SBP Maxine Fileta announces new Cabinet position during SOTU address


At noon last Friday, Student Body President Maxine Fileta announced that the Council had approved the addition of a new position to the Cabinet: Director of Spiritual Life. This motion was one of 23 amendments successfully passed by the Council during their meetings this month.

Before it is implemented, the new position, along with the other amendments, will be voted on by the student body during the Student Body President vote, Feb. 23 through 24.

The Director of Spiritual Life is an attempt to allow for spiritual life representation on the Council. Fileta explained that the goal is for this person to improve communication between students, faculty advisers and student leaders while relieving some of the workload experienced by House representatives who currently represent the spiritual life concerns of their members.

If the position is approved, next year's Student Body President will select a student for the role, and they will be required to sign a statement of faith. The idea is that this person will work closely with Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, Dr. Dru Johnson, who currently advises the Spiritual Life team.

The announcement came as part of Fileta’s State of the Union Address last Friday, the first speech of its kind. In addition to announcing the new position, Fileta took twenty minutes to highlight successes of the past year, apologize for failures and launch the election season.

After celebrating growth within student clubs -- specifically the TKC Programming Club, the school’s Financing Club and The Kings of Swing dancing club -- Fileta announced the release of a $2,000 app, called "Check I'm Here," that she hopes will improve communication about student events on campus.

Faculty approved the app purchase earlier this school year as part of Fileta’s mission to streamline campus communication. The initiative received overwhelming support during a campus-wide survey in the fall and will be ready for use by the end of this month.

The app allows for event organizers, student leaders and staff to better organize campus events. It enables students to have easy access to events for the week, subscribe to the “clubs” they’re most interested in hearing about and receive instant event-related updates.

On the administrative side, the app will make event and membership management easier and more centralized. Chairwoman of The King’s College Republicans, Serenity Richardson (‘15), said the app will make her job much easier. She explained that her organization doesn’t have regular meetings and only tracks membership through event attendance. With "Check I'm Here" she’ll be able to track attendance via a “check in system” and interact with graphic representations of member data.

“This system allows us to track [membership] really easily,” Richardson said. “It’s all on our smartphones.”

In her address, Fileta also apologized for the Council's shortcomings over the past year, specifically their failure to address the protests and uprisings related to the death of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. “While there is no opportunity to go back in time and fix our ways,” she said, “[w]e will be very intentional about supporting students on the matter from here on out.”

Finally, Fileta recognized the three men running for Student Body President this year: Reese Evans, Fermin Villalpando and Tyler Hinsley. Student Body President campaigning will take place until Feb. 23. Students will vote on the Council’s amendments and the new President on Feb. 23 and 24.