Elections chapel showcases candidates

Today’s elections chapel formally introduced the candidates for AS and SMU.


| Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES

Katie Nelson, Writer

This year’s Associated Students and Student Missionary Union presidential candidates were formally introduced at today’s elections chapel. The chapel opened with political science chair Scott Waller urging students to consider voting as part of the Christian life. Waller rounded off his presentation with a photo of 1983 Biola graduate John Thune, current Republican Conference chairman and possible 2016 presidential candidate.

Video promotions of the three AS teams and the two SMU candidates were screened, with the appearance of each team evoking cheers and applause from the audience. Each video featured the candidates explaining their platforms and visions for the 2014-2015 school year.

All photos taken at AS/SMU 2014 Debate on Tuesday, Feb. 18. | Tomber Su/THE CHIMES


Senior accounting major Tyler Hormel and junior management major Ashley Panko — both current senators — are running for president and vice president, respectively. Their main goal in seeking office is to foster school spirit.

“We really want AS to play a more integral part in the creation and promotion of school spirit here at Biola,” Hormel said.

Hormel and Panko described four ways they plan to put their vision into action, including bolstering communication between AS and Spiritual Development, creating a two-way dialogue between administration and students, developing unity between off-campus students and dorms, and improving athletics promotion.

“We see school spirit as an all-encompassing attitude that takes pride in our school and what it stands for,” Panko said.

Both candidates tout their previous student government experience as a boon to their campaign.

“We’ve been involved in AS for a year. We understand how it works and we really value AS and love what it does,” Panko said.



Sigma Hall resident assistants Evan McGee, a junior business major, and Laura Daronatsy, a sophomore public relations major, are campaigning for AS office under the banner of upending the AS hierarchy. McGee defines the hierarchy as placing the president on top, students at the bottom and senators in between.

“I want to flip that triangle upside down so the president’s at the bottom, and his job is to serve the vice president, their job is to serve the senators and the coordinators, and they serve the student body who are, in essence, the most important people on campus,” he said.

Daronatsy added that the method through which the team plans to invert the triangle is by opening up lines of communication between AS and students via the Internet.

“We are developing an online platform for students to be able to submit their questions, concerns and suggestions to AS,” she said. “And this will come in handy because a lot of times, there isn’t as much senator/student interaction as there could be to let every student’s voice be heard.”



Senior psychology major Andrew Bustos and junior social science major Brittany Woods comprise the third set of AS candidates. Their main platform is to encourage students to exercise their power in student government.

“We want the student body to know AS is not this separate organization in the upper section of the SUB. AS is actually the students themselves,” Bustos said. “We want them to know their voice carries weight and change on this campus.”

Another part of their campaign is opening up pride in Biola beyond athletics and into the artistic spheres, such as the Torrey Honors Institute and the debate team.

“We need to celebrate those excellent in the arts, the sciences and athletics, while also celebrating the greater La Mirada community that surrounds us and having pride in the general community outside of Biola,” Woods said.



Junior sociology major Becca Harlow is the only female candidate running for a presidential seat in this year’s elections. She wants to build long-lasting relationships between SMU and missions organizations.

“I want to encourage humble encounters with the world around us. I want Biola to be a place where they feel equipped and called, for every person to go to the nations, whether or not they leave the country, because the nations are here,” Harlow said.

She also wants to impress upon students that their everyday choices have great impact.

“I want to teach Biola how to live justly,” she said. “I want to teach Biola that the products that we buy and the way that we live here and now affects people around the world. I think that’s something we have neglected as Christians.”



Sophomore international business major Cody Storm is campaigning for SMU president with the goal of improving upon the foundation already laid by his forerunners.

“I’m not going to try to come in and radically change it. I want to work with where SMU has been shifting over the last couple of years. They’ve been shifting a lot toward including all of the majors in the Great Commission,” he said.

Storm recently changed his major from biblical studies because he thought international business catered more to delegating responsibilities and being a leader.

“A big part of being president is not necessarily that you’re the most qualified at everything in the office, but you know … how to bring people together and have them work effectively toward one goal,” he said.

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