Student body president, council and cabinet address student body on state of the college
Reese Evans, the student body president, delivered the second annual State of the Student Body Address at 12 PM on November 5th. Evans stated that the purpose of the address was to inform the student body about the achievements of the Council and Cabinet so far this semester. The Council is comprised of ten House Presidents and five Cabinet members: Director of Student Organizations (Annalise Bourgeois), Communications (Taylor Thompson), Finance (Tim Stratton), Events (Mary Losiak), Spiritual Life (Spencer Kashmanian) and Student Body President (Reese Evans).
Council achievements include the adoption of a new fundraising policy, which allows Houses to fundraise all throughout the year, with the exception of the month of December.
Achievements and developments in student organizations include:
- The King’s Players is putting on an off-campus performance of Elephant Man this semester and Charles Strauss will direct a performance at King’s next semester.
- The Arts and Aesthetics Society’s gallery will be located in the O’Keefe Student Union, which is set to open on November 16, 2015.
- The Troubadour, King’s only literary publication, is launching a new online magazine later in November.
- The Kings of Swing will host a Sadie Hawkins dance within the next few months.
- The King’s Dancers have 15 new members and will partner with the Arts and Aesthetics Society.
Evans stated that the state of the student body is “in a better position than ever before” and cited the acceptance rate of the 2015-16 freshmen class, which is in the mid 30s percentage-wise, as compared to previous years, when it hovered around the mid 70s. He also stated that the O’Keeffe Student Union is the first step toward having a larger campus. It will have a ping pong room, spaces for socializing and studying, couches and a kitchen. It is a “step forward toward having a campus” in the Financial District.
Evans also cited the attendance at this year’s Fall Retreat, which was 436 people or 74 percent of the student body, compared to last year’s 75-76 percent. Over 50 faculty and staff members attended the retreat.
Tyler Hinsley, President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), discussed the state of athletics. This year, the committee hosted a kayaking event, frequently coordinates team study halls, will host the first school-wide ping pong tournament this winter and is set to host their annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) event, which will take place this fall. They are present on social media platforms, including Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
City Engagement Coordinator, Davis Campbell, gave his report. This year, some Houses have begun to partner with ministries in the city. The second annual King’s Day of Service will take place on January 23, 2015 with the New York City Gospel Mission and the New York Bowery Mission. Students will be able to register on Eventbrite.
Kashmanian, the Director of Spiritual Life, gave his report. This is the first year the position of Director of Spiritual Life exists. Kashmanian works with Dr. Dru Johnson, Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at The King's College, and Eric Bennett, the Vice President for Student Development, on spiritual life initiatives that include enabling student engagement in churches and throughout the city, Scriptural engagement (King’s Liturgy), Refuge, King’s Day of Fasting and weekly prayer meetings. Kashmanian reports that attendance at Refuge is high. He hopes to reintroduce Theological Roundtables to the campus next semester.
The cabinet entertained questions following the campus and student body updates. During the Q&A period, it was revealed that Red and Green Affair, an annual dance hosted by the Houses of Margaret Thatcher and C.S. Lewis, will be hosted at Redeemer Presbyterian Church's Upper West Side location.
A member of the audience asked Evans about how he is bringing about his platform’s promise to “allocate funds to allow every House to have the financial opportunity to go on retreat.” In response, Evans indicated that the Council’s conversations have shifted that initiative toward long-term financial self-sustainability during their discussions about the future of the house system. He stated that the new fundraising policy will allow the Houses to acquire their own means to go on retreats. He said the Houses have been provided with a list of their alumni in order to improve fundraising capabilities. Evans also reported that the Council has discussed allocating less money to the Houses in the future.