Q&A with the SBP Candidates
The Student Body President Candidates answer your questions. Why do you want to run?
David: I think there are a lot of issues that the student body is not being represented on. The student body representative has a right to voice those concerns. I’m running on a platform of more student representation to the administrative that is more effective.
Sam: It all revolves around the idea of “get out.” There are two things to this:
- Education: much more comprehensive than just in the classroom.
- Engaging: not only on a service front but also on an idea front.
Why do you feel you are qualified?
Sam: I’ve talked with students and gauged their concerns. One of the things we do is have a lot of complaints, but then it doesn’t get channeled to a particular place. I will address these students’ concerns by talking to the school. I authored a proposal [last year] to upgrade the email system to what we now have, started Foreign Language clubs and launched Intensives class format.
Caz: I’ve worked in admissions. I’m a House president. I helped start the soccer team. I’m really comfortable working with Student Development. I’m present among the student body. All in all, I have strong relationships with both students and the powers that be, which I hope will make me an effective liaison between the two.
David: I’m captain of the basketball team. I sit on the student athletic committee as a representative between students and administration. Last semester, I interned at Governor Chris Christie's office.
What is your vision for the council?
Caz: I want the presidents to start working together as a unit and a community, not just as 10 separate individuals from separate Houses. Hopefully that unity coming from our leaders will trickle down into the exec teams and the rest of the students. Also, the new Director of Academics position on the cabinet.
David: I think it's time that the SBP took on a larger role in his job as liaison and go outside the council because the council is pretty set in stone. The council gets a lot of important things done, and if elected, I don't expect to change the council in any fundamental way.
Sam: I’m hoping the council will have very efficient meetings (under an hour) to address administrative issues because I want to allow House presidents to spend more time with their Houses–time to focus on building House community; time for Houses to facilitate purpose-driven House events [and] Houses engaging the city.
Next year is going to be a big year for King’s with a lot of change. How do you plan to help the student body transition?
David: There are a lot of changes taking place at King's. The question is whether or not students will have a voice in those changes. I plan to communicate with the students, hear their concerns and broadcast those concerns to the administration.
Caz: I think communication will be key. A lot of this year’s frustrations from students have come from communication breakdowns between the students and the administration. I plan to keep students in the loop as much as possible regarding updates from the 15th floor.
Sam: I don’t think SBP candidates have access to all of the anticipated changes, but what I do know is that this student body has always been resilient. I will do my best to relay the information that I receive from administration. Honestly, I will be praying with the students. This shouldn’t be a battle. I’m not an “us versus them” candidate. This means that I’ll continue to partner with the administration, which allows students more say in future decisions and the ability to communicate information to students sooner.
As King’s is growing, we are taking in a more diverse group of students. How are we going to uphold the mission of the college with a more diverse student body?
David: We want more students to be financially feasible, but we can't sacrifice the academic rigor of King's in doing so. There is a balance we have to strike between increasing the student population while not decreasing our academic rigor.
Sam: Diversity is good because it develops the school. The mission is the framework that allows diversity to flourish. [Prospective students should] write a couple paragraph responses as to why they want to come to King’s. Sit down and listen to current student’s stories as to why they came to King's and where they are going. Help them to see where they want to go and move one step further.
Caz: Somebody needs to be holding admissions accountable. Admissions has a difficult job because they have quotas to meet in order to keep this place afloat. But that department needs to do its best to bring in students who really believe in our vision.
Getting the exec teams to get excited about the freshman class and getting ready to welcome them now is very important. The new freshmen need to see that the upperclassmen are pumped about being here, that they take the Honor code, classes and the House system seriously.
What is one instance in which you have had to resolve conflict with the Honor Code?
Caz: Tons! I’m a House president, and I’ve had to do it a couple times a month. The Honor Code is a great institution at the college that fosters responsibility and courage in confrontation. What I think we need is the Honor code done properly: having the guts to have those tough confrontations, having the heart to confront with grace, and having the decency to stop judging each other about it.
David: Fortunately, I've never had to Honor Code anyone. And if I had, I wouldn't go telling the school newspaper.
Sam: One of the biggest struggles for me is little things, like seeing people in jeans. Does that constitute lying, cheating or stealing? Most of [Honor Code confrontations] should be happening in community. The greatest difficulty with the Honor Code is the last part: "turning a blind eye to those who do." It’s still something that I’m wrestling with as to what it looks like in practice.
Plans after college?
David: Law school.
Caz: Ministry, education or finance. Maybe all three. Either way, family.
Sam: I used to have a 15-year plan but not anymore. I’d like to get into international development to work with third world countries to help them transition out of that third world status. But wherever I go is wherever God takes me.
Click here to watch the SBP Debates, courtesy of the House of Bonhoeffer.