As a student and student leader, I have had an amazing experience at SPU, prompting me to campaign for the ASSP President position to further contribute to our great community.
Over the past three years, I have become increasingly aware of the opportunities for involvement at SPU. We have clubs, groups and activities that cater to a wide range of interests. I want to be a contact and support for students, connecting them to resources and helping them to implement new ideas to fully utilize their strengths.
I believe a true leader identifies and develops the potential for leadership in others. In my own experience as an RA, my moments of greatest leadership were not the times I put together a program or an event but rather when I successfully empowered residents to take initiative, helping them grow into effective leaders.
I strive to lead others in a way that encourages them to be creative and think outside the box. I want to run for President because I believe the position offers a unique opportunity to impact the student body, particularly through empowering the ASSP core to use their strengths to create a dynamic and unique experience at SPU.
I am a problem solver: I love finding strategic solutions to problems and implementing them. My high energy, positive approach allows me to see possible solutions where others might be overwhelmed by challenges, fostering a “we can do it” mentality.
As an extrovert, I get my energy by being around people. I especially love getting people involved and motivated, cultivating a sense of community and energy. As a camp counselor, dorm parent, and two-year RA, I constantly draw on my ability to make others feel welcome and part of a strong, exciting community.
I highly value collaboration and teamwork as the foundation of an effective group. I love to see people come up with new unique ideas that I would not have thought of myself and help to successfully implement them. I particularly excel at helping people take broad unrefined ideas and convert them into functional realities.
As a leader, I believe it is essential to both provide useful guidance and input and express trust in my team. I have experience facilitating effective groups by knowing when and how to weigh in, not stifling my team’s creativity and energy by micromanaging them.
Finally, I am extremely adaptable and have often successfully transitioned into new leadership roles, including as a dorm parent in Mozambique and a Sophomore RA in 3rd Central Emerson. Although others had more familiarity with the role, I was able to effectively contribute as a member and leader in the community. I learned how to accept unique aspects of these situations while exploring new ways to grow by continuing to develop ideas and plans. My ability to jump into new situations and handle unexpected challenges will prove invaluable if I am elected as the ASSP President.
Hearing YOUR Voice
One of my major goals as ASSP President would be to bridge the gap between executive ASSP core and the student body as a whole. As an RA, I have witnessed that many students are unaware of what ASSP is about until they get involved in leadership. Hearing the voices of student leaders is critically important. However, I believe that each and every student offers a unique perspective, which should be heard and taken into consideration by the ASSP. Toward this end, I want to help create a space for increased transparency and interaction between the ASSP core and the general student body.
I would like to set up opportunities on a regular basis for students to get to know the ASSP core in their own space, in residence halls as well as in other convenient on-campus locations. I will draw on my experience as an RA to create strategic, fun opportunities to connect to students and hear their ideas. Through these interactions, formal and informal, I hope to keep our team aware of the issues facing our student body so we can effectively address concerns as they arise.
Connectiong YOU to resources
I plan to promote utilization of existing campus resources. In particular, I am passionate about the Center for Learning. As a dyslexic student I have benefited greatly from the amazing services the CFL provides. I have seen many students struggling in school who have no idea that we have study tables, disability support services and the writing center - all in the CFL. Other important resources include the Center for Career and Calling and the mentorship program in the Center for Applied Learning. I want to encourage students to value these resources, taking full advantage of the unique opportunities available to us during our time as SPU students.
Engaging OUR World
Our mission at SPU is to engage the culture and change the world. We often find this challenging because as a small tight-knit community we sometimes create a culture of exclusivity. I want to continue identifying opportunities to bring the “world” here to SPU, such as we did through hosting Tent City 3 this last quarter. I hope to investigate new opportunities to expose students to unfamiliar situations on campus. I also want to encourage our student body to actively explore the world through SPRINT trips, study abroad experiences and engaging our diverse neighbors in Seattle.
Building YOUR Executive Team
I am dedicated to fostering an effective and cohesive ASSP Core, creating a team dynamic where we are able to effectively collaborate and work together to hone and implement ideas. Since there will be a new executive team, one of the greatest challenges and opportunities of the President’s role is to pull people together to create a high-performing, synergistic group - drawing on the unique strengths of each VP while facilitating communication across their differences. I believe this is foundational to our ability to achieve our goals and successfully serve our student body.
These last years at SPU, I have had the chance to be involved in SPU leadership on varying levels and it has been a huge part of my SPU experience. These different roles have allowed me to use my strengths to serve the SPU community, while also challenging me to grow in my weaknesses. During my three years at SPU, the many student leaders who preceded me have formed my community and environment. It was their events, activities, ministries, time, committees, hard work, and intentionality that turned my place of education into a home. Looking at the presidential role, I see it as one that gets to support and empower so many different types of student leaders throughout the academic year. The role is also a representative role; it represents SPU to the outside community, higher administration, and other students. As ASSP president, I want to spend my last year at SPU investing in various student leaders and the things they are accomplishing, and that I want to represent well the university and organizations that have come to mean so much to me.
