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Student Legislature helps students get involved in politics

The 2014-15 student legislature won “Best Mid-Sized Delegation” at the South Carolina Student Legislature. Photo: Submitted

Have you ever wondered if you could write your own law and get it passed? Do you have an interest in politics, but are not sure how to get involved? Stop searching and look into student legislature here at Bob Jones University.

BJU instituted the student legislature 23 years ago with Mrs. Linda Abrams of the history faculty as the adviser. She helped the students choose officers, improve their strategies and work on bills, thus allowing them to win “Best Mid-Sized Delegation” at the South Carolina Student Legislature for 16 of her 23 years. This fall Abrams stepped down and was succeeded by Mr. Randy Page, director of public relations at BJU.

A student-run organization, student legislature is a great opportunity for students to get involved with politics. Students are able to get together with students from colleges across South Carolina to connect, talk about issues and build relationships. According to Page, the advisers for student legislature don’t tell the students what to do, but simply give direction as the team members think of bill ideas and what positions they desire.

The 2014-15 BJU student legislature recently won “Best Mid-Sized Delegation” at the South Carolina Student Legislature in Columbia, South Carolina, Oct. 22-24. Members of the BJU delegation include: Ashley Archibald, Ben Nicholas, Briley Hughes, William Peek, Margaret Stegall, Billy Kauffman, Kristen Ince, Matt Ledbetter, Elliott Kelley, Matt Thomas and Nikki Arnold.

Ashley Archibald, a senior business administration major, chairs the Bob Jones University delegation. She has been a part of student legislature since the second semester of her freshman year.

Archibald’s brother, who used to serve on student legislature, first sparked her interest in politics and encouraged her to explore this interest at BJU.

“Student legislature has been the most life-changing experience of college for me,” Archibald said. “It’s grown me so much as a person by learning how to work with people with completely different worldviews.”

Archibald emphasized that you don’t need to be a certain major to be part of student legislature; you just need to have an interest in politics and people. “I know a girl from College of Charleston,” Archibald said. “She’s an art major, and she’s in student legislature. You get to meet all types of different people.”

Ben Nicholas, a senior communication major, has been on student legislature for three years. Even though Nicholas has done public performances, he wanted to expand his comfort zone by branching out into a more businesslike form of communication.

“I’m a pretty vocal, open person, but it’s different once you get in a room with 120 other people who are the exact same way, and who have different opinions than you,” Nicholas said. “[You’re] learning to work together with people that you may not necessarily get along with, but putting your ego aside and learning to work with them to get stuff done.”

Nikki Arnold, a sophomore accounting major, has been on student legislature for two semesters now. She’s always been interested in politics and competitions so student legislature was a natural fit. Just like Nicholas, Arnold said student legislature has expanded her comfort zone. She loves being able to meet students from other universities because she can tell them more about the Gospel.

“Students should care about the BJU delegation because we do have a lot of impact,” Arnold said, noting the opportunities the group has had to be a witness for Christ through their excellence in competition.

Any student is eligible to interview for available positions. Interviews will be held in February. For more information contact Mr. Randy Page at [email protected].

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Student Legislature helps students get involved in politics