By Erika Norton
After a storm of fliers, campaigning, and commercials aired at Nostalgia Night, Taylor's four student body president tickets are down to two.
The running pair of Brianna Leever and Jake Owens moved on to the general election for student body president (SBP) with 379 votes in Wednesday's primary, as did Melvin Susanto and Lauren Harvey, with 316 votes.
"It feels great. I'm very relieved to have this mile marker behind us," said SBP candidate Brianna Leever. "It's nice having an accurate perception of what people are thinking and how we're doing."
The primary eliminated SBP hopefuls Rachel Kulaga and Gordon Helmke along with their prospective vice presidents, Chandler Birch and Noelle Smith.
Helmke and Smith garnered 153. Kulaga and Birch received 61 votes.
Students packed into the Student Union Tuesday night to hear the primary debate. Both tickets left in the race have specific visions for Taylor next year.
"LINK" is the campaign slogan of Susanto and Harvey. At the debate, the ticket talked about how they want to make Taylor a true community.
"Taylor is really made up of small pockets of community. We're passionate about building bridges across all those communities," Susanto said. "At the end of the day, if as a community we don't support one another, I don't think that's a community ... LINK is about connecting the different organizations together and letting them collaborate."
Leever and Owens talked about their slogan, "in, out, and up."
"The 'in' is what we want to do within TSO (Taylor Student Organization)," Leever said.
The pair wants to reform the intramural system by bringing it under TSO. "This would make it more affordable for small wings to play," Leever said.
Another idea they mentioned was to start a "ride-finder" to help students find rides to church.
When the new student union is built, they would like to include a third-party food option in the new structure, "aka Chick-fil-A," Leever joked.
Susanto and Harvey also mentioned a new food option idea.
"We talked to the owner of the Jumping Bean about using the meal swipes we don't use for breakfast at the Jumping Bean, and possibly selling donuts and different types of granola bars that we can have over there," Susanto said.
"As part of the 'out,' we want TSO reaching out to all of the different organizations," said SBVP candidate Owens.
He and Leever want to get a Financial Seminar started next year, where seniors learn how to manage money and other practical skills to know as they leave the "Taylor bubble" and enter the workforce.
According to Leever, the 'up' part of their slogan is their philosophy on leadership.
"We want that to look like discipleship. We want to go a step beyond delegation and know how to trust our cabinet. We think being a reflection of our relationship with God is really key," Leever said.
SBVP candidate Harvey talked about how she and Susanto want to give the student body more of a voice. "We know there's a lot of really great people on TSO who have great ideas, but there are a lot of people who aren't on TSO who have great ideas as well," she said.
"Our main focus is to spread our platform around campus. We want voters to know what LINK is and what LINK stands for. Only 909 students voted, which is about half of campus, so we want to spread the word to go and vote," Susanto said of the general student response.