Welcome to 2013 ASSP Elections. Here we have some information from the candidates themselves!
Why are you campaigning for this position?
God intended diversity to be a good thing. He created man and woman, different from one another, yet needing one another to coexist. I truly believe that the Vice President of Intercultural Affairs position at SPU is a great way to demonstrate and share God's diverse kingdom through the collaboration and engagement of the array of cultures and ethnicities represented on campus. I'm campaigning for this specific position because I feel that through this position one can work alongside, and collaborate with faculty, staff and student leaders to provide to the unique and diverse needs of this multifaceted student body.
I see a lot of room in this position to create opportunities for students from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds to come together and embrace one another with brotherly love, learning together as we are all imperfect yet desiring to be more familiar and closer to one another. Christian Reconciliation starts with Christ, He is the beginning of this process and the center of it, but we must act as the hands and feet of Christ, working on programs and activities that will make room for true reconciliation to be a reality on earth as it will be on Heaven, and I truly believe that the VPIA position is a perfect position for this task at SPU.
What unique skills and talents would you bring to this position?
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
None of us is perfect, nor should we strive to be. Humility on the other hand is something that I can pray for as part of my qualities as a son of our Heavenly Father. I like to see the positive and the hidden potential that rests in the heart of each person that I meet every day. I'm a really positive and enthusiastic person who relies in God as I move step by step in every single task. I'm good at listening to people's ideas and visions as well as struggles and grievances. I love to be a visionary and listen to the big picture that God is working on, but I also enjoy planning things patiently and fervently. I am really social and charismatic, yet I can easily adapt to the given challenge and situation ahead of me. I truly value trust, humility and discipline in any leadership position that I take on. I know that in any leadership position, there will be a lot of people who will trust their leaders in their actions, words and final decisions hence I strive to be a trustworthy person. Humility, trust and discipline are at the heart of the things that I strive to do, and good communication must bring the right words and the right understanding that will lead to a better and more unified community.
Describe three to four specific goals you would like to accomplish during your term.
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love give preference to one another in honor”-Romans 12:10
I would love to see this position being utilized to further the relationship between students from diverse ethnic backgrounds, but also most importantly see the possibility within this position to connect faculty who come from underrepresented backgrounds with current and incoming students next year. There is a door of possibilities for faculty to engage in conversations in small groups such as In-Context, at Multi-Cultural Night of Worship and even encourage them to attend the Intercultural Retreat at the beginning of the year. Hence a big part that I would love to see accomplished under the guidance of this position, is to highly involve current faculty from diverse backgrounds in many of the activities as a way for more students from similar origins to feel a little bit more comfortable asking “uncomfortable/hard” questions pertaining issues of race, diversity and assimilation/ engagement and unity in the midst of all this.
I also want to collaborate with presidents of current multi-ethnic clubs on campus so as to put up an event where their leaderships skills are being utilized to create an event together for the residence halls leaders, PA's and SMC's as a way to share the voice of students of color on campus and the reasons and purpose of having each specific club on campus. This event shall encourage more residence hall leaders to be more engaged in issues of diversity and racial reconciliation, as well as open up this conversation with their floor residents. It's a long a mighty journey, we know, but we must be glad we are on it.
The Reconciliation Summit that is taking place on campus for the first time (April-17th) is also something that must be continuously kept at SPU as an initial step to bring a bigger “Justice/ Reconciliation” conference such as “SCORR” back to SPU. We have enough talented and gifted faculty and staff here at SPU who can lead into great discussions at this conference if it were to happen. Of course, this is something that must be carefully planned and discussed with faculty as well as SPU administration starting up during summer
Also, I would like to see the Mentoring Program that was put into action this current year, to expand and encourage more students to be part of it as a way to build better and more solid relationships among older and younger students from diverse backgrounds on campus.
After coming back from SCORR (Student Congress on Racial Reconciliation) at Biola University this year, we all gained a better and deeper understanding of how it looks when Biblical scripture and authority is at the center of every conversation, activity and interaction that people have in a secular or Christian context. Hence I would love to place Biblical Scripture, partnering with the Vice President of Ministries, at the center of all activities lead by the VPIA position. In the work of Reconciliation is God who is at work, He is the agent and we are the tools being utilized in different ways, hence, I would love to bring Biblical Scripture and authority to discussions and activities such as In-Context, Intercultural Retreat, Mentoring Program, Intercultural Coordinators trainings and among all other activities initiated under this position. I see this position as a powerful tool to bring God's commandment of reconciliation among one another, but we must always remember that He is the one initiating the work and at the center of each step we take.