Yesterday the Jerry and Susie Wilson Chair in Religious Freedom, former U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, joined the esteemed list of On Topic series participants. Notably referred to as the “conscience of Congress,” Wolf and President and Chancellor Ken Starr undoubtedly planted a seed of reflection in all those in attendance, including me.
Freedom of expression and liberty of thought are essential rights that should be given to every citizen of the world. However, in a society where tolerance is either utterly unacceptable or stiflingly prevalent, I have found myself pondering how Baylor Bears might be the “salt and light” to the world that we are called to be.
At the conclusion of the event, Wolf asked me if I was interested in running for public office one day. Though future public service is something I have always dreamed about, during our conversation, I could not shake my thoughts surrounding the Student Court’s decision in McCahill, Hardy v. Kinghorn, which was handed down just three hours before our discussion.
Over the course of the past month, the Student Court obtained evidence in the publicly held hearings of the case. Throughout this time, I have remained silent, excluding my time as a witness on Feb. 25. Both friends and those I have never met seemed puzzled by my quietness. My silence was rooted in Psalm 46:10. The Scripture reads “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Now that the verdict has been handed down and the media frenzy has abated, I feel ready to answer the question that I have been asked time and time again. Has student government abandoned its principles in favor of self-interest this year?
Though certain perceptions of student government recognize the body as stagnant, the organization has not lost its action-oriented nature. Though certain deeds of student government have admittedly flirted with deceit, the organization has not lost its integrity. Though certain members of student government have arguably tiptoed on the fine line of collusion, the organization has not lost its magnanimity. Though certain branches of student government have nearly fallen into a pattern of unprofessionalism, the organization has not lost its servant-heartedness.
As I swore last April, I will continue to faithfully execute the office of student body president and will continue, to the best of my ability, to uphold the Constitution of the Baylor University student body, with the unfailing help of God.
My next steps, in order to bring the organization closer to its expressed purpose, will be bold. But do know that the Baylor University student government, while representing the student body to multiple constituencies, is a place of learning in which Baylor Bears are preparing to be the change agents that the world so desperately needs. We will never, with the student body’s support and God’s faithfulness, lose our influence or effectiveness on this campus.
Dominic Edwards is a senior marketing major from Arlington. He is the student body president for the 2014-2015 academic year.