TDP Talks With DSG President, Vice President Candidates: Summer Pappachen, Christian Rodriguez


A debate between the four candidates will be held at 4:00 pm in Meherry Hall on Monday, April 22. 

Summer Pappachen, for President & Christian Rodriguez, for Vice President

“All power to the students.”


Year: 2020

Major: Philosophy Politics and Economics interdisciplinary major, French minor

Hometown: Chicago

Involvement on Campus: Honors Scholar, Edward Rector Scholar, Prindle Hillman intern, Asher Grant Researcher in the Social Sciences, Founding President of Democratic Socialists of DePauw, Founder of Art Union, Event Chair for Association for Asian Pacific Islander and Desi Americans, Legal Intern for the Center for Disability and Elder Law

Student Government Experience: None


Year: 2020

Major: Sociology, Studio Art minor

Hometown: Queens, New York

Highlighted Involvement on Campus: Honors Scholar, Posse Scholar, Prindle Hillman intern, Resident Assistant, Founding President of The Brotherhood for Men of Color, Student Organization Chamber member

On Student Government: None

Summer: We want to democratize the circles of power to ensure that they are open to the student body. DePauw is about students, so how come we are never involved in the decision-making on campus?? Also, for me, I’m the only woman of color and only woman in general who is running. So that’s a really big thing for me—to ensure that women, women of color and queer folks are at the front and heart of our campaign.

Christian and I have never been in DSG, but there’s a reason why prior experience in DSG is not a requirement for people who run—to get people who are underdogs, who have never been part of the bureaucracy, and who can now be a part of it so we can get new voices, faces and eyes to old issues and old systems. That’s the reason we want to run. So, for us, that’s not a weakness at all. We are going to bring freshness, new ideas and new vigor to a system that is pretty broken.”

Christian: We think we both represent A-typical experiences in leadership. While we lack DSG experience, I founded The Brotherhood for Men of Color on campus, and Summer founded Democratic Socialists of DePauw. We just want to show that leadership is so complex and so diverse.

Summer: Both of our organizations are aimed at building coalitions between student bodies. [Our organizations] not only connect different groups within the POC community but different groups on campus, to find a common struggle that we all have, to find ways to build solidarity and unity.

Christian: We really want to make this a democratic process. We want decisions to be made as a community. We don’t just want to be governing bodies that are there just for the title. We want to facilitate conversation, legislation and the voices and concerns on campus to be in these private spaces, whether that be in administration, student government, or the board of trustees. Just really force transparency on all realms of this campus.


Summer: Fighting racism and white supremacy on campus is going to be really, really big for us. That looms over the lives of POCs here… navigating and addressing hate crimes, quickly, fairly, first making sure that the students affected by it [hate crimes] are safe and that there is open communication.  

Women’s issues of course, which we talked about.

As an immigrant myself, fighting for people to be safe on campus regardless of their citizen status. We have friends who have been affected by that, so we will be working towards becoming a sanctuary campus. Why haven’t we accomplished that yet?


I guess both of our abilities to control agendas because that’s a big part of our roles as executives for next year. We’ll be in these meetings we’ll be able to lead and facilitate these conversations-it’s something I feel very experienced [doing]. As my two years as an RA, I have a lot of experience with customer care and communicating.

I remember Mark McCoy. He said, during our last forum, that we as students represent DePauw, and I think that’s a very complex statement to make. But I think with us being in these positions of leadership, we can put that quote to work and, you know, it’s not like it’s going to be on Mark McCoy.

This burden doesn’t belong to one single community or one single position on our campus, it should be something that’s carried together.

Summer:  Because we have those connections, those relationships with people were really we’ve been genuine for the three years that we’ve been here and people know who we are and we’re not doing this for the clout or nothing, right? We’re doing this for the movement because we’ve seen what’s going on our campus, and we just genuinely know in our hearts that we can do a great job.

Christian:  we just really want people to feel confident enough in themselves to lead and be leaders, and that’s what our campaigns going to be about. No matter what happens this is about uplifting and show people that they have it in them to make this place better…we have it in us collectively.