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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Echo

Frances and Graham to lead campus in 'unity'

Students elected in student broad elections

Driven by their campaign, “Unity,” juniors Wade Frances and Briona Graham have been elected as Taylor’s 2024-25 student body president and student body vice president.

Frances and Graham’s win marks the third consecutive year that a student body president and vice president candidate duo has run unopposed. 

“I do think that it speaks very highly of Bri and Wade and how the student body already views them and respects them as leaders and trusts them to do a really good job,” Elisabeth Nieshalla, current student body president, said. 

Having run unopposed the previous year alongside Enoch Eicher, student body vice president, Nieshalla said that while there is value in having more than one candidate run, there can be benefits to not having an opponent. 

Unopposed candidates can focus on pouring into the student body, getting to know them and sharing their initiatives more effectively, Nieshalla said. 

Frances and Graham’s “Unity” campaign will concentrate on bringing the campus together by increasing spiritual mentorship both on and off campus and by increasing student workers, Frances and Graham explained.

“I think that's really important with election season coming up, and obviously, our campus is changing a ton with tons of new students and construction,” Frances said. “I think unity is going to be big in the next year.”

The duo intends to focus on unity through a biblical worldview. 

While most individuals might think of unity through the lens of racial divide, Graham said, Frances and Graham want to emphasize it through spiritual growth and connection.

“The only thing that separates us is sin,” Graham said. “With that being said it’s not your political standpoint, it's not what you like or what you don't like, the only thing that separates us as a campus, as individuals, is sin.”

Frances, a management and marketing major, and Graham, a communication major, have been involved in leadership roles together in IMPACT (a summer camp focusing on high school students with a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship) and in the Business, Entrepreneurship and Leadership Team (B.E.L. Team) where they both currently intern. 

When Frances asked her to run alongside him in the student body elections, Graham said she did not think twice about partnering with him. She is looking forward to seeing how God pushes the two of them to grow through their different personalities.

“I'm really most excited about Bri and I being able to bring our personality traits into the new position and see how we mesh and then see how we can impact other people through that,” Frances said.

As Frances and Graham begin to step into their roles for the next school year, Graham asks that the community pray for them to have wisdom, humility and submission before God.

“As far as the campus, I’m excited to be there; to be a witness — I am,” Graham said. “I love supporting people and just seeing people thrive in what they've been called to be — not do, but be. That makes me happy and it gives me a lot of joy.”

Taylor Student Organization (TSO) will be hiring cabinet presidents for next year. Frances and Graham are also seeking people who can work well in a team, communicate well and demonstrate authenticity. 

Those who are interested can see student announcements for more information. Applications for positions are due Monday, March 18.