Q&A with SGA’s first presidential team
Juniors Taylor Stribbling and Drew Mattocks join their victory party while receiving the election results from AS president Tyler Hormel. | Aaron Fooks/THE CHIMES [file photo]
Dayna Drum: What is going to be your first order of business as president and senior vice president?
Drew Mattocks: I would say the first, first thing that we have to do is really build a team around us, because we’re going into hiring right now, and build a team that we think can make us most successful.
D.D.: What is the biggest thing that you guys would like to accomplish during your term?
Taylor Stribbling: I think definitely the biggest thing is to actually do what we promised we wanted to do and to accomplish the first tangible goals that we can really accomplish. Because I think it’s important to have integrity of that and not just run on something that people have supported before but then didn’t get done.
D.D.:What makes you guys different from any other presidential team in Associated Students before you?
T.S.: I just think that we’re really passionate about a lot of different things and not just focused on one specific thing that we want to do. And I think it’s important to first be passionate about what God wants and then go from there. I think we’ve done such a good job of wanting to glorify him in this process, and that’s what we want the year to look like.
D.D.: In what way do you expect to impact students the most?
D.M.: The biggest thing to really impact others is just to listen to them, and not just half-heartedly listen, not for it to go in one ear and out the other, but to actually fully comprehend what the student wants and do it…sometimes it won’t always work and that’s just the way life is. But just to continue to push on and really understand what students want. Whether that’s through student forums or strictly opening up the office more for people to come in and talk to us.
D.D.: Do you guys have any plans to make Student Government Association’s presence more widely felt among students?
D.M.: I want to make the senators more involved. I know people just may or may not know their senator and I want that to change from may or may not to they know their senator. Just like I said in my whole campaign, I want there to be weight behind the voice when you talk to your senator. I want you to have confidence in that senator. And I think that alone will make people understand what the senate does or what SGA does.
T.S.: For me, kind of being the visionary of student government, is just allowing them to know about the split in a more concise way so that we can establish that we’re not just planning programs but this is specifically what we do.
D.D.: Taylor, are there any advantages or disadvantages in approaching this position as a female?
T.S.: Well, I mean we won. So I don’t necessarily think there are anymore disadvantages other than that I’m not sure. I don’t know what I’m going to face, I won’t know until it comes. I do believe that there are going to be challenges. I do believe it’s going to be because I am a woman. I do believe that it’s going to be because I am a woman of color. And I think that I am more than ready to walk through that and to experience those challenges here in a place where I can feel loved through it.
D.D.: Since race has been such a prominent issue over the last year, what are advantages or disadvantages in approaching this role as a ‘woman of color?’
T.S.: I would say the biggest one for me is paving the way in a sense. Being the first president of SGA, but also being the first woman of color to ever lead Biola students, I think it’s such a privilege and a huge, huge honor and I want other women of color, other students of color, even if they’re not of my ethnicity to be empowered and to understand that if you fight hard enough, if you do your research, if you try and put in the work, God will honor that. It’s all about learning. It’s all about growing and I think if you’re open to that God will definitely use that.
This interview has been edited and condensed.