Students vote for representatives
Chapel hosts three teams of SGA presidential candidates and one SMU candidate. | Photo Courtesy of Biola SGA
Three pairs of Student Government Association presidential and vice presidential candidates, as well as the unopposed Student Missionary Union presidential candidate, delivered their campaign platforms in chapel on Feb. 14.
This election marks the first time three teams have campaigned for presidency since the switch to SGA. Because of this, the Q&A portion of the chapel shortened to give each candidate sufficient time to respond. Also, because of the number of candidates, the possibility of a runoff election remains if no team receives 51 percent of the votes by Thursday at 10 p.m. The two top teams would then have to resume their campaigns on Friday to get the necessary percentage of votes Feb. 19-20.
SMU CANDIDATE RUNS ALONE
After political science department chair Scott Waller introduced the event by encouraging students to take their civic engagement seriously as an application of their faith, unopposed SMU presidential candidate and junior biblical studies major Jeremy Lupinacci delivered his platform, titled “Make Yourself at Home: Gathering to Scatter.”
“I had fun sharing the heart that God has given me and trying to honor him in that,” Lupinacci said.
Current SGA president Gregory Ambrose and vice president Ella Corey moderated the Q&A, giving each candidate time to present their platform before asking them specified questions as well as asking general questions of all three teams.
SGA presidential candidate and junior public relations major Jase Lucas and SGA vice presidential candidate and junior cinema and media arts major Makayla Smith presented their slogan: “Seen, Heard, Known.” They plan to create topic-driven town halls and a SGA House of Representatives, as well as to publish the SGA budget publicly, having released their own campaign budget online Tuesday night.
“I’m excited to see the community get engaged. It always excites me when Biola actually comes together and does something as a community,” Lucas said. “Even if you’re not going to vote for us, go vote. That’s so important, to just be involved and make your voice heard at Biola.”
SGA presidential candidate and junior business administration major Sierra McCoy and SGA vice presidential candidate and junior psychology major Katherine Davis spoke on their “Enhance Your Story” platform. They pledged to increase communication between SGA and the various departments around campus, and to reinstate the Biola app. They also focused on the importance of empathy, planning to train senators to empathize with other students.
“Every day we’ve been doing something,” McCoy said. “The best part about it is just talking to students. When they ask us questions, that’s our favorite part, to be honest.”
SGA presidential candidate and sophomore political science major Christopher Sandino and SGA vice presidential candidate and sophomore mathematics major Lauren Sutter explained the slogan of their campaign, “Effect Change,” which involves making SGA more transparent and accessible. They plan to include community voices by enhancing the visibility of senators and increase opportunities for students to serve with SGA.
“We are so passionate about these things, and have been preparing for so long, that it wasn't difficult to come up with these answers. It was just second nature at this point. It’s wonderful because we got to share our passion with the chapel and the students,” Sutter said.