The Triangle Coalition elected its new executive board Wednesday.
The newly elected officers will shadow the current officers until they are officially instated in their positions in August.
“I’ve seen what TriCo is now, and I have a vision for what it can be in the future,” President-elect Theo Tushaus said. “I’ve personally seen the transformation of what TriCo can become.”
As the current external liaison with TriCo, Tushaus said he thinks this position will help him be an effective communicator as president.
As president, Tushaus intends to foster a sense of community with TriCo’s members and raise awareness of the LBGTQ community through education and activism. He told members he is open to exploring new ways to reach out to students at MU.
Tushaus wants to network with other campus organizations next year to better advertise the TriCo community.
Vice President-elect Dakota Botts has served as TriCo's secretary for the past year. The position of vice president requires experience, he said.
Botts said he has worked well with Tushaus in the past and will work well with him next year.
“I know we can do better,” he said. “We can do more.”
In terms of advocacy about the group, Botts said he wants to encourage general body members to speak up more during meetings, and he wants to plan more activities outside of weekly meetings to encourage more students to join.
“It’s about campus presence but not to where you put someone’s information out there,” he said.
The most important functions of TriCo are friendship and community, Botts said.
Mason Kerwick was re-elected as communications officer. Kerwick live-tweeted during the election, pausing only to give his own re-election speech. During his speech, he listed free advertising for TriCo as a benefit to re-electing him since he is skilled at the same software programs advertisers use.
Trevor Beyatte was also re-elected as treasurer.
Zoe Ballam was elected as secretary. Ballam ran on the platform that electing a woman would bring diversity to an all-male executive board. As a diversity peer educator in training, she said she would bring diversity education to the group.
Zachary Carpenter was elected as external liaison despite having attended his first TriCo meeting last week. As a gay rights advocate, he said he wants to focus on outreach education to foreign exchange students.
Members of TriCo asked the candidates several questions during the election. Emily Parks, TriCo’s newest member, voiced her concern about education about the LBGTQ community. A close friend of hers recently came out, and Parks said she wants to be able to help and support him in his decision.
“I want to know how to be supportive to people and friends in the LBGTQ community,” Parks said. “I know how to help people, but I don’t understand the pressures society puts on the community.”
Another vocal member during the question-and-answer period with each candidate was current Vice President Paul Reeves. As a senior, this semester will be Reeves’ last in TriCo.
“I’m really excited to bring a big shebang to my last semester in every way I possibly can,” he said.