One skill that would be a huge asset for me coming into this role is my knowledge of both the university and ASSP’s various policies. This past year, I have served on ASSP as the Vice President of Campus Activities. In both ASSP and SPU leadership, there is so much to learn. I know this role would have so much to teach me, but I believe that my prior ASSP experience and student leadership experience gives me an advantage to understand both the role and the organization. Working in ASSP this last year, I have a passion for the ASSP organization. That passion gives me the ability to retain excitement and enthusiasm in the hard circumstances. Beyond my understanding and passion about ASSP, I have a work ethic and initiative that allows me to accomplish that which I set my mind to. Where I see deficiency or confusion, I know how to ask questions and seek advice, but I also know how to step up to the plate and take a plan of action. Finally, I see this position as one where it is important to connect with a wide range of the SPU student body. Through varying levels of engagement at SPU, I have gotten the chance to connect with so many different people, but I also love the continuing opportunities I get to meet more people. Since a large part of the president role is representing SPU, I think it is important to be engaged with many different people and groups both on and off campus.
With ASSP and SPU student leaderships, you are in the position for one short year. When I imagine a successful year as ASSP president, it is not a year full of flashy, new, innovative events. Instead it is a year where goals and projects from previous years are taken on, where good management skills are practiced, and where small systematic improvements are made. Stepping into this role, I think it is important to be thinking far beyond the nine months that I would hold the position. There are already things in motion when you step into the role. It is important to step into that context and not look to uproot the system, but rather to look for small ways to improve upon it.
As a whole, ASSP deals with a large budget as well as great resources and opportunities. I believe good stewardship is such an important part of being entrusted with all these resources. The ASSP president gets to serve on a wide variety of committees that talk about student money on different levels. With this opportunity, I think it is important to examine with a critical eye and to steward student’s money with a student perspective. It also presents the reverse opportunity of getting to understand some of these processes and to be a mouthpiece to students who are curious or have concerns.
A large portion of the president’s role is his or her relation to the ASSP core team. A goal that I would have going into the year is to have a core team that not only respects and encourages each other, but that also enjoys working together and makes others feel welcome. Working and creating that team environment takes collaboration, but it also takes setting a tone of mutual respect and encouragement and taking the time to understand the needs of those around you. This year, I have had the opportunity to be a part of an ASSP core team where every individual has modeled that so well. While everyone is a part of different aspects of SPU and everyone brings a variety of perspectives to the table, we respect the work that each one is doing and have fun working together. It would be my goal to help garner and build a team that can exhibit such a working relationship.
Representation is such a large part of the president’s role, and it would be my goal to be invested in what other students are doing on campus so that I can represent the student body well. I think it is important to show up and to be a ready resource for students who do want to get involved. Sometimes simply going to other leader’s events, throwing Frisbees around with students on Fridays, or striking up a conversation with someone in the coffee line is a way to reach out to students and to be that resource for them to connected to ASSP.
The community of Seattle Pacific University is a special one. Active engagement with clubs, on-campus events, and other fellow students are a small portion of the many ways that the SPU community comes together to make their college experience a life experience. Fostering relationships between students is one of the most important factors that I want to run for the office of Executive Vice President. The EVP holds the special responsibility of leading a group of dedicated students attempting to make this campus a better place, otherwise known as senate. Senate is a remarkable once a week meeting ground where students have the ability to try to make something special happen at SPU. Ensuring that this process brings further success and a constructive environment for the community is an important role. I believe that I will continue, and build upon this trend to create an even better more engaged community. Actively engaging with student’s concerns and proposals is where my passion lies. The EVP serves a platform and aid that enables other student leaders to reach their goals and their reach their potential. I would be proud to fill this role for the community.
Serving on senate has given me the necessary skills needed to lead and navigate the somewhat complex system. Being able to protector and direct the flow of conversation is an important attribute of what makes a senate meeting successful. Being able to stay pointed and intentional will allow me to bring this tone to senate, hopefully creating a more potent conversation in senate meetings.
When I commit, I am all in. If this means late nights, self-sacrifice, and knocking on doors to make sure your proposal meets its purpose and aspirations, then I am more than enthused to be on the one to facilitate the process. Most of all, being available and approachable is invaluable to me, because being the EVP is more than just proctoring senate, it is engaging with the people of SPU who matter the most, the student. This dedication is grounded in my love for people and the community. Having a strong sense of responsibility and commitment translates into a fiery passion for what I do.
Communication is not just important to me, it is enjoyable. Person to person interactions, engaging with individuals, and fostering constructive relationships is one of the reasons I get out of bed in the morning. Bringing this tone of people caring for people will not only make a difference in senate, but in the entire team of ASSP and the larger SPU community. Actively pursuing conversation with friends and strangers alike will help to bring more student awareness of what is going on in the wide world of senate and the school.
Senate is one of the most invisible, and ironically, one of the most influential processes of student government. I want to continue bringing this process into the open light of the SPU community. The majority of students do not even know that they have a representative where their complaints and desires can be heard and then acted upon. I believe that if students knew the amount of influence and monetary control that senate had, more people would be interested in the process. I plan to expand our communication in a trifecta of ways.
I hope to pair myself with popular forms of student communication, such as Loopy, the Falcon, and Stall Talk to get more attention on the proposals that are being considered currently by senate. They will be concise and informational blurbs that will keep students current.
Engaging with more forms of social media, by posting our current proposals on ASSP outlets, will allow for the ability for students to comment directly on the post to get their voice out in an easy way. Through this means, communication can be as quick as a half minute of the individuals time. I will also be taking an hour block of KSPU airwave time to keep students up-to-date on the happenings of senate, and providing a time for students to call in and express their feelings on proposals (or if they just want to talk).
