On Wednesday March 14, ORU students welcomed their new Student Body President-elect during chapel.
This was the moment that would give merit to all that Titus Schmitt had been preparing for since the summer after his freshman year. With a concealed envelope in hand, Schmitt stood next to his two competitors, Jonathan Roesler and Hannah Brennecke, trying to focus on worship.
During the eight-day campaign, the ORU campus was filled with the faces of the three candidates with promising slogans and ideas. Among them was Schmitt, a junior education major.
Despite Schmitt’s victory, his final campaign score was docked one percentage after it was discovered that a few of his campaign business cards had been passed around during a chapel service prior to the campaign kickoff.
After the lost percentage and a minimum of 50 percent of votes needed to win the election, Schmitt and his campaign team were fully prepared for it to go into a run-off.
When his name was announced by ORU President William M. Wilson, Schmitt was called to the stage to the sound of a roaring crowd and introduced as the new Student Body President-elect in a moment that he only vaguely remembers.
“There was so much angst built up beforehand, so when he said [my name], it was just like… relief,” said Schmitt. “It was a sigh of relief that it was over. And then, because this is just how I am, I was immediately thinking, who do I have to talk to? Who am I connecting with? Let’s get to work.”
According to the election results released by ORU Student Association, Schmitt scraped into victory by only .76 percent.
“It’s funny, me and my friends did the math and it was like nine votes,” said Schmitt.
Two days later, Emily Bishop unconventionally stepped down one month early from her position as current Student Body President as she accepted a job on Capitol Hill, according to a statement released on Bishop’s Twitter.
Currently, there is no one “filling the role” of Student Body President, however, Bishop’s former assistant Mason Miles is fulfilling “administrative duties.”
Until Schmitt fully adopts the role in May, his training is being done under the Director of Student Experience Sara Haag and Miles. He has begun planning meetings with department heads, the president and Sodexo to begin the implementation of his campaign staples.
He says he expects to address the rising student concern of hammocking on campus, has already brought up the issue to Haag, and deems it to be “not a far shot” from approval.
Unlike his usual 17-18 credit hour class load, Schmitt will be taking 12 credit hours in the fall and will no longer serve as a Resident Advisor.
“It’s gonna be school and student body president, and I’m very excited for that,” said Schmitt. “Like never before, since I’ve been at ORU, I’m going to be able to put my all into one thing. I wouldn’t want to do it any other way. It’s what I signed up for. It’s what I started running for. The students deserve it.”
Schmitt expressed his excitement for being elected to be the mouthpiece for students.
“I ran for this because I wanted to give back to the student body,” said Schmitt. “To help bridge the clear communication of thoughts between administration and [students].”
Ultimately, Schmitt believes that the challenging campaign process “fit very well in my wheelhouse.” With a heart for connecting to people, a self-proclaimed administrative personality, Schmitt is optimistic about this opportunity to serve the student body.