You may have already seen Joey Dearduff (JD) and Alessandra Varelis’s (AV) interview in the current issue of “The Pulse” (go and pick up a copy if you haven’t yet!). Here a couple of extra questions that didn’t make it past the editing and cutting down process.
The Pulse (TP): What are some of the main goals you want to accomplish as president and vice president?
JD: Our slogan for the campaign and what it will be for SGA as a whole next year, is “Believe, belong, beyond.” Those three words encapsulate what we want to continue on campus and what we want to push for even more next year. Believe is Alessandra’s and my rootedness in Christ’s transformative power and the university’s desire to pursue Him, love Him and serve Him. Our belief in that empowers us to belong and to go beyond. What we desire for this campus next year is to belong, to build support among and between communities. Like Alessandra mentioned, empowering the people who feel as though their voice isn’t heard. To let them know that it is heard. So, belonging. Having people on campus know that they’re loved and taking that fellowship and that love we have for each other and having it transcend outside of these boundaries, outside of the Spring Arbor bubble into the world around us. That looks like service and worshipping not just in Chapel, and inviting the community here and going out and loving the community.
TP: Have Ty and Holly given you guys any advice on what to expect?
AV: We’ve talked a lot with them. They’re great and very encouraging. They’ve said if we have any questions we can call, email or text them; even next year, when they’re gone, if we need any help or advice. I’ve met with Holly and she told me the beginning of the year is super busy so make sure we take the summer and plan and think through things, which is helpful because a lot goes on in the beginning of the year.
JD: Ty has been very encouraging but also very real. He mentioned the campaign and how exhausting it would be and how taxing. When I was elected, he pulled me aside and congratulated me and said, “Hey man, just know that when times get rough, and they will get rough, I’ll be here for you.” I’ve been communicating with Steven Hlatky, who was the student body president my freshman year, and we built a relationship my freshman year. Even Ben Frederick here and there a little bit. It’s been really cool how encouraging, how supportive, and how real current and past presidents and vice presidents have been for us.
By Amber Cekander