It is not a secret that SPU students are busy people, taking time out of your day to pursue senate can be a hassle. This is why I will put pressure on our senators (and myself) to go out and engage with their delegates face to face, and get feedback in a more personal setting. Communication must be a two way street, senators must also be responsible for seeking out their delegates. Through this trifecta of engagements I believe that senate can be more open to student input, and we can shape the university into a better place that meets the standards of what you think our community should embody.
Outside of senate, I have ambitions for ASSP to be a more welcoming and involved group of individuals. I would like to see ASSP put on some events of their own to make the office more personal and accessible to the community. This could manifest itself in ways such as BBQs, sponsored concerts, and other community centric events. Personally, I will be having tea time in the office everyday where I will be brewing delectable varieties of teas. This will be a time where students can come in and chat and get to know ASSP better, and we can get to know you.
Our community is an incredible phenomenon. I would be honored to further this invaluable characteristic of Seattle Pacific University.
Every voice on campus should be heard, represented and respected, from commuter students to international students, and everyone in between. My focus is to provide the best possible platform for executing student-led change through efficient and effective leadership practice. The voice of the student provides the most valuable insight into student government affairs. The student voice is what I seek and strive to apply to our government discussion.
A commitment to empowering others is key to effective and lasting leadership. My intention is to move ASSP from “Students Serving Students” to “Students Empowering Students”. By giving individuals tools they need to unleash their passions, we can improve the community as a whole. My commitment to excellence, guided by my drive and experience to implement real change through a mode of dedicated action, galvanizes those around me to amplify their ambitions.
Moreover, I desire to give back to the community that has already given so much to me. ASSP Senate is that place where I can give back the most. My experience in leadership and my desire to embolden others will be utilized best in this position. I strive to bring lasting, progressive leadership to the position of Executive Vice President.
EXPERIENCE in MANAGEMENT
Creating the best possible platform for students to be heard and represented is ASSP Senate’s fundamental principle. Administering such a body requires experience in understanding how these bodies operate. My experience in management and leadership through my work within the tree fruit industry, non-profit organizations, and state and local governments allows me to administer discussions for large groups of people, and most importantly legitimize the consideration of varying perspectives while keeping the end goal in sight.
UNIFIED VISION with a DRIVEN APPROACH
Creating a vision, and acting upon it takes someone who knows the past, understands the present, and can see the future. ASSP is an organization that seeks to serve students; I envision, however, an organization that not only serves students, but also empowers them. My skills of strategic thinking, conceptualization, and prioritizing focus grant me an ability to understand what direction ASSP needs to be taken in order to avoid stagnation.
ORGANIZATIONAL and PROCEDURAL STRENGTHS
The capacity to not only understand but appreciate the structure and procedures of an organization is crucial in leading one. My ability to apply these policies and procedures accurately, while considering what implications they have on discussions allows for my innovative yet procedural approach on organizations to thrive. An approach of thwarting barriers and bogged down discussions from taking place is critical to the genesis of a new venture.
PROFICIENT in STRATEGIC PLANNING for ACTUALIZING IDEAS
Moving ideas from conceptual theory to concrete practice is the core task of any leader. My ability to consider all the facets of a plan objectively allows me to see repercussions clearly and anticipate potential issues. Processing ideas efficiently allows me to transform innovative ideas into immediate action, energize the plans of others, and extend the boundaries of what is possible.
STUDENTS EMPOWERING STUDENTS
There is always a concern that not everyone is being represented or heard at ASSP Senate. My focus on the empowerment of students requires that all facets of the university be represented at Senate. Increased discussion and recognition to the ideals and principles of a body such as Senate is warranted. I seek increased collaboration between Faculty Senate, University Departments and ASSP Senate, to increase the number of appointed Senators who are passionate about empowering students.
Furthermore, I strive to invoke student-led change. The power students possess to change their university is dampened by a lack of attention to ASSP Senate. I desire to increase interest in Senate by means of public relations. Through consistent publications, social media, and new events designed to peak interest into Senate, I envision an empowering platform for passionate students to invoke change.
To empower our student leaders, I seek focused refinement for the Student Leadership Development Committee (SLDC). The potential SLDC has to advance lasting leadership results is enormous. Giving our student leaders the tools to progress their strengths is vital in the improvement of the university as a whole. Through new training seminars to improve systematic efficiency, new leadership seminars to expand on team building, the drafting of a SLDC Guidebook to provide information and insights when working in ASSP, and the establishment of SLDC as an independent agent to provide mediation, I envision an empowered committee dedicated to the advancement of our student leaders.
MAXIMIZE LEADERSHIP EFFICIENCY and EFFECTIVENESS
Being effective and efficient influences all aspects of student government, from the number of events we can do, to the quality of events we can produce as a team. My drive for extending the boundaries of what’s possible can only be accomplished by maximizing these concepts. I hope to place senators in committees where their passions can thrive through reforming appointments to Senate Committees. As mentioned before, by implementing my SLDC reforms I hope to see enhanced leadership efficiency across campus.
Leaders cannot prepare themselves to lead more effectively or efficiently if they do not know what is happening with their counterparts, their state of mind, and the required support they need to succeed and thrive in their work. I plan to meet with every senator quarterly to build relationships to optimize efficiency and effectiveness as a team.
An EASILY ACCESSIBLE STUDENT GOVERNMENT
Cumulating the concepts of empowerment, efficiency and effectiveness results in my paramount focus: an easily accessible student government. Only by creating an organization that produces consistent results can we actively engage and enrich our community. Only after implementing these principles can we focus on the best possible solutions for student concerns. I imagine a student government where everyone feels connected, included, and respected.
