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The leaders of Bethel Student Government

Bethel University has abundant opportunities to get involved. These student leaders represent a handful of organizations on campus.

By Molly McFadden | News Reporter

Bethel Student Government is an umbrella student-led organization, spanning across seven different departments. BSG has over 100 students as members in various roles. With new students pouring into Bethel this fall, many departments are opening applications to new members and begin planning their year. Each of these departments has an executive director who oversees the group and has experiences to share.

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Tavniah Dyer | Executive Director of Student Activities

Senior Tavniah Dyer is a social work major and the executive director of Student Activities, more commonly referred to as SA. The department is known for the engaging and entertaining events they host throughout the year. SA’s mission is stated online saying that it is to “enhance the Bethel experience by providing fun and purposeful events through servant leadership.”

Question: Why do you enjoy being a part of Student Activities?

Answer: My favorite part of SA is the people I get to work with. SA members and directors are generous with their time, creative, supportive, fun and committed to serving Bethel. I consider myself lucky to get to build relationships with that team through the year.

Q: What can new members expect when they join your group?

A: New members can expect to be a part of a team, to participate and contribute ideas throughout the event planning process, to get to know new people and to help run events for Bethel students to attend. SA has five committees and everyone is assigned to one of them. So while we have the big SA team, we also have smaller teams in each committee. There’s no expectation that new members already have event planning experience or a leadership position before they apply. SA is a chance to gain those skills while joining a community!

Q: What is your favorite classic Vespers song?

A: I gotta go with “Highlands [Hillsong UNITED].” It gets me every time.

Q: What’s your favorite milk?

A: For drinking? Stenslend’s, a dairy farm near my hometown, has a Cotton Candy milk that’s very tasty. For cereal? Classic 2%.

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Anna Thielke | Executive Director of Communications and Marketing

Anna Thielke is a senior Relational Communication major. She is the executive director of the Communications and Marketing department of BSG, using her knowledge gathered from her communications-based major in her department.

Q: Why do you enjoy being a part of Communications and Marketing?

A: Communications and Marketing is special because we have the unique opportunity to work with and support all of the other branches of BSG. I love being able to connect with the student body through all of these different avenues to collectively foster a greater sense of community here at Bethel.

Q: What are you looking forward to this year for your group?

A: One of the things that makes Bethel, Bethel, is the community that exists among the students. This year, I want to use what BSG has done in past years as a launching board to do more. I want to go deeper and to try new things in an effort to bring more people together. We have a strong team of talented individuals that share the same passion for bringing people together and I’m confident that we will be able to do so together this year.

Q: What is your favorite place at Bethel?

A: I love going on walks on the path around campus. This is a super great opportunity for me to spend time unplugged and with the Lord, or to catch up with roommates and friends.

Q: What’s your favorite milk?

A: I’m a dairy free girly, so I’ve had my fair share of trying different non-dairy milks. Almond is definitely the best, but if you want to spice things up, do half almond and half oat milk in your coffee. There’s nothing better!

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Amy Ruiz Plaza | Executive Director of United Cultures of Bethel

Pre-med biology major, Amy Ruiz Plaza, is a senior and the executive director of United Cultures of Bethel. After joining the department in the spring of 2020, Ruiz Plaza has been an active member and leader of UCB, serving as the Voz Latinx director last year. The department’s mission statement is “ to provide an accessible community for students on campus to celebrate cultural, racial and ethnic differences.”

Q: Why do you enjoy being a part of United Cultures of Bethel?

A: UCB has always been a place where I can find community at a university where it’s not always easy to find. As a student of color at a predominantly white institution, it can be difficult to find people that I relate to or share similar life experiences with. I love the people that I have met through UCB because I feel a sense of connection and feel grounded. It is great to be able to find people I can relate with culturally and ethnically, and engage in conversation about current social justice issues in an open and welcoming manner.

Q: What are you looking forward to this year for UCB?

A: As the executive director this year, I’m looking forward to amplifying our voices, deepening our sense of belonging… to reflect the presence of a diverse student body. I look forward to being a relevant, impactful, central part of the lived experience of Bethel students. 

Q: What is your go-to RG order?

A: Iced chai latte with vanilla and on a stressful week, a dirty chai.

Q: What is your favorite place at Bethel?

A: BAC, third floor. The big table with the white board at sunset. I love doing my homework there, especially during a stressful week. The view of the lake is so beautiful and vibrant at sunset.

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Jammin Henry | Executive Director of Student Ministries

Jammin Henry is a junior biblical and theological studies and missional ministries double major. Henry joined Student Ministries his freshman year and has sinced served as a director and now the executive director. SM works with the Office of Christain Formation and Church Relations in order to provide Bethel with student-led ministry events.

Q: Why do you enjoy being a part of Student Ministries?

A: I love seeing how God works through the committee members and seeing the relationships that are born out of that, how each committee member interacts with the student body. I just love to see the way that God uses people. And all of these people, who have such a heart for ministry, that just go out and are the hands and feet of God.

Q: What is your favorite SM memory?

A: Our first meeting as a whole group this last year. Just sitting down and seeing everybody talking to each other and engaging with one another and laughing. It was just this really, really beautiful picture. 

Q: What is your favorite classic Vespers song?

A: “Simple Gospel [United Pursuit]”

Q: What is your go-to RG order?

A: A cold brew with caramel and a splash of cream and a cup of cookies…The cup of cookies is legit. 

[Editor’s note: Some answers have been edited for grammatical errors and clarity.]

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