Meet the SMU presidential nominees

The Student Missionary Union candidates share their platforms and vision for 2022-2023.


Kelsey Heng//THE CHIMES (file)

Biolans cast ballots for student representatives.

Hannah Larson, News Editor

Biolans will have the chance to vote for the next Student Missionary Union president at the Bell Tower starting Monday, Feb. 14 at 10:30 a.m. after a special elections chapel. Polls close on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 10:00 p.m. Two SMU presidential candidates shared the commitments and goals that make up their unique platforms. 


Junior education and philosophy double major Lauren Kennedy shared her desire for Biolans to enter into a new season of hope and experience the beauty present in missions. Kennedy wants to make SMU more accessible to students so that all Biolans can experience hope and life in a diverse space. She acknowledged that SMU needs to prioritize diversity and inclusion in the mission field and said that she wants to see SMU transform into a more welcoming place. 

Kennedy explained that one way to integrate SMU more fully into the Biola community is for SMU to become more involved with other on-campus groups, such as Salaam, Student Enrichment and Intercultural Development, FirstGen and Global Students Programs and Development. Kennedy said SMU is also seeking to be involved in a racial reconciliation conference at Biola. 

Another way Kennedy said she wants to make missions more accessible is by raising funds to give more students the chance to participate in local and global missions trips. 

“I want to both infuse hope back into missions and allow it to be a space of hope and life, but also for it to feel more accessible for people on campus,” Kennedy said. “I want it to feel like something that anybody and everybody can be involved in. I want to communicate hope, and life, and growth, and a celebration and expectancy of what God is going to do. Let’s be expectant of the Lord and let’s hope for big things, because God is faithful.” 


Sophomore intercultural studies major Matthew Christian wants SMU to be a space where students can live out the gifts and purpose God has for them. Christian said he wants all Biolans to consider how they can use their unique majors for God’s glory. He explained that rather than viewing missions as a calling given only to a few, Biolans should see their diverse careers as avenues to spread the gospel of Christ. 

Christian lived with a missionary family in Malawi, Africa for six weeks and saw missionaries serving Christ and the community in a variety of roles, including as teachers, nurses and engineers. Christian said he wants Biola’s student body to know that loving the people around them and pursuing their careers for God’s glory is a key part of living out the gospel in whatever field they enter. 

“How can you live for a story bigger than your own?” Christian said. “I would love to see the student body be able to live more fully in the story that God has created them to live in, using the different gifts he has equipped them with. I want to provide spaces and opportunities to talk about that, to discuss that together and provide opportunities for them to live that out.”


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