I envision a student government where everyone feels invested in empowering others; where, as a team, we leave the community of Seattle Pacific University better than we found it.
Hi I’m Matt Thomas and I want to be the next Vice President of Campus Activities because I wish to further assist and lead our school in the development of its natural ability to be inclusive and encouraging in the continuing growth of our community. I fully believe that SPU has a unique trait of unifying with all peoples and as VPCA I want to create those rich opportunities in which people can, come together, have a blast, have quality time, and share memories. Our time on this campus is so short, and if memories are all we can take from his place, then I want to be there to collaborate with a team with the qualities and energy and inclusiveness to get people excited about every moment they spend together here. VPCA is asked to oversee a lot of coordinators for clubs and organizations at SPU and I want to not only lead those people to push the envelope on “what can we be doing to create bigger and better activities for students,” but also “how can we be making these activities more inclusive to our diverse community here on campus?”
In my career here at SPU I’ve come a long way. I’ve served as SMC and now this year have had the privilege to be further involved as a member of STUB. I think the skills I have acquired over the years have matured and made me the extremely capable person I am today. I’ve learned what it looks like to serve a community and grow a community; to raise up leaders within it. It’s not about lifting up one person to solve all of the problems, it’s about creating an environment that allows us to partner with each other to overcome those problems together. That’s one thing I want to bring to VPCA. This job embodies working with others and encouraging a community of people who not only want to serve the student body and create fun resources and events, but who also strive to not let moments pass, but rather, seize them and make them into memories. I also believe that as an event coordinator on STUB this year I have seen what it takes to cater to the student body as a whole and what it takes to work effectively on a team. One of the skills I bring to the table is experience. As someone who is already part of ASSP and familiar with the administration side of SPU, I know what it takes to make big things happen, I believe that I can make our school the best possible version of itself and while I’m capable, I’m still able to be coached by those over me and those who have come before me. With these things in mind, I believe I can hit the ground running fall quarter and move quickly to accomplish things for this school that no one else can.
My first and foremost goal as VPCA is to challenge the leaders and coordinators of our student lead programs to make our events bigger and more imaginative. VPCA oversees campus activities, I want to make sure that the people behind those activities are always thinking further outside the box, always thinking how to improve, always pushing the boundaries and limitations of what we can accomplish. This year we made it snow over the SUB at Tradition, next year who’s to say that we can’t have horse-drawn carriage rides around the school. I want to see our events and activities grow next year; I want to excite those leaders to never stop pushing the envelope, to be greater still. Being a part of STUB this year has shown me the potential that our school’s activities have. We have the means to make events exceed all expectations, I want to usher in a new train of thought, the idea that we don’t need to fit into the parameters that have been set up, they’re more like guidelines anyways. Let’s push ourselves to bigger and better things.
My second goal is to create further collaboration among student lead organizations such as ORP, STUB, KSPU, and our clubs. I think this year has opened a door for this already, and that’s something that I would like to continue next year. I believe that fusing clubs with organizations really helps broaden our school’s scope and makes our events and activities more inclusive to all types of people. One way that I hope to accomplish this is by meeting with the coordinators for both student organizations along with clubs to discuss possible new events that can further appeal to everyone.
Another goal that I’d like to set out for as VPCA is a move towards culturally and ethnically diverse activities and events on campus. I believe that our school makes a good attempt to be inclusive of all types of people but I believe this is at the cost of diminishing cultures and instead replacing it with another: “SPU culture.” Which is a working compromise, but I’d like to encourage our selection of ethnic based clubs to host events that are all their own. I fully believe that ethnicity shouldn’t divide us, but rather bring us closer together. As an SMC you learn how to connect with all types of people. One of the ways this is done is by understanding a person’s background. This can include family, friends, experiences, hometown, ethnicity, etc. Context helps us grow together and learn about each other. I’d love to work closely with the VP of Intercultural Affairs and clubs to come up with events that everyone can enjoy while also highlighting on specific cultures. Walking on eggshells only creates broken eggs. Let’s instead be united and celebrate in the fact that we make up an array of unique people while also being a part of one community.
In accordance to the mission of the ASSP core, I would see that my time at SPU be of service to the student body. This position happens to encapsulate all of my eclectic band of talents and skills and puts me in the perfect position to oversee the progression of on campus activities. My placement in this position does not give me a chance to be lax. On the contrary, I will be given the opportunity to not only service the SPU community but also grow as an individual and reach for excellence. I would like to make a positive impact on the students of SPU, even if it will just be for an instance. Upon a student’s completion of their academic studies at SPU if they are to look back and have a positive thought directly influenced by the work of ASSP then I will have been satisfied.
I am an overseer. When prompted I can take in the surrounding of any given situation and then quickly realize missing elements or places of improvement. In my time at SPU I have been a volunteer or leader of many on-campus and off-campus events. Earlier this year I had independently planned an event inviting many of the incoming freshman to spend time with some of MEP’s upper class men leaders. I have the natural ability to take initiative and plan. Along with my core officers in Ante-Up Hip-hop club we were able to bring together Ante-Up’s battle of the year. My time was spent communicating to outside performers and battle contestants while making sure we were acting in accordance with SPU policy. I made many trips between my advisor, school staff, and my core. I was committed and motivated to go above and beyond so that my club would be able to put on the best event it could. Self-sacrifice in the spirit of service was the primary motivation I had for participating for Ante-Up’s core. It’s my communication skills, flexibility in the tightest of situations, drive to excel, and my experience with programming, planning, and preparing for the worst that I will be using to handle everything that the next year will throw at me.
