A Doniphan-Trumbull High School graduate has been elected as the student body vice president at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Tristan Larson of Trumbull took office on March 30. She is a sophomore majoring in exercise science with minors in health sciences and nutrition and is a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, UNK Honors Program and Circle K.
Larson said several members of her sorority were involved with student government when she was a freshman. They encouraged her to run, as well, and she was elected as a freshman member of the Student Senate.
“I ended up becoming really passionate about it,” she said. “I really developed a love for UNK.”
Another opportunity presented itself in Larson’s sophomore year when Noah Limbach of Kearney asked her to be his running mate on a ticket for the student body presidency.
“There’s a lot of big changes happening on campus, and I wanted to be part of them,” she said. “We care about campus a lot, and we based our platform on that. We really like the campus and are really excited to serve.”
As student body president, Limbach will represent UNK as a student regent on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and serve as the official student body representative to the administration and public. The president also has the power to approve or veto legislation passed by the Student Senate.
While Limbach will be serving as the student body’s face in the community, Larson will be the administration’s tie to the student organizations on campus.
“My job is more here at home,” she said. “As vice president, I’ll work more with things that happen here at UNK.”
Larson became involved in student government as a way to help her develop leadership skills as well as organization skills. With multiple student government meetings per day on top of her full-time class schedule, she said, it can be a challenge fitting it all in — making the organization side all the more important.
Still, she feels she thrives on the constant activity.
“I really do like to be busy,” Larson said. “I’ve always lived life that way. I like to be in the middle of the action.”
Although Limbach and Larson ended up running unopposed, Larson said they still campaigned and discussed their platform to encourage students to vote. Their platform covered pillars of academic success, COVID-19 recovery, Loper pride, environmental reform, and campus improvements.
“We still wanted students on campus to know our names,” Larson said. “We wanted students to feel comfortable reaching out to us.”
She said their top priorities are campus improvements and Loper pride. In campus improvements, library renovations and changes to Greek housing are at the top of her list. She wants to see the library renovated to make it a place students want to go to study. Greek housing is important to them as both she and Limbach are involved in Greek life.
Larson said the Loper pride pillar focuses on increasing the involvement, from both students and the community, in student activities such as UNK football games.
“We would love to see more people able to come to events like that,” she said. “We have so many talented students, and they should have an audience to see them and appreciate what they are doing.”
In addition to the presidential election, 14 students were selected to serve on the UNK Student Senate. This organization is the legislature for the student body, with representatives elected from each of the three academic colleges at UNK. There are also freshman and deciding/pre-professional senators.
The Student Senate has the power to pass legislation for the campus, approve new student organizations, appoint student representatives to the UNK Faculty Senate and other administrative committees, and perform other duties concerning student issues.
Another Tribland resident to be elected to the Student Senate was Trenten Theis of Superior to represent the College of Arts and Sciences.