Meet your 2020-2021 senatorial candidates

The Student Government Association elections are open Feb. 10 and 11.

Meet+your+2020-2021+senatorial+candidates

Photo by Amber Chen/ THE CHIMES

Micah Kim, News Editor

Editor’s note: The candidates’ responses to the following Q&A were received by email and have been edited slightly for style.

Houston Reese | Hope Hall

Year: Freshman 

Major: Political Science

Why do you want to represent your community / dorm in SGA?

“From the moment I stepped foot inside the building when my brother was touring Biola, I could tell that Hope was noticeably different. As a student-athlete, I’ve been able to relate to so many people on my floor and throughout the building. I’ve had the privilege to call Hope my home since [the] fall semester and really want to continue to foster and develop the deep community between floors and sides of the building as a whole.” 

Why do you think you’re qualified for the role?

“As someone who has been actively involved in SGA since September, I have had an inside look into the lives of senators and the meetings that they help lead. I have attended every senate meeting since the start of October, and have been proud to work as a presidential intern within SGA, which not only increases my passions for student leadership but informs me on the duties and responsibilities that someone in a senatorial seat holds.” 

Nevin Slaughter | Sigma Hall

Year: Freshman

Major: Applied Mathematics 

Why do you want to represent your community / dorm in SGA?

Sigma has been a good dorm to me and I love the people here. I wanted to give back to Sigma and Biola, and being a public servant is a great opportunity to serve others. I’m in a season and mood to serve others, and being a senator was just the opportunity I was looking for.” 

Why do you think you’re qualified for the role?

“I know that being a senator is an important responsibility to have. I know that I am a strong speaker and not afraid to speak in a crowd or to others. I’m dedicated to acting with integrity and seeking the good for the community. I believe that good character is what allows good policies to be made, [passed] and [enacted]. I believe my character is strong and is constantly improving to become stronger.”

Schylar Turpel | Bluff

Year: Sophomore 

Major: Accounting

Why do you want to represent your community / dorm in SGA?

I want to represent the Bluff in SGA because I believe there are a lot of amazing ideas that have not been heard by the Biola community. God made each of us with unique talents, passions and concerns. I believe that students often do not know where to go with their ideas about the changes they wish to see on campus. I want to make sure that students have a voice at Biola and a seat at the table in SGA. I hope to be that representative for those living in the Bluff community.” 

Why do you think you’re qualified for the role?

“I believe I am qualified for the position because of my past and current experiences in leadership roles. I have been part of student councils before, led multiple teams for church-affiliated events, led a group of freshmen at Torrientation this past semester and I am currently on the board of the Biola Pre-Law Society! I love helping people, taking initiative and getting things done!”

David Doll | Horton Hall

Year: Junior 

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies 

Why do you want to represent your community / dorm in SGA?

“I am applying for this position because of my passion for government and more importantly our great republican system of government. I believe in our American system of government through a republic that has served as an example to the world on the basic principles of rule by the people and individual rights. 

“The individual equal rights of man are upheld throughout, a principle which I believe is firmly found within the Word. It is in this light that I understand SGA to be operated. I see SGA as a great example of government by and for the people of Biola. SGA serves as a voice for the students, to help them achieve their goals and dreams for a better campus and educational experience. The students put their full faith in representatives who they trust to fight for what they need and believe in, and make it happen. Student government is necessary at any properly-functioning university in order to allow the average student to have a say in what happens on his or her campus.

“My interest in the position of Horton senator started long ago when I toured [Biola]. Gregory Ambrose was president of student government at that time and was also a personal friend. He attended the same high school that I graduated from in Henderson, Nevada. He gave me a personal tour of the campus and the student government office, and convinced me then and there that I wanted to get involved in SGA in my time at Biola. 

“That position came in some capacity my first year on campus, as I served as an intern for SGA president Sierra McCoy. However, my real dream was to serve as Horton senator, as that is my home, and the place on campus that I will undoubtedly be living at for the rest of my time here at Biola. 

“So, this campaign of mine this year has brought together over a year’s worth of planning and desire on my party to be able to serve the residents of Horton―my dorm and my home. My goal is to be able to represent and advocate for the people of Horton so that their unique traditions and ways of living can stay exactly as the people of Horton wish them to!”

Why do you think you’re qualified for the role?

“I would humbly suggest that my aforementioned passion for our great, uniquely American system of republican government uniquely qualifies me for this position. I am passionate about government by the people and have a deep interest in our political system. I am quite pleased that Biola has implemented a similar system that allows the voices of the people to be heard. We have allowed the saving grace of our Christian faith to be intertwined with the idea that all men are created equal in God’s eyes, a very Biblical principle, if you ask me. 

