Now living what they thought was just a freshman dream, seniors Anders Soderquist and Tali Valentine are in their third week serving as student body president and vice president.
While not born Hoosiers, Soderquist and Valentine knew that Taylor was a special place. Soderquist originally lived in Samuel Morris Hall, which quickly became his home. During her freshman year, Valentine resided in English Hall.
“You can come from any place and call (Taylor) home,” Valentine said.
Little did Soderquist and Valentine know that being strangers-turned-classmates would result in the blossoming of this duo. After several conversations, they knew that it was time to pursue this shared desire of service. Then, just before summer, Soderquist and Valentine were elected as Taylor University’s student body president and vice president for the 2019-2020 school year.
As student body president and vice president, the two seniors are committed to listening, engaging and representing the university body. They want to ensure open communication between themselves and the students.
“(Our service) is a lot less about the paperwork and a lot more about the people,” Valentine said.
The pair did not fail to understate the value they held in the support of their incredible team — from the PA office to support found all throughout campus and friends who wanted to see the effort succeed.
Soderquist and Valentine said they will continue to stay true to their campaign slogan based on Micah 6:8, “Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly.” Both have a passion for defining how the student body should approach one another, and they use this verse to lay down a foundational expectation for Christian living here on campus and beyond. On a mission to promote hope and culture, the student body has an opportunity to support Soderquist and Valentine by encouraging Micah 8:6 among one another.
Soderquist said their current positions attest to the fact that dreams paired with hard work pay off. During Valentine’s freshman year, she wrote on her door “Bloom where you’re planted.” Adopting this mindset encouraged Soderquist and Valentine to get involved from the beginning of their time at Taylor, which led to the opening of opportunities through connections and resources.
Soderquist and Valentine have a variety of hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. Soderquist spoke back to Interim President Paige Cunningham’s vision of creating a program for healing and moving forward. They hope to cultivate a better approach to difficult situations and maximize programming with efficiency and effectiveness.
The team is also making further efforts to increase engagement with Taylor’s Office of Intercultural Programs. In the spirit of reconciliation, Soderquist and Valentine are both passionate about their efforts to move toward improved collaboration between the two offices.
Ultimately, Valentine and Soderquist expressed excitement for each individual of the Taylor community and how the campus will continue to grow this school year.