Here are the questions and answers from the SGA Election Forum held on February 21. Audience questions are not included. Questions were prepared by Darvence Chery.
Paul Chong, Director of Finance/Vice Presidential candidate
Question 1: Among student events, rec. life, spiritual life, and publicity, where do you think there should be more spending, and on what resources could this additional spending be used for?
So I looked at the transparency reports from this past semester, and it was really clear that students events was where we put significantly and consistently most of our money in, and so I thought why? Why is this, and should we change it? And really thinking about that, I was thinking what’s the point of funding anything? Not in a bad way, but what is our purpose and objective in doing that? So I was looking at the objective of our school in general and our mission statement for ENC; it says that the school, “seeks to create and maintain an environment which awakens and fosters truth, righteousness, justice, and holiness as made possible by God’s transforming grace through Jesus Christ.”
So I think where we put our money as SGA should reflect this as well this should be our objective; this should be our purpose. I’m not saying that what we should do is, “alright we are just going to fund Bible studies, praise nights and prayer marathons.” I don’t think that’s the best way to go about it. I think we have to be conscious of the demographics of our student body, not just cultural and stuff but just knowing that not everyone is a strong Christian in that way and not everyone is Christian at all. So knowing that, where we should put our money, how do we create and maintain that sort of environment? I believe that a lot of it first comes through fellowship; through community.
So I can see why we put so much money into student events, but I really think that we are going to have to be in contact all together, not just as SGA but with everyone in the student body. We need to be aware of what people want, where people are going and what they are looking for, and how can we step in and grow together as brother and sisters and create and foster an environment that ENC and SGA are looking to create. So, in short, I guess where we can spend more money is wherever we are going to need to. I was thinking it would be great to fund these community groups where we can fund meals; everyone is going to come for food, free food, and through that can just build fellowship and community. That was just an idea I had, but I honestly just think we are just going to have to go with the flow, see what the student body is looking for and where we can step in and create that sort of environment and look to fulfill that purpose, that object that we are going after as a school and as SGA.
Question 2: How important do you think your position is to SGA? What skills do you offer towards the qualifications of this position?
I think money is obviously an integral part of anything you do; any activity that you do. If there is no money, you can’t do it. So given that, I would say that the director of finance is very important. I’m not trying to be fresh or anything, I think that it’s important. I think having someone exclusively overseeing the finances of things is important, not only because it takes away the burdens of everyone else to just fill their roles the best that they can, but also eliminates things such as conflicting interests. And I don’t think corruption is going to be an issue, but among those things, I think having a director of finance is important. In terms of my qualifications, in all honesty, I have no experience in student government. I have never done these things. I was vice president of my high school chapter of the NHS (National Honor Society), but I sat at a table and collected canned foods and read off the names of the new inductees at a ceremony; that’s about it. So I don’t have experience, but I would say that I am self-motivated, responsible, detail oriented and I am confident that I can fulfill the roles and serve in this position sufficiently.