by Isaac Johnson

With the votes counted and the polls closed, Benjamin Taylor, a second-year pastoral ministry major, celebrates starting his second year in office in Student Government at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul.  Before joining Student Government, Taylor was quite involved on campus. He said, “I did Men’s Chorus, and I was a part of the men’s lacrosse team before I got kicked off for not being athletic enough. I didn’t have any expressed leadership positions in freshman year; I was just involved and around a lot.”  As time went on, Taylor did acquire a few leadership roles. He said, “I was an MP in Unity Hall, in Knutson. I also worked with the PSEO program as a PSEO Student Coordinator. I still hold these positions in addition to Student Government.”  When the time for electing new student senators came up at the end of his first year, Taylor applied for a position. “I decided to run partly because I was discontent, but I wasn’t content with being discontent.  I wanted to work towards change. It’s one thing to recognize an issue, and it’s another thing to commit to work toward a solution. That’s what I do in Student Government.”  Taylor’s discontent was justified. He said, “I was discontented with the spiritual atmosphere on campus. The freshman year before I was in Student Government, I talked to them about it. Chapel itself was one issue, but the climate around campus—what it was like for students to interact with each other— was another. It felt disconnected and disjointed. One of the buzzwords around Northwestern is ‘community,’ but what does that look like in our day-to-day interactions? I wanted to be in a position that sort of brings together a lot of different areas, that facilitates communication and growth, and creates community.”

 

April 28 Examiner Article Image

Ben Taylor is a second-year pastoral ministry major currently
serving on the student government (photo courtesy of
Benjamin Taylor).

 

Taylor was elected in 2016, and he was re-elected in 2017. He said, “There’s still things to be done. I realized that Student Government is a path to getting things done.”  As for what he does within Student Government, Taylor had much to say. He said, “I work with Public Safety regularly, addressing a lot of different issues that students have. Parking is a big one. We can’t solve everything, but helping to communicate different policies and the reasons behind it eases discontent.  Sort of easing communications there and working towards long-term solutions.”  Taylor continued, “I work on one of the Student Government Task Forces; I’m on the Governing Documents Review Task Force. We format Student Government to be more efficient, streamlined, and productive.  I also serve on the Chapel Task Force, which came from the petition.” Taylor was referring to the campus-wide petition regarding the changes in chapel policies in the Fall of 2016. He said, “We held a chapel forum and decided that we wanted a team to address this. Chapel brought me here in the first place, and it still has some issues that we are trying to correct.”

Not only is Taylor bolstering community between Northwestern students, he is also working towards relationships and community between other schools.  He said, “I’m on the Awake Team of Directors. This is actually a multi-campus event. I work with our Student Government and the student governments of Bethel, Northcentral, and Crown. Awake is a worship and prayer event. We’re bringing together musicians and pastors from other campuses. Our campuses are disconnected, but how can we have an influence on the Twin Cities?”  Outside of Student Government, Ben is still involved in other activities on campus. He said, “I’m still an MP in Unity Hall. I still work with the PSEO program.  I’m in the Northwestern Choir nowadays, as a bass.”  Taylor is also one of the co-leaders of Revive Prayer Ministries. He explained, “Revive is our prayer ministry here. We meet on Thursdays. We worship, bring in speakers, allow for prayer and reflection.  We average about 20 people a night. We meet in the prayer tower in the Billy.”

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