STUB has consistently executed large events that are enjoyable to all students. The teams that have worked in the past have been excellent in seeing all aspects of a programs flow or execution and have provided well themed flairs to many of their programs. I want to focus on the campuses engagement with stub events. In an effort to support STUB, I will be focusing on engaging more with the Student body to be excited about the hard work STUB has put into planning and preparing for these students by active conversations and potentially through the use of social media.
Clubs have seen an exciting increase in numbers over the last few years and has given students from all different backgrounds to come and engage. I want to be able to support clubs and motivate clubs to constantly engage their students. We have many great clubs at SPU and I want to empower them so they can grow and continue being positive influences on the lives they interact with.
OORP’s inception is very exciting. Having the opportunity to be in a state where nature’s beauty is so readily accessible, giving the students the chance to go out and see God’s nature is a blessing. I would want OORP to promote its services and maybe plan an event for students to be involved with. In a community where everything is so readily accessible having the incentive or motivation to go outside of our small community is the next step. SPU as an institution is preparing us to become self-motivated and driven individuals and keeping them within the small, but beautiful, bubble that is SPU is a disservice to the students. OORP’s placement in SPU is essential and I look forward to giving them everything extra support they require to be successful.
In my experience with the media technicians for club events, there is often confusion between the clubs and the media. As a programmer and participant of many events I am aware of how essential sound and media can be to the success of an event. I will require nothing but the best from my media coordinator and the media techs. Cross communication between the club executive, the media coordinator and myself included, will be required to ensure the success of the every event brought to SPU. I know SPU has the capacity for highly engaging events. I will settle for nothing less than the best SPU can possibly deliver.
In summary, I plan on encouraging greater community within the STUB programs, stronger presence of our SPU clubs, supporting the engagement of nature and active lifestyles, and efficiency in communication between groups for effective and well executed programs. I will push to encourage every one of my team members to settle nothing but the best and hopefully inspire everyone to be the best they can.
SPU is a forward thinking institution that greatly values the diverse perspectives and backgrounds offered by its students, faculty, staff, community members and supporters. Through increased efforts to promote racial and ethnic awareness and reconciliation, SPU is taking valuable steps toward a more engaged community and overall richness of thought. I believe this growth has the capability to include purposeful expansion of diversity initiatives with the goal of promoting and appreciating human differences that exist beyond race or ethnicity. These components of diversity include economic standing, faith, ability and philosophical differences that make us all uniquely treasured in God’s eyes.
As a person of a minority population of people with disabilities, I strongly believe that I have the perspective, drive and experience to encourage active inquiry into how ASSP and SPU as a whole can better embrace all aspects of diversity. The position of VPIA exists to be a resource and a voice for the populations of students that are often unheard and I strive to fill and enhance the role to serve students of all backgrounds.
Living with blindness enables me to view the world from the perspective of someone whose needs, opinions and values are not always actively sought after. I greatly empathize with students on the margins and strongly believe I can represent these often unheard voices in organizations campus wide.
Over the past several years, I have had numerous opportunities to serve as an ambassador for people with disabilities through speaking engagements, news publications, outreach events and nonprofit work. These experiences have equipped me with the communication skills, confidence, relationship, sensitivity, humility and professionalism necessary to actively advocate on behalf of those whom I represent.
Additionally, I have spent many years in leadership positions both in a professional setting, within student government and in nonprofit organizations which has provided a broad knowledge and understanding of how policy and procedure can best support a greater mission. In this way I feel that I am capable of utilizing the systems that are in place through ASSP to foster growth through diversity.
During my sophomore year at SPU I had the privilege of serving on the Emerson-Arnett Hall Council as the ASSP Senator. Because of my role being directly connected to ASSP through senate, I was able to learn about the many ways ASSP is impacting student life. I contributed to several senate committees as well as working with my hall council team to create meaningful programming for all students. Within Emerson and Arnett, I sought to be a voice for our residents whose needs may be different from the majority. I was able to enlist the support of my team members to plan events that were welcoming and adaptable. I believe I can apply this work to influence events and programs campus wide to be conscious of the diverse needs of all students.
VISION: CONTINUE GROWTH IN RACIAL AND ETHNIC DIVERSITY AND RECONCILIATION
One of the greatest aspects of diversity that SPU is lacking is within racial and ethnic inclusion. I strive to implement events and programs that continue and enhance the efforts being made to celebrate the racial differences that make our community so unique. I plan on increasing and awareness and attendance for the events and programs already in place such as Multicultural Night of Worship, International Dinner and In Context as well as creating new events to further SPU's commitment to diversity.
PROMOTION: EXPAND THE BOUNDARIES OF DIVERSITY
SPU is a community of individuals that come from many different economic backgrounds, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, ability levels and philosophical viewpoints yet these additional aspects of diversity are often overlooked. It is my plan to magnify the voice of all students within university planning, event production, social awareness and community involvement. I seek to be a voice for students whose presence may not be as widely known.