“Given the opportunity to serve through this position, I would hope to represent the people of Biola to the best of my ability and serve a community that I believe holds the morals and beliefs that will guide one on paths of righteousness for his or her entire life. My experience [as a] SGA intern is also relevant to this position, as I know how the system works. Should I be elected, I can jump into the position ready and able to lead, and understanding of that process! I am ready to be an advocate for the residents of Horton Hall and work for them!”

Laurel Wagner | Horton Hall

Year: Sophomore 

Major: Political Science 

Why do you want to represent your community / dorm in SGA?

“This year I had the privilege of being the senate intern in SGA. This has been such an impactful internship for me, and really has sparked my passion in leadership. It’s also what inspired me to run for a senator position. After watching our administration this year, I got to witness how deeply the current senators care about the opinions of their constituents, and how that is always their main focus during our senate meetings. I’ve been so inspired this year, after so many meetings watching the senators deliberate, I felt called to run. 

“It would be a privilege to work with the constituents of Horton and to hear their thoughts on everything. After all, the voices of constituents are what matter the most. My goal, if elected, is to purely make sure Horton residents are heard, because everyone’s voice matters. This is a passion of mine, I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come, and I would love to serve as the Horton senator.” 

Why do you think you’re qualified for the role?

“I believe I am qualified for this position because I’ve held quite a few leadership positions in my life, giving me years of experience representing my peers. In high school, I was involved with Associated Student Body and 4H, holding all kinds of positions from club secretary, to vice president, to president for two terms. During my senior year, I was also the Mariposa County 4H Ambassador, representing our county in statewide events. After I transferred to Biola last fall, I got involved with SGA, and I currently hold the senate intern position. I love SGA and all it stands for, and I have already learned so much from this internship. It would be my pleasure to continue being involved with SGA by being elected the Horton senator.”

Chanan Van De Brake | Off-Campus Community 

Year: Freshman 

Major: Business Administration 

Why do you want to represent your community / dorm in SGA?

“My main goal in life is to bless people. I feel like taking on the role of commuter senator would give me an amazing platform to bless others by reaching out to commuters and welcoming them into a community. I want to represent commuters because I would like to be represented by someone who wants to get to know me―like Jonan[-Rohi Plueger] and Toni [Rosales], the current OCC senators―and isn’t only concerned with having a high position. I want to get to know people and let them know their senator cares about them.”

Why do you think you’re qualified for the role?

“I don’t have an extensive amount of experience, but I have helped run SGA hour and I also have experience in volunteering for multiple outreaches. The main reason I believe I could take on this position is the fact that I already do my best to meet new people and include them―and I’m not even in a role that forces me to talk to people. Also, because God is important to me and so are other people.”

Rudy Torres | Off Campus Community

Year: Freshman 

Major: Political Science

Why do you want to represent your community / dorm in SGA?

I want to run for the Off-Campus Community senator because I want to be able to bridge the gap between commuters and dormers. Because I know a common struggle for commuters is the feeling of being an outcast because of being unable to stay on campus.”

Why do you think you’re qualified for the role?

I feel like I am qualified for this role because I am currently the first-year presidential intern for SGA. And I have been given the opportunity to sit in and listen in senate. And I am also a political science major, so it is something that aligns with my major and interests. Because later on in my career I want to run for an elected official position.” 

Brandon de Poix | Off Campus Community

Year: Senior

Major: Computer Science

Why do you want to represent your community / dorm in SGA?

“I see people on campus every day that are struggling with and enduring great burdens. It could be financial troubles, trying to balance work and school, family obligations, relationships, spiritual troubles or all of the above and then some. A lot of these people are doing the best they can, but it just doesn’t seem like enough. When I notice this, it causes me sadness because I want to help, but I am not in a position to do so, not having the means in many cases to be able to help. Being a senator, however, I will be in a position to make changes and decisions that influence students on a large scale, and, Lord willing, make their lives at least a little bit easier.”

Why do you think you’re qualified for the role?

“I have had a lot of experience in college and working with other students. I have a diverse background in my position as a student, being a senior, an older student at the age of 25, transfer student, son of a disabled veteran and commuter. Over my years, I have spent a lot of time getting to know students with many different backgrounds and learn about the difficulties they deal with. 

“I have been able to understand and empathize with them due to dealing with many of the same problems myself, and then I’ve [offered] advice and help because of my greater experience with school and life, being older than most of my peers. My greatest qualification, however, is that I seek the Lord in my work, and know he can give me the guidance and wisdom I need to excel at this job, and do what I need to.”

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