Recap of Student Body President debate

The candidates share their platforms before the elections

Student Government held a Student Body President debate for the three candidates Christian Walth, Tanner Johnson and Joy Dahlen, and their running mates to share their platforms and explain why students should vote for them. “You guys are paying us to represent you,” said Johnson. Students will vote for the next president to represent them in the 2022-2023 year. This representative will work with administration, North Dakota Legislature and NDSU staff to represent the students. 

Student Body President candidate Christian Walth (right) and Vice President candidate Alexander Duerr (left).

With a new university president, David Cook, it will be a large time of change on campus. “This is a very big time in NDSU,” said Dahlen, “I think having a strong voice from the students during this time is really important.” 

The candidates were asked questions from a student government representative. They were also asked questions from students and the other candidates.

One question asked by a student was questioning policy from the senate board meeting council. The candidates were all hesitant about answering this question, or stated they were not aware of many of these policies. The candidates had strong answers for the student government questions, but had more hesitancy when answering some of the students’ questions. 

The debate was held in the basement of the Memorial Union during lunch hour. Many students were eating and getting lunch while the debate was going on. The students and faculty near the stage were listening, however, students eating lunch were talking in the back while the debate was going on. 


Christian Walth is a double major in political science and strategic communications with an emphasis in public advertising. He is running with Alexander Duerr. Their platform is built on involvement, student resources and adaptability. One of the changes that they want to implement is a mental health day on the third Monday of October. Walth discussed how he was the best candidate for this position because of his experience as a political science major and his relationships with the State Legislature and state board members. “I have the most experience with this,” said Walth. 

“We want to take this elitist personality away from the student government.” He stated that he wants students to voice their opinions in student government. Duerr is the diversity and inclusion leader in hall government. “We definitely want to further diversity and equity efforts,” said Walth. He also stressed that he wants positions on campus that are solely focused on diversity and inclusion. 


Tanner Johnson is a junior in mechanical engineering at NDSU. He is running with Alena Pringle. Their platform is A.C.T., which stands for: Advocacy, culture and transparency. “We really want to advocate for mental health,” said Pringle, “and increase funding of mental health on campus, not just at NDSU, but campuses across North Dakota.” Johnson stated that he voted towards the mental health day in October, which was previously mentioned by Walth. He mentioned that if he was elected, he would meet with organizations and the other candidates to receive feedback from the students and implement those on campus. 

Johnson stated that he worked with Greek life to implement a diversity, equity and inclusion chair. He mentioned that he loved the student voice project which helps students share their opinions on campus.  


Joy Dahlen is a second year student of the professional pharmacy program at NDSU, minoring in business administration. She is running with Mark Rohleder. Their platform has four parts which include: engage, experience, and excel. One thing that they want to enforce while on office is to increase safety on campus. They plan to install security cameras at the Wellness Center that are currently lacking. “We want all the students here to be safe and I think that is an expectation that they should have,” said Rohleder. 

Rohleder stated that they want to increase funding to student organizations so they can showcase the students’ cultures on campus. Dahlen also mentioned promoting resources and education through diversity and inclusion on campus. Dahlen stated that they “have already included that feedback,” into their platform. 

Each candidate has a focus on mental health or working with the counseling center. They also wanted to promote transparency, work with students and promoting change on campus.  Before voting, “I would be sure to look at all of our platforms,” said Walth. 

To learn more about the candidates click here. 

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