Following the results of the student body election held in the spring of 2021, seniors Sarah Mangan and Jorge Martinez de Santiago became the student body president and vice president.
Martinez de Santiago describes the experience of finding out he won from other people in his classes coming up to congratulate him.
“The amount of effort people put into supporting us, it was amazing,” Martinez de Santiago said.
This is not the first leadership role for either leader. Mangan formerly served as a Personnel Assistant (PA) on her floor and as a leader in the Office of Intercultural Programs (OIP).
Her personal philosophy of leadership still revolves around the servant leadership model represented in her past roles.
“In terms of my personal role, I want to provide leadership, vision and support to the executive cabinet while also reaching all corners of campus and representing the student body very well,” Mangan said.
Mangan believes that one of her strengths that will serve her well in this role is both listening to students and helping them realize their ideas for a better campus. She also emphasized how integral her entire executive cabinet was.
The first of this cabinet is Martinez de Santiago, who fills the vice president’s role. He is also no stranger to servant leadership. He has served as both PA and Discipleship Assistant (DA) on his wing, as well as the community through Basics Jr.
Though they have just started, Mangan said that they have already been blessed by the discussions and work that go into preparation before the year even begins.
Most of this work revolves around making the platform goals a reality. Their platform consisted of four parts, beginning with the idea of endurance in Romans 5:3-5.
“We believe the trials of this past year have produced endurance in the student body,” the campaign’s Instagram said. “This endurance has produced character. And this character gives us hope for next fall whether we’re 6ft apart or shoulder to shoulder.”
The platform also included the goals to practice proximity, embrace differences and leave a lasting legacy.
The pair is hoping to achieve this through several avenues. One of these is the creation of a communication channel with PAs and DAs in order to better convey the wants and wishes of the student body to the administration.
Another is the implementation of a universal calendar that is in itself a continuation of 25 Live. Mangan hopes this will not only increase communication about events being put on by academic, athletic and student organizations, but also aid in the goal of practicing proximity.
“Reaching corners of campus includes the PA/DA channel, it includes thoughtful collaboration with our neighboring sister offices, and then also being very present within the student body through the networks we have and then expanding those as well,” Mangan said.
Practically, this looks like bringing members of various student organizations into the executive cabinet meeting. These OIP representatives are referred to as connectors.
This is part of a larger goal of bringing students together and embracing differences.
“Working with OIP I feel like it would give us a better understanding of learning from each other, Martinez de Santiago said. “And as well as a way to make Taylor a home.”
The former student body president and vice president have been actively encouraging both of their successors. According to both of the incumbents, they have received messages from both Emmanuel Terrell (‘21) and Anna Craig (‘21).
Mangan and Martinez de Santiago plan on continuing the legacy of the leaders who came before them, especially in terms of communicating in the midst of uncertain times.
“We live in a very polarized society,” Mangan said. “I think conversation is often one-sided and I think approaching one another with conviction and compassion is a posture we all need to adopt.”
This conviction and compassion will hopefully be seen as the community grows under their new leadership, both student and administration.
Craig, an experienced leader at Taylor University offered some advice to the new leaders. She expressed that she hopes they both practice vulnerability.
“I also hope they are able to lead with lots of grace — both for themselves and those around them,” Craig said.