ASGCU president, VP eager to help whole campus
By Jeannette Cruz
GCU News Bureau
After he and his running mate were declared new president and vice president for the Associated Students of Grand Canyon University, Matthew Shinn celebrated their victory by keeping his word — he let another student paint his toenails.
The gesture was no surprise to Nate Carpenter, his best friend, running mate and new 2017-18 academic student body president. There is no doubt their bond and teamwork shine.
Take how they met, for instance.
“It was a simple conversation about music,” Shinn said.
They used their upbeat personalities and love for hip-hop to encourage one another beginning with the months spent campaigning, and they used music to calm their nerves when they faced their opponents at a debate Jan. 30.
“At one point we just stopped going over our platforms and (Matt) started speaking song lyrics to me and then I started doing it back,” Carpenter said.
“It’s who we are,” he added. “We can work together and we can enjoy life together — that’s refreshing, especially during those weeks when you’re putting in at least 70 hours. And I can tell you that that student who painted (Matt’s) toenails was so happy — that’s something that’s really special to us.”
It’s all about building community through genuine love that comes from Christ, Carpenter said.
“If you are emotionally connected to someone and you are listening to their day-to-day struggles and needs, then they are more likely to trust you and come to you again.”
That is a perspective the duo draws from their leadership backgrounds, having been resident assistants for three years — a role that requires creating a healthy, safe and thriving environment where students can gain experience, be involved and develop their interpersonal, academic and leadership potential. This year, they are RAs in Juniper Hall, where each oversees 72 students.
“We’ve been able to support students on a microlevel, but we are ready for something much bigger in which we can bring in our experiences,” Shinn said. “College is so much more than just about the education. We want students to be involved.”
As far as how the student senate can improve, the duo has their own ideas they are bringing to the table.
A Golden Initiative would integrate students with nonprofit organizations such as The A21 Campaign, which works to end human trafficking and create awareness.
Carpenter expressed a desire to drive the Christ-like community culture of GCU beyond the campus, and he believes building safety awareness is an integral component.
Carpenter, a small-town boy from Bend, Ore., and president of his high school graduating class (which had a total of seven), said he came to GCU hoping to use his leadership skills on campus. Shinn arrived from Denver and will be the first in his family to graduate from college next year.
Carpenter, a Business Management major, plans to go to law school. Shinn, a Christian Studies major, plans on going to Denver Seminary to attain his master’s in Theology.
“I’ve loved every single minute on this campus,” Shinn said. “The amount of love I have experienced over these three years has been incredible, and I am excited to see how God is molding Nate and me for the next year.”
Contact Jeannette Cruz at (602) 639-6631 or firstname.lastname@example.org.