Student leaders reflect on a year of building a ‘Kingdom culture’ at ORU

Chris Costanza and Lynett Amaro will soon say goodbye to their roles as Student Association vice president and president and welcome two new leaders for the 2023-2024 school year.

Libbie McCullough, Staff Writer

Late March 2022, Lynett Amaro and Chris Costanza sat in the Christ Chapel audience next to their opponents in the Student Association election. The votes had been counted the previous day, and Amaro and Costanza waited with the rest of the Oral Roberts University student body to hear the results.

ORU President William Wilson took the stage and announced Amaro and Costanza as president and vice president of SA for the 2022-2023 school year. The pair took the stage and shook hands with Wilson and former SA President Atalie Winfred and Vice President Caleb Drummond.

“I just felt honored that people trusted us enough in that position,” said Costanza, now a public relations and advertising senior. “It was nerve-wracking. But we were just so excited.”

As they near the end of their time in office, Amaro and Costanza will return to the chapel stage this month with President Wilson to shake hands with the 2023-2024 SA president and vice president, to be elected April 11.

But the pair didn’t always envision leading Student Association during their college careers.

“If you would have told me my at the beginning of my junior year that I would be [SA president] I would say, ‘No, absolutely no way,’” said Amaro, a social work senior.

Costanza began working for SA as a freshman in the marketing department and continued his sophomore and junior years. Toward the end of his junior year, Costanza decided to run for office, but he did not have a running mate.

“I talked to a couple of people, but nothing seemed to be clicking,” Costanza said. “I didn’t know who else to ask. So I said, ‘God, if this is truly something you want me to do, send the running mate to me. And that’d be the confirmation that you want me to run.’”

A few days later, Lynett approached Chris to ask when the SA officer interest meeting was, knowing he was a member of SA. They spoke about their mutual interest in running for office and decided to be running mates.

“He had prayed and asked the Lord to bring someone to him who’s also going to run,” said Amaro. “He told me that, and we started meeting. We talked a little bit more about it, and we both felt peace about it. And so we just went for it.”

In March 2022, they announced their campaign “Kingdom Culture.” Their mission was to “create a culture that mends the gap between heaven and earth, striving to build a community of boldness, creativity and zeal for the Kingdom.”

The campaign had three core goals: to empower student creativity, welcome revival amongst the student body and to promote collaboration between Student Association and other ORU departments.

“We immediately were thrown into the mix” after the election, Costanza said. “We were already getting calls and meeting and collaborating on things. We jumped right into it.”

Throughout their term, Amaro and Costanza helped their team transition beneath new leadership and coordinated many events, including Royal, Skatie Hawkins, ORU’s Got Talent and Love Week. They promoted student creativity through pop-up shops at various events showcasing student’s creative works, including fashion design and novels.

“We believe that we all have different gifts,” Amaro said. “And we wanted to create spaces for people to be able to showcase that creativity and cultivate a community that really empowered that.”

SA President and Vice President 2023-2024 elections began April 3 with campaign announcements. Candidates will campaign around ORU’s campus and through social media April 3-7.

The Candidate Forum will be held on April 10. Presidential and vice-presidential candidates will take the stage in Zoppelt Auditorium and pitch themselves to the student body.

The general election is April 11. Students can vote via the ORU app or through The winners will be announced the following day in chapel.

Costanza and Amaro challenge students to get to know candidates personally before deciding their vote.

“If you just see them around, like, don’t be afraid to go up to them, have a conversation,” said Amaro. “Choose someone who you know, their purpose is to serve students and to serve administration in their offices. And to choose someone who reflects authenticity and who reflects the love of Jesus.”

Look for updates about the upcoming SA election on Instagram @oru.sam