SBP speeches reveal each candidate's promise


The election season concluded today with three speeches by presidential candidates in the City Room. Candidates Tyler Hinsley, Fermin Villapando and Reese Evans took turns, each less than ten minutes, defending and re-emphasizing their platforms. Evans kicked things off with an apology for failing to admit that part of his platform came from Jonathan Lile, a former Reagan President who ran for Student Body President last year. He then returned to a central tenet of his campaign: that out-of-city retreats have the power to bind groups of students into real communities, and that funding ten House retreats is a justified expense for the Council. Without specifying how, Evans said he would “incentivize” community. He pointed to his experience as a House President as a source of credibility, and said that, if elected, he would try to bring donors onto the King’s campus to interact with students.

Fermin Villapando challenged the prevailing view that a Student Body President has donor-related duties. “The SBP is a person who must work well behind the scenes,” he said, “to make sure that the whole system is running smoothly.”

Villapando added something new to his campaign: a call for every house to have its own day of service.

“[If] Kings wants to see itself grow beyond what a typical college looks like, we must make sure that people know our school not only for its successful alumni, but also for its charity," Villapando said.

Villapando tried to distinguish himself from Hinsley as well, telling the crowd that Hinsley placed undue emphasis on athletics. The point of college isn’t just to “play sports,” but to grow “academically, personally and spiritually,” said Villapando.

Hinsley defended his emphasis on sports by arguing they added value to the school, “rallying school spirit and pride.” In what may have been a reference to Villapando’s platform, Hinsley characterized student athletes as the most underrepresented student demographic on campus. Two new positions were also promised in his platform: a representative from the Student Athletics Advisory Committee (SAAC) to sit on the Cabinet and a Career Development Liaison, trained by Bethany Jenkins, the Director of Career Development, to help students access resources for internship and resume skills.

All of the candidates made promises. Villapando promised, if elected, to make King’s students' college experience the “start to an incredible and selfless life.” Evans encouraged students to elect “who you believe will best enable you to reach your full potential,” and Hinsley promised to encourage intentional community.

These promises were points of concern for some students. Elizabeth Turner (‘16) admitted she was a little unsure. She explained that last year each candidate focused on one small thing. “The candidates were more unique,” she said. This campaign, she added, feels broad, “like they’re trying to cover everything.”

Caroline Ratcliffe (‘16) echoed that concern, pointing out that the platforms contain big promises, but “few specifics about execution.”

Voting opened at 1 p.m. via a link in “The King’s Weekly” school newsletter. The new SBP will be announced Wednesday afternoon.