The results are in. UNK freshmen voted Oct. 26 and 27 for two student government senators to represent their class.
Michael Florance, a business administration major from Papillion, and Michael Christen, a business administration and mathematics major from Anselmo were selected.
“I was very excited to be elected to student government,” Christen said. “It was one of my goals when I came to UNK. I thought it was a great organization to be a part of and will be a great way for me to become more involved on campus.”
This year's ballot featured six other freshmen candidates including Tony Svoboda from Mountain Home, Ark.; Lewen Ninemire from Hill City, Kan.; Alex Sandberg from Sutherland; Kara Loeffler, Jordan Rehnstrom from Hartington; and Kenny Stratton from Seward. Freshmen voted between Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Oct. 27 from 5–7 p.m. in the student union atrium.
Student government administrator and associate director of the student union, Tim Danube, said the student government is an asset to UNK's student population. "It's an opportunity to be represented and voice their opinions," he said. "They get experience working with some of the academic departments and working with fellow students, and I think that will benefit them beyond their time here at UNK."
The student government consists of an executive branch, a legislative branch and a judicial branch, similar to the U.S. Government. As part of the legislative branch, student senators have the ability to pass legislation for the campus, approve new student organizations and appoint student representatives to administrative committees.
Once elected, Danube said student senators also get the chance to take part in the constitutional review and will serve on several student committees including the rules and ethics committee and the student programming committee.
The senate meets every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Cedar Room in the student union. Elections for sophomore, junior and senior senators are held in the spring.
According to the UNK Constitution, the student government can have a maximum of 22 student senators, but only two can be freshmen.
While only two students were elected to represent the freshmen class, almost all candidates were members of student government organizations in high school, and each candidate expressed the importance of a student-run government institution.
"I believe that it's important for students to have a government body represented by other students for the good of the university," Svoboda said.
Rehnstrom was also focused on his fellow students and campaigned with the platform "my voice is your voice."
Both Florance and Christen are ready to begin their year-long term as student senators. “I hope to improve many areas for the student body including meals, weekend activities, teacher, staff and administration relationships, as well as day-to-day campus life,” Christen said.
Florance agreed and said he is excited about representing his class at UNK. “I look forward to learning more about the Kearney campus and representing the interest of the freshmen class,” he said.