Katie DeFoe

she/her/hers
2020

Explain why you are interested in this position:

When I joined the Volunteer Network as a first-year, I realized that my passion for volunteering exceeds my own involvement. I enjoy inspiring my peers to find causes that are important to them and supporting them in their engagement with both St. Olaf and the Northfield community. As the VN Coordinator, I would look forward to connecting St. Olaf students with almost thirty student-run volunteer organizations on campus and helping them find their passion in community service. 

If elected, I also hope to spread awareness for the Volunteer Network’s roles in supporting students involved in service. For students who are interested in volunteering but aren’t currently involved, I hope to make volunteer opportunities more accessible. For students who volunteer but aren’t familiar with the Volunteer Network, I would like to clarify VN’s resources so that more students can reach their group and individual goals.

What qualifications do you bring to this position?

As a freshman representative, the Special Projects Coordinator, and then the Assistant Coordinator for the Volunteer Network, I’ve had the opportunity to see how this particular branch of SGA functions from a variety of perspectives. If elected, I believe that I would be an excellent advocate for all of the VN committee members. Since I am outgoing, approachable, and a good listener, I would be supportive in addressing each member’s visions in helping the Volunteer Network reach its greatest potential and supporting the student body in the best way possible. 

I have also been involved in a couple of the volunteer organizations that the Volunteer Network supports. Since my first year at St. Olaf, I have been a member of Awesome Club. We lead an after-school club for students on the autistic spectrum at Northfield High School. In this club, students have the opportunity to play games, make friends, and build stronger connections in a fun and welcoming environment. Since I have been involved in clubs sponsored by the Volunteer Network, I also know how to be supportive of each group’s needs and aspirations. With my passion for volunteering and building connections, I hope to inspire more students to become involved in serving their community, and I look forward to helping them achieve their goals.

Jonah Schmitz

He/Him/His
2020

Explain why you are interested in this position:
I’m passionate about ensuring all Oles are guaranteed access to the volunteering opportunities they want. Additionally, I want to make sure the organization leaders are able to engage with the communities they serve as much as possible, striving to make the process of getting funds, support, and volunteers as efficient as possible. I want to strengthen VN by advocating more SGA funding, streamlining the communication between organizations and VN, and motivate more Oles to actively participate in volunteering.

What qualifications do you bring to this position?
As a member of Volunteer Network for two years, I understand and can navigate the countless nuances and challenges encountered in this work. My time as a member of VN has exposed me to a majority of volunteer organizations on campus,. Specifically, my work in the last year has surrounded learning more about and reaching out to the pre-health community on campus (a significant amount of the campus volunteer community). Additionally, I’ve worked in a small group to reach out to community partners and learn more about how St. Olaf volunteer organizations are serving the greater Northfield community.