INTEGRATION: GREATER PRESENCE OF INTERCULTURAL COORDINATORS IN RESIDENCE HALLS
The Intercultural Coordinators in each residence hall on campus have the ability to directly promote diversity within student life and it is my goal to empower these leaders to take a more active role in advocating for the needs of students of minority. I also strive to partner with ICs to plan and implement more events within the residence halls that promote diversity from all aspects as well as work to improve attendance to existing events.
ACCESSIBILITY: IMPROVE ADA COMPLIANCE ON CAMPUS
As an individual with a disability, I have directly experienced the struggle surrounding interaction with the many accessibility features on campus that are not in working order. I have also witnessed the difficulties faced by students who could greatly benefit from operational accessibility tools but are instead met with inadequate accommodation. For example, there are many automatic door buttons in place across campus that are meant to ease the strain of passing through a doorway by individuals in wheelchairs, on crutches, with service dogs or simply in need of an extra hand. However, many of these specific buttons do not work which creates an unnecessary breach of accessibility. I plan on working to ensure that these features and many others are corrected and maintained to meet the needs of students who benefit from adaptation.
I believe I can bring SPU to a new horizon of Cultural Competency. I have made it an ambitious goal to help bring my community to an understanding of race, culture, and identity. My interest starts in wanting to shape students minds, to become diverse thinkers and impartial Christians. Wanting an end result of students who love diversity, culture, and who want to engage in it.
VPIA is not to be taken lightly, and it is an honor to run for this opportunity. Other Christian institutions lack this position, and believe that it should be utilized to its entirety. It takes on the mission statement, to promote education, guidance, and excitement to the meaning of culture and diversity. ASSP is not only a division of divergent thinkers but a team that helps advocate the beauty of all cultures. I believe that I can not only help keep the VPIA’s work in the past alive, but bring new ideas to help shape SPU into a progressive Christian institution.
In the past I have held leadership positions such as, Intercultural Coordinator and Education Programmer for Catalyst. Through my past event planning endeavors, I have acquired the skills necessary to get things done. I enjoy planning and coordinating events and do so in a timely manner. In addition to my past experiences I am relatable and understand the struggles, needs, and wants of my peers around me. However I am also open to new ideas that come forward and will work hard with students to make these things happen. These positions have equipped me to navigate through topics of diversity and culture. Thus, giving me the skill to facilitate through intimidating conversations. The conversations tend to be under pressure and are initiated to advocate cultural competency. Seattle Pacific University is a benchmark school in comparison to other Christian institutions. However, we still have much to learn. I want to fully apply what it means to “engage in the culture” here at Seattle Pacific University. I can help by bringing new ideas and set up new ways to keep Seattle Pacific University in a constant motion with cultural awareness. I have the passion and skill to work with people through problems and help bring them together. My goal is to bring the Seattle Pacific University’s community together as one, even when we feel divided.
Cultural Competency, Racial Reconciliation, and Progressivism. SPU has the drive to take our Christian institution to the next level. However to do so we need the three things above. We need Cultural competency intergraded into our students to prepare them for any obstacle in the future regarding diversity. Diversity is the core of America yet we cannot fully understand it. If we implement this into our student we can create a better tomorrow within our generation.
Racial Reconciliation plays a crucial role in understanding Cultural Competency. As Christians we are taught to reconcile our differences. In a cultural lens we should learn to set aside our differences to learn from one other. Once we do so it opens the door to new avenues we have never experienced before.
Lastly Progressivism is key to creating a great foundation. Not only do I want to help create a community of culturally aware students but keep the idea going. These goals are not meant to stop after my term of VPIA. I want to create a system where every year our community builds its understanding of Cultural Competency and Racial Reconciliation. Something I intend to bring back is Reconciliation week. At a leading institution like SPU if we cannot openly discuss culture and diversity on campus, then how will student prepare for obstacle regarding diversity? The time for SPU to change is now, and I know that as a community we can excel in the right direction. In addition to that the idea discussions regarding diversity and culture I intended to spread. The most effective way for others to understand this is through education. Through the stories rooted within each Falcon here at SPU. As Christians we are taught to love thy neighbor, but now we need to initiate it. Lastly I want to continue to bridge connections to different groups on campus. The topic of diversity includes every sector within SPU. Therefore groups like Catalyst that are lead by the VPIA I would continue to encourage to reach out, and expand new horizons. To collaborate on events so that students get every opportunity possible to learn for one another.
Since I was a Freshman it has been my goal to help my community be the leading Christian school when it comes to diversity. I was the Intercultural Coordinator my Sophomore year, Education Programmer of Catalyst my Junior year, with the goal to be VPIA next year. When I set my mind to something I make it happen. I am determined that our community as a whole can be the leading Christian school in diversity. But to do so we need to prepare our students and Faculty. I include faculty because without them this is pointless.
I am campaigning for this position of Vice President of Intercultural Affairs because I believe that I can support the Seattle Pacific University community when it comes to the topic of race and culture. I have been a part of the Multiethnic Programs for the past three years at SPU and I think that this gives me a leg up at understanding how this position works. I have also been to many different events at SPU not associated with intercultural clubs, and I believe I would be able to make these two things that sort of seem separate into one. I have a passion for race and culture because I grew up in a community where I was constantly the minority so I spent most of my life trying to conform into something I thought I had to be. Now I know that I have to embrace who I am because no one is the same and I hope I can bring my realization to SPU. I think it’s important to recognize that we were all made different for a reason and that everyone has a culture that should be shared.
