Blake Ashley Announces His Campaign for Student Body President
Blake Ashley (‘21), a Humanities major from Fredericksburg, Texas, has announced his intention to run for Student Body President for the 2019-2020 school year.
“I love the school with all my heart, and I think this is the best way I can help people using the skills that I have,” Ashley said.
Ashley’s platform highlights several things that are relevant in the everyday lives of students at The King’s College.
“I think of college as a struggle in three main areas: a struggle to belong academically, belong spiritually and belong socially,” Ashley said. “I would love to see a school that continues to grow in a way that allows students to belong in those three categories.”
To encourage students to find belonging in the social realm at King’s, Ashley wants to ensure that students can find belonging in both.
“I think it is not a fight [between student organizations and house management]. I think it was last year. A lot of people find their belonging in their house; I do. But a lot of people find their identity and belonging in student organizations. What are we supposed to do with those people who like their house, but they love The King’s Players or love Mock Trial?” Ashley said.
Part of the problem Ashley points out is that student organizations are underrepresented, and he wants to see the houses and student organizations come together.
“I have the house side of things, I am a chamberlain, and I am a VP of an org, so I get to see both sides of the equation,” Ashley said.
During his Presidency, Ashley would want to reposition Director of Student Organizations to be more of a representative of student orgs. They will be expected to meet with each president of the student organizations and hear them voice their concerns and advocate for their interests.
“I want people to feel like they belong in student organizations and find their voice,” Ashley said.
To encourage a spiritual belonging at King’s, Ashley hopes to foster a community outside of King’s for each student without forcing it.
“King’s does a ton of of great religious things. There is supplemental Refuge and there’s a prayer group every morning—but King’s is not a church, and we have to get people to church… I’m not going to drag them there, but I want them to have every single resource to get them there,” Ashley said.
Ashley has realized the effect upperclassmen have on freshmen to influence their decisions right from the beginning. He wants to use this influence to help encourage freshmen to come to church even if there is just a slight interest.
“I am going to make a crowdsourced, community-driven church registry that lists as many churches as possible in the community and have upperclassmen students go volunteer to represent churches.”
His vision is that if an upperclassman signs up to represent a church, freshmen will see that upperclassman’s name and want to tag along and try out the church. This will bring a different source of spirituality into the lives of King’s students, Ashley hopes.
“The downside to King’s being so involved in students’ lives spiritually is that it’s tempting for students to say ‘This is enough, I go to Refuge, Blander prays for class.’ But it’s not good enough. As upperclassmen and leaders we have to encourage and make easy access to churches,” said Ashley.
To ensure that this follows through, he has a plan to work with key figures in the spiritual life at King’s.
“I want to work with the Spiritual Life Director and very closely with Spiritual Life Associates of the houses to hear their opinions. This is not top-down, I cannot tell you how it is going to be. I need to hear their ideas,” said Ashley.
Ashley recognizes the reality of King’s students’ lives: internships, student organizations, classes, the house system, Interregnum, and House Cup keep King’s students busy. Part of his platform addresses academic belonging, and he plans to keep in mind the active lives of students.
“I want to be very judicious about the things we do, the things we love, and the things we really don’t need,” Ashley said.
He wants to work on “trimming the fat” on the things we love. For example, Ashley proposes a different feel to Fall Retreat, where there is more time to relax and less rushing around for three days.
“I want to slow it down a little bit, like only couple of speakers that do not start at midnight. I want to give everybody a chance to bond with their housemates and pray over their year and get to know their friends... it’s much more beneficial,” Ashley said.
Ashley believes that every other candidate loves the school as he does, but he knows that he will put his love into practice every single day.
“I will care about every single person in this school as actively as I can. I think that is the most important responsibility of the Student Body President, and I think there are a couple other candidates who are good at that as well,” Ashley said.
He believes that he has the ability to execute the 2019-2020 school year successfully because of his administrative background as the President of Student Council in high school, chairman of the largest organization in high school, an Eagle Scout, Vice President and co-founder of the John Quincy Adams Society, Chamberlain of the House of Lewis, and working in King’s Admissions for almost two years.
“King’s has been so good to me. I have grown so much in the time that I have been here. I want to provide that sense of love and community that I felt as a freshman to as many as people as possible, and especially to freshman coming in,” said Ashley. “This is a community, it’s a home, it’s a place to belong, and that’s what I want to create.”