Full-time students, those who pay an activity fee, are defined as the Associated Student Body (ASB); they elect a governing body as their representatives, creating a group of seven members who work to shape campus life. According to their mission statement, the cabinet exists to “foster a community that encourages student involvement, validates individual voices, and promotes servanthood.”
This year, for possibly the first time in the school’s history, two representatives stepped down from their roles on the cabinet: Mattias LaVoie, former ASB executive vice president, and Hugh Lumb, former vice president (VP) of Student Ministries. LaVoie resigned the first month of the school year, while Lumb resigned with three weeks left remaining in the school year.
When LaVoie stepped down, protocol was followed as outlined in the ASB constitution: a nominee was chosen, the cabinet voted unanimously, and Micah Leutwyler was brought in as the replacement Executive Vice President.
At the root of both LaVoie and Lumb’s cases was a conviction of core beliefs and drives, so strong that they removed themselves from their elected roles.
“My story will reﬂect parts of Hugh’s, yet it is unique and different,” LaVoie said. “I did not leave ASB because I did not have a vision. I did not leave ASB because I was stressed. I did not leave ASB because of my own depression. I did not leave the team because of my place in life.”
Lumb and LaVoie were not alone in their struggles of trying to feel they were heard on a team elected by students for their unique backgrounds, beliefs and passions.
“We had a lot of theological disagreements, which showed up in more than we thought,” said Lauren Richter, ASB VP of Finance and Administration.
Along with the differences in theology, the team also had disagreements in the interpretation of the constitution.
“There was difference of opinion, but no breaking of policy,” Micah Ropp, ASB President, said. “Difference of opinion has always been a part of ASB Leadership.”
In the beginning of the academic year, the cabinet discussed operating independently with daily tasks and activities, however, they decided they would come together on larger decisions, especially in regards to money. This allowed for freedom in the planning of events. Once a vote was officially passed, it was to be supported by all ASB Leadership. These rulings played out in various ways throughout the year. However, the most notable objection to this agreement was the Men of Honor event.
Men of Honor was proposed to the cabinet by Ropp as an event his friends and he had thought of. The event itself was presented to the cabinet already packaged: speaker chosen, invited and room reserved. The speaker was a close friend, mentor and spiritual father to Ropp and two other students on campus. After initial discussion, the team voted to support the event: one abstained, two voted against and four voted for it.
However, for Lumb, who voted against, the issue was not resolved. For him the question became what was ASB’s role in honoring Corban’s theological identity through the speakers who are brought onto campus.
“There is a certain degree of trust placed in Corban as an institution,” Lumb said. “Students are in an environment to learn; they are naturally going to believe and adopt what they have been told. What they are being told is true should be in line with what the University believes the Bible is saying to be true.”
Lumb sought counsel from professors in the ministry department, seeking to understand Corban’s theological stance and how the speaker’s ideologies could pose a danger to the University.
“There will always be differing views amongst believers, which includes both staff/faculty and students at Corban,” Lumb said. “That being said, the line needs to be drawn somewhere.”
After various conversations, and out of respect for Lumb’s concerns, Ropp stepped down from planning the event and withdrew all ASB funds previously voted to support Men of Honor. Emails were exchanged, voicing Lumb’s steadfast objection and concerns. Believing that he had done everything to be above reproach while trying to prevent the event from happening, Lumb announced his resignation to the cabinet on April 17.
“According to the constitution and the previous policy of autonomy, they both had freedom,” Tim Ethell, VP of Community Engagement, said. “But we are called to act within the spirit of the law and not just the letter … It was left up to interpretation, and the constitution needed to address that situation. It currently is undergoing a revision process.”
Despite resignations, unforeseen challenges and some misunderstandings, members of the ASB cabinet believe they have grown stronger and maintain great respect for all eight members.
“All eight of us have messed up; all eight have succeeded; all eight of us have grown,” Richter said. “To an extent, everyone was right, but we also all made mistakes.”