First I do want to point out that I have held leadership positions in the past, including but not limited to president of an SPU club, event coordinator of another SPU club, and school government in high school. Being involved in leadership has taught me how to work with different people while trying to achieve one greater goal. I have learned that this can be a hard task at times, but from experiencing it plenty of times I can say that I am confident with dealing with conflict when faced with it, and still be a team player. I am very open minded in fact I encourage people to express themselves in a civil way and be able to take the time to stand in someone else’s shoes to understand where they are coming from too. From always keeping my schedule busy I also consider myself to be efficient and organized. I am motivated and passionate about the topic or race, reconciliation and culture! I have personal experience with being able to expose myself to different cultures and ideas and it helps me get along with all people and be sensitive to others and their culture. I have also been involved with intercultural events such as Incontext and intercultural retreat so I do know what to expect when it comes to planning these events for the following year. Lastly I am respectful to everyone I come across and genuinely caring and I think that is important in this position specifically because I would have to give a lot of support to the SPU students, faculty, and staff, and actually care about them and their ideas.
One goal that I would like to accomplish during my term is a training with student ministry coordinators, residence hall ministry coordinators, and intercultural coordinators for each hall. It’s not that I am assuming that the people in these leadership positions don’t know how to interact with people of a different race or culture than them, but I think all awareness starts with the leaders. If we have people on each floor in each resident hall that has some knowledge of different cultures it can be that much easier when faced with people that don’t look like the majority of students at SPU. The training would just be informational and consciousness of the sensitivity of others. Everyone at this school grew up in different areas and neighborhoods and we don’t know how much diversity others have been exposed to. Therefore we can have a safety net with the training.
I also think it would be beneficial for professors to go through a training. I only say this because a classroom can be a great way to start conversation about these uncomfortable but exciting topics of race, culture, and reconciliation, but if the professors don't know how to navigate them it can turn into something we don't want, or worse be ignored. The second goal I have is to just be the voice of not just the diverse students at SPU but all of SPU student body. It’s important to keep them involved and it’s the job of the VPIA to initiate and facilitate efforts of diversity. In my opinion that means being that life line from administration to the student body. So specifically I would like to keep the student body updated with the cultural engagement petition. I heard about it a few times last year but I would like for it to keep moving, while reporting back to the students. I feel there is a disconnect between students and administration when it comes to communication about things like the cultural engagement petition and I want to help fill that gap.
My third goal is to encourage the community of SPU to merge into one. I am still trying to figure out what that looks like but, I would like everyone to realize they have a culture and not be afraid to engage in others. What I mean by this is celebrating everyone’s culture together, in a way that not just a few hundred SPU students want to participate but where most of SPU is together as one because everyone’s culture should be a part of SPU culture. I hope that this event or mindset drives everyone to be intentional with one another because all of us make up the Kingdom of God and we need everyone united. All in all I just want to be able to start a domino effect to lead us all into reconciliation. Our mission statement is to engage in the cultural and ultimately I just want to see everyone accomplishing that mission before they graduate, in any way that means to them. Sometimes it's hard for people to take a step in trying to engage with others but hopefully I can take steps in the right way to make it more comfortable.
I am campaigning for the position of the Vice President of Finance because I believe that I can create a positive impact on the Seattle Pacific University community with a detailed oriented work ethic. During my time here at SPU and specifically during my time as an SMC, I have witnessed the overarching impact that leaders have on our campus. The community we have established is sustained and continues to thrive due to the time and sacrifices made by current leaders on our campus. The ASSP Core serves as devoted leaders to the students and faculty at SPU and I want to continue working to foster a culture of Christ-centered stewardship over the time and place that we have been given. The position of the Vice President of Finance will also provide me with experience of hands on work that will propel me in the future to succeed in my field.
A consistent skill that I would bring to this position is a strong emphasis on being detail oriented and focusing on the minute parts of a task. I work to be organized and prepared for all tasks coming towards me. This diligence requires extreme attention to detail and focusing on the smaller aspects of all things. Being a current SMC on 3rd West Emerson, I have found the importance of diligently managing my time and allocating appropriate time to complete each task on my agenda. I enjoy focusing on the small details. It has been my nature in every role and position I have filled to execute a task precisely and efficiently.
A correlating talent that I would bring to the position is the ability to adapt when a plan changes quickly. Living as a student leader in the Residence Halls, the primary talent that I have seen as essential to working in a dynamic team is being willing and able to adapt. As detailed as a plan can be, the possibility of things changing is imminent and I have proven the ability, through being an SMC and through service oriented work, to adapt to the situation and still complete the task at hand being punctual and thorough.
Another skill that I would bring to the Finance position is the ability to work and cooperate with others on a team in a social setting. During my trip to Southeast India in 2014 and my role as an SMC, I have been placed on teams in social environments and been given a set of tasks. Each setting is different and the tasks vary in scope but through each experience I have developed the ability to adjust and adapt.
The first goal that I would like to achieve during my term is to work with Dr. Martin and faculty to coordinate the vision that Dr. Martin has for the campus with the funds and allocation of resources currently available. Dr. Martin has expressed an extensive vision and desire for the renovation and utilization of current campus resources and space. His plan involves building renovations and a change in the physical capital here on campus. I would like to work with him to plan for the future of his goals so students will benefit and live into the full potential of his vision.
The second goal that I would like to accomplish is to provide clear and concise financial literacy to the student body. I often hear students complain about a feature on campus and respond with, “the least they could do is…” I want to listen to the student requests and explain what the money that students are paying is being allocated towards. The campus only exists and functions because of the students that choose to attend school here. If we are an institution that seeks to engage the culture around us, we first should understand the workings and financial practices of the culture of which we are an immediate part of.
