Brinkerhoff elected as new Student Senate President

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Kendall Hazel | Assistant News Co-Editor

Government, no matter what the level, is something met with intrigue. Changes can spark frustration from the people, but changes can also affect the people positively. The leaders of government hold a tough position. Here at Buena Vista University, it is the same. At BVU, Student Senate works to make an impact on the student body by proposing changes to make campus life better.

Earlier this semester, voting for new Student Senate positions took place. Prior to the voting, candidates for Student Senate presidency posted flyers throughout campus. In the midst of the U.S. Presidential Selection, BVU candidates advocated for a position in Student Senate. In opposition to the typical bashing ads seen by the likes of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, BVU student and Student Senate president nominee Katelyn Brinkerhoff took a different route. The junior environmental science major explained her tactics.

“The campaigning style that I chose to do was a little bit more fun, like a parody of the actual presidential election. So, a lot of people saw my Trump posters and my Bernie posters. From that, it made it more fun between me and my competitors… I know they [BVU students] got quite a few laughs,” Brinkerhoff said.

In addition to her posters, the Sioux City native also told of an ACES event in which she and the other nominees were given a chance to speak to the students on why they would be fit for the position.

Her parodic posters garnered some serious attention and her speech must have resonated as Katelyn was later selected to be the next Student Senate President for the 2016-2017 school year.

She may have taken the fun route when it came to campaigning, but Brinkerhoff is very serious about her new position.

“The executive board for next year has actually met a couple times, and we already laid out an entire calendar for the next year for things we are hoping to do… We already took ideas from this year and have them in place for next year,” Brinkerhoff explained.

Katelyn’s interest in student body government began in high school when some of her friends joined. She had always considered joining but never quite made the leap. It was not until the fall of 2015 that Katelyn joined Student Senate. Her intrigue was in the impact Student Senate has on campus.

“I liked that idea of being the big voice for the students. Like, if we wanted something to be done, Student Senate can do it or attempt to do it,” Brinkerhoff explained.

She has one year of senate under her belt, but don’t let her short time with Senate fool you. Brinkerhoff has already done plenty for Student Senate including spear-heading a committee of her own.

“Even though this was my first year, I put so much effort into it [Student Senate]. I ran a committee where we actually wrote a proposal… I put a lot of effort towards it [the proposal]. All the committees that I was involved in I was very interested in and took a part in,” Brinkerhoff said. That proposal is currently in the process of being reviewed by Faculty Senate and the President’s Council.

Katelyn is no stranger to hard work and leadership. When she isn’t in class, Katelyn can be found doing laboratory work in the Estelle Siebens Science Center. Like all majors at BVU, environmental science has plenty of homework and projects that take up time outside of class. She knows the position as Student Senate President is going to be stressful, but her work history has made her a strong leader.

“Thanks to the leadership experience I have in my past at my job back home. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have the understanding or the capability to lead an organization like Student Senate,” Brinkerhoff said.
In addition to her own determination, Katelyn credits two of her close friends as a source of motivation.

“Big thanks I have to give are to Morgan Langan and Ashley Lemke. If it wasn’t for their support with the Senate, I probably wouldn’t have been nominated or been wanting to do such a thing,” Brinkerhoff said.
Katelyn will be a senior in the fall, and her plan as President of Student Senate is simple:

“A big thing that I’m wanting to do and I know the executive board is really focusing on trying to do is build Student Senate back up to what it used to be in past years. It used to be one of the biggest organizations on campus, but it is slowly kind of turning into one of the smallest… Our goal is to really start building it up by doing a lot of events and searching for other students to join us.”

Katelyn Brinkerhoff believes in the impact Student Senate can make on the campus as a whole. She looks to impact Buena Vista University positively, and her work ethic and leadership capabilities will get the job done.

Photo by Kyle Wiebers