping up with the legislative process seriously. Her role as director of leadership and engagement allowed her the time to regularly attend SGA senate meetings.

“I was able to put a lot of time into … being in the know with the legislative branch,” Grajeda said “So it’s really like I was semi-participating in both (the Senate and the executive branch) throughout the year.”

Both candidates said their experience in the executive branch would positively impact their experience if they gained office. 

“If we were to be elected, we will definitely hit the ground running,” Powell said. “Especially since we are two executive members … we’re able to have a quick turnaround from going from the executive branch to the executive branch.”

More information on Powell and Grajeda’s campaign can be found on their Instagram @powell.grajeda67

The presidential and vice presidential candidates will debate on March 20 and 25. Both debates will be held at 6 p.m. in Rhatigan Student Center 233 and live-streamed on SGA’s YouTube

The election will be held from April 1-3 via ShockerSync. 

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About the Contributors
Taliyah Winn
Taliyah Winn, Assistant News Editor
Taliyah Winn is the assistant news editor for the Sunflower. She is a sophomore at WSU, double majoring in political science and journalism. In her spare time, Winn relaxes by drawing, weightlifting, and crocheting - usually while listening to music, YouTube videos, or Dungeons & Dragons podcasts. Winn uses she/her pronouns.
Mia Hennen
Mia Hennen, Editor in Chief
Mia Hennen is the current editor in chief for The Sunflower. Before becoming editor, Hennen was the news/managing editor. They are a junior at Wichita State majoring in English and minoring in communications and Spanish, hoping to pursue any career involving writing or editing.

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