A third goal that I would like to work towards during my time is to work with the Residence Hall Council Treasurers to discuss and construct budgets that provide ample opportunities for activities to occur as well as providing thorough training at the beginning of the year. The current hall council budget practices are run by students who receive in total less than 12 hours of training for a yearlong job. The burden of the work is transferred to the Residence Life Coordinators in each hall to correct mistakes which decreases efficiency of any task given. I would like to work with hall council treasurers to provide adequate training before the school year as to allow each hall council the opportunity to understand their budget before they have allocated the resources.
The fourth goal that I would like to achieve as Vice President of Finance is allocating funds to provide students with the opportunity to engage the culture of Seattle here on our campus. This goal comes from the experience of having Tent City 3 on our campus. As we seek to engage the culture, we are also full time students that seek education and personal betterment. I want to bring more cultural awareness to our campus, directly impacting the lives of students on campus daily. As I have said, we seek to be an institution that engages our neighbors not just in polite conversation, but interpersonal relationships that change how we act and govern ourselves in our daily lives. My goal is to provide funds to help support our universities core principles.
I believe wholeheartedly in the ministries taking place at SPU and would love to watch ministries grow in prominence at SPU. This year I was part of ASSP Ministry Council through being the senator for the School of Theology. I am also Outreach and Awareness Manager for SPRINT Core for this year, and regularly attend Gather services and Post-gather lunch. Through these ministries and others over the last few years, I’ve seen the multiple layers of how the student body is impacted and connected by campus ministries. In my previous years at SPU, I had no idea how thoughtfully ministry coordinators and advisors in ASSP Ministry Council were constructing the edifying ministries I was encountering at SPU. I was welcomed by this loving group of people at the beginning of this school year despite the fact that I had no noteworthy place among them (not being a coordinator), and I’m forever grateful for their hospitality. My desire is to see SPU’s ministries join in God’s kingdom-work in SPU, Seattle, and the world. I believe SPU’s undergraduate students are a powerful force that, when properly equipped and encouraged by the Holy Spirit and campus ministries, can do incredible things in the world.
I am adaptable and that I don’t require any specific circumstances to thrive. In fact, I actually enjoying being put out of my comfort zone and the opportunity to work from a new perspective. When in a leadership position, if there are strong voices in a group, I tend to moderate and guide a conversation to keep it focused. If there are quieter voices in a group, I strive to ask them their opinions and ensure that their ideas hold just as much sway as those with a louder voice. This is because I strive to see the stories of others in spite of any disagreement or difference I have with a person. As the VPM, I genuinely want to seek out a balancing of voices and ideas among those who currently are serving our community in order to further improve ministries at SPU.
Another unique talent I have is that I’m not concerned with what others think about myself and my ideas. This allows me to offer a dissenting opinion in a group discussion without fearing rebuke or criticism from the group. This does not mean I don’t have a filter. Rather, it means that I state my ideas clearly and precisely when I feel that I can offer genuine contribution to a group. It also means that I am willing to fight for what respects students and God’s redemptive work in the world without the fear of failure.
I want to create a community in which people can be honest and heard. Therefore, I would like to be personally available to anyone involved in SPU ministries. More specifically, I would post office hours publically and allow space for one-on-ones in order to more personally care for students involved in SPU ministries beyond the coordinators. I don’t want to be seen as distant or inaccessible, instead, I want to foster an honest and vulnerable community within SPU ministries, and I want to be an integral part of this community. My goal is to personally get to know everyone in SPU ministries. As a result, I hope to encourage and challenge them individually as well as to help them serve the people they minister to even more effectively.
I want to create a more integrated network between the ministries. I would like to create space once a month for all of ministries to come together and fellowship. This year in ASSP Ministry Council, I’ve watched as ministry coordinators and their advisors coordinated their efforts and the specific needs within their ministries. I want to extend this same spirit of unity in diversity beyond this small group of leaders to all of SPU ministries. I believe a once a month gathering would creatively encourage fellowship and conversation between people from different ministries. These would likely include food, guest speakers, group discussions, and information on the current state of each SPU ministry. This space would increase the likelihood of getting those they serve to become aware of other ministries at SPU beyond their own. It would also allow for them to listen to each other’s joys and struggles in order to encourage each other. Ultimately, this time would allow those in SPU ministries to share their lives and cooperate in how they could work together to better serve the students of SPU.
I want to create a community both within and beyond SPU Ministries that is open to both the marginalized and missing voices in SPU ministries. In terms of gender, I want to use inviting language and hold events that promote discussion regarding women in ministry. Anyone who has been touched by SPU knows about the ratio between women and men—this is all the more drastic in ministries as women hold the majority of leadership positions and tend to be more involved. Through acknowledging this together, I would like SPU women to grow all the more confident in their contribution to ministries and allow us to ask together why many men have chosen to not be involved in ministries. Regarding sexual orientation, I want to use inviting language and hold events that don’t exclude people, but rather welcome them in. I believe ministries has a lot to gain from engaging with the Haven community and I would hope to build bridges between Haven and ministries. These are two broad groups among many other voices I hope SPU ministries could embrace and support. To be concise, I want SPU, and specifically ministries, to journey together in listening to the missing voices that have so much to offer SPU and SPU ministries.