By Kathryn Moore, Staff Writer
Kylie McDonald, junior political science major, officially began her term as Student Government Association executive president on Feb. 8.
McDonald, a native of Fort Mill, S.C., attributes her desire to lead from her Christian background and her love for the university. She says she is driven to serve the Lord by her passions for discipleship and Third World cultures. McDonald’s vision includes empowering campus leaders to foster initiative in their organizations.
She said she enjoys goofing off with friends, public speaking and playing sports. McDonald is a member of Union’s award-winning debate team, its Tennessee State Intercollegiate Legislature delegation and the Focus Leadership Team.
McDonald embodies the characteristics of a true Unionite by exemplifying the university’s values in her daily life.
Question: What impact has your upbringing had on your life?
Answer: I grew up in a Christian home, so being in church all the time influenced me a lot. The culture in South Carolina is a lot like Tennessee, very Southern Baptist and Republican-driven.
Q: What made you choose Union over other colleges or universities?
A: I wanted an academically rigorous school. I loved the professors and students I met. The family-like community appealed to me. I was choosing to come nine hours from home, so Union’s community helped.
Q: Why did you choose political science as your major?
A: My emphasis is in international relations. I’ve had the opportunity to take classes like Politics of Asia and Politics of Developing States and learned how people’s history and culture affect their views. It has given me a better understanding of how other countries see the world … which would be helpful if I ever went overseas.
Q: What life experiences have impacted you most?
A: I’ve been to India three times. I lived in Chandigarh, a city of a million people, and my heart broke for people chained in darkness with no opportunity to find light. In India, they are so earnestly seeking God. They know he’s there, and they are trying every religion they know to find him, but can’t. I also worked with a youth group over the summer, and I fell in love with discipleship and sharing with others.
Q: What is your vision for Union’s student body during your presidency?
A: My vision for Union’s community is explained through my vision for SGA. My vision for SGA is that the executive council would facilitate class officers’ leadership and to encourage their role in the school, because those officers build community within the classes. I would also like to see better communication with the student body and SGA.
Q: What is your favorite presidential duty?
A: I love leading SGA all-staff meetings. We laugh, have fun and even eat cake. I haven’t performed many presidential duties yet, but I am looking forward to public speaking since I am on the debate team.
Q: What is something you foresee as a challenge you might have to overcome this year?
A: I have to tailor my expectations to reality and not try to do everything. The things I want to see changed can only occur on a small scale.
Q: How do you incorporate your faith into your leadership roles?
A: I recognize that the goal is not a class event or a community service project, but for me to invest in the people around me and encourage them in their walk with Christ.