Student from Lindsborg new student body president of Kansas State University; Frankfort student to serve as vice president
Friday, March 4, 2016
Kansas State University's student body president-elect Jessica Van Ranken with vice president-elect Trenton Kennedy. | Download this photo.
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University students have elected Jessica Van Ranken, junior in political science, Lindsborg, as student body president.
Van Ranken's running mate, Trenton Kennedy, junior in entrepreneurship, Frankfort, will serve as student body vice president.
Van Ranken and Kennedy will take office April 7, when they will begin to advocate for the three initiatives of their campaign: mental wellness, diversity and political advocacy.
For the mental wellness platform, the student leaders seek to strengthen the relationship between the university's Counseling Services and Student Governing Association to de-stigmatize mental illness on campus and promote the programs of Counseling Services.
For diversity, Van Ranken and Kennedy want to work with university administration to provide cultural competency training for faculty and students. Also, they want to lead the Student Governing Association in fundraising for a multicultural student center.
"We want all students to feel that they are members of the K-State family," Van Ranken said. "We believe taking these action steps to become a more inclusive campus community will help us demonstrate that K-State values diversity."
For the pair's third campaign tenet — political advocacy — Van Ranken and Kennedy would like to create a nonpartisan advocacy organization, which they are calling Kansas Student Voice. It would partner with other colleges and universities to promote voter education and registration, as well as prioritization of higher education funding.
"I want to advocate for student success through these three platforms, as well as through any other initiative that students want us to support," Van Ranken said. "I truly want to represent students diligently and tirelessly, and I want to ensure that I follow through on the areas on which Trenton and I have campaigned."
When their term comes to an end next year, Kennedy said he hopes to look back on his work knowing he made difficult yet sensible choices and negotiated, advocated and served on behalf of his peers.
More information about Van Ranken's and Kennedy's plans and goals are available at www.vanrankenkennedy.com.
"We have a vision for K-State that is exceptional," Kennedy said. "I am ready to truly serve the student body."
Van Ranken, a graduate of Smoky Valley High School, is the daughter of Fred and Alicia Van Ranken of Lindsborg. Kennedy, a graduate of Frankfort High School, is the son of Melissa and the late Michael Kennedy.