KEARNEY – Nicole Kent and Katie Schultis are the next student body president and vice president at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
The running mates were elected Thursday following a two-day vote by fellow UNK students. They’ll take office March 26, succeeding current President Logan Krejdl and Vice President Taylor Janicek.
“I’m just absolutely overwhelmed by the support from the student body,” Kent said after the final tally was announced.
As student body president, Kent 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.
Kent, a junior from Benkelman, is an active member of the UNK Honors Program, Honors Student Advisory Board, Kearney Health Opportunities Program (KHOP), Undergraduate Research Fellows and Christian Student Fellowship, where she’s part of the leadership team. She’s also a Chancellor’s Ambassador and Honors Program Envoy and mentor, as well as a community volunteer with around 250 service hours over the past three years.
“During my time at UNK, I’ve fallen in love with the culture here. I’ve never felt left out. I’ve never felt like I’m just a number. I’ve always felt like I was a part of UNK, and UNK has become a part of me,” said Kent, a pre-medical student majoring in biology with a health sciences emphasis and political science minor.
Schultis, a junior from Diller, is also a pre-medical student majoring in biology with a health sciences emphasis. She’s involved with the Honors Program, KHOP, Christian Student Fellowship leadership team and undergraduate research.
Schultis said she and Kent plan to use their positions to make a difference at UNK, give back to the university and improve campus life.
“We both love UNK so much and we want to do anything we can to make it a better place for students,” Schultis said.
Kent and Schultis won the election 730 votes to 439 over Paige Kristensen and Gabe Crocker.
Their executive cabinet members will be:
Reid Bednar of Grand Island – Chief of staff
Adrian Gomez-Ramos of Lexington – Secretary of diversity and inclusion
Gustavo Valencia of Lexington – Secretary of student organizations and affairs
Katie Unvert of Adams – Secretary of the treasury
Leslie Braun of Henderson – Secretary of community relations
In addition to the presidential election, 16 students were selected Thursday 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.
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.
Those elected to the Student Senate are:
College of Arts and Sciences
Jack Clark of York
Laura Fisher of Omaha
Madison Parshall of Plattsmouth
Trevor Daubert of Omaha
MacKenzie Doescher of Fremont
Emily Baxter of Bridgeport
Truman Lauck of Bloomfield
Jacob Nutter of Geneva
College of Education
Olivia Slater of Omaha
Ryley Scherer of Omaha
Morgan Daubert of Omaha
Emily Eairleywine of Fremont
College of Business and Technology
Andrew Burival of Brule
Ryan Brungardt of Kearney
Mark Barrientos of Lexington
Max Beal of Kenesaw