BJU students elected the 2021-22 Student Leadership Council officers during elections April 12- 15, with winners being announced April 20.
Biblical counseling and kinesiology double major Daraven Perez and math ed major Ellie Weier will serve as men’s and women’s student body presidents. Junior ministry and leadership major Nicholas Gore and junior journalism and mass communication major Hannah Davis were elected as ISC directors, while junior marketing major Abigail Vork was elected event coordinator. Junior cello performance major Anne Smith was elected women’s senior class representative, and junior Biblical studies major Daniel Lehman was elected men’s senior class representative. Sophomore public health/global health major Karis Martin, senior middle school education major Anna Habegger, and sophomore premed/predent major Hart Zakaria will serve as CSC director, treasurer and associations liaison respectively.
The SLC members are chosen through a series of elections. The men’s and women’s student body presidents and event coordinators are elected by the entire student body.
Senior class representatives are chosen by the current junior class. The community service director is elected by the Community Service Council. The men’s and women’s ISC directors are elected by the ISC, while the student body presidents appoint the communications director and treasurer. Dr. Matthew Weathers, who directs the Center for Leadership Development, helps coordinate the elections.
“It’s helpful for [the presidents] to have some input on what their council shape looks like,” Weathers said. The associations liaison position has previously been an appointed position, but Weathers said he is considering making it an elected position.
Students were nominated for SLC positions through peer nominations emailed out on March 22. Nominees can decline to run.
Qualifications for SLC positions vary by position. All nominees need leadership experience, while student body presidential nominees require experience in society or campus organizations. The treasurer should have some experience in a treasurer position, such as for society. Candidates running for the SLC must also have an acceptable GPA. “If they have a 0.3 GPA, we love them, but we’re not going to approve them to run,” Weathers said.
Weathers encourages students to pursue leadership opportunities faithfully. “Students don’t come on as freshman and get on the SLC; it’s a process,” Weathers said. Students who start out with small leadership positions often learn soft leadership skills such as communication, time management, delegation and motivation. “Generally, those who excel in leadership roles in society and campus organizations are often the ones nominated by their peers for SLC positions,” Weathers said.
The former men’s ISC director Heath Parish has been very involved in his society, the Phi Beta Chi Bulldogs, since his freshman year. “Having the opportunity to be on the ISC just made sense,” Parish said. “I have been super involved in society pretty much since the day I joined.” Parish served as his society’s CSC representative one semester before serving as the Bulldogs’ chaplain for two semesters. “Having built those relationships with my society was definitely a big advantage and was definitely very helpful,” Parish said.
From his time as the ISC director, Parish learned problem-solving, time management, how to work with people with different personalities and a lot of hard work. “If you’re willing to put in hard work, [SLC] can be a really enjoyable thing,” Parish said. “I’ve loved every minute of it, but it has been a lot of work. But that’s not something to be afraid of because it’s a lot of fun and you have a lot of people supporting you,” Parish said.