By TYLER ELLYSON
KEARNEY – There are a lot of things Max Beal and Trey Janicek love about the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Faculty and staff are knowledgeable and supportive.
Many of the academic programs boast job placement rates at or near 100%.
Lopers looking to continue their education are strong candidates for graduate and professional schools.
And UNK is a place where students are encouraged to branch out and meet new people.
“You’ll have a great time while you’re here, and you’ll have a really great future moving forward,” said Beal, a Kenesaw native studying business administration with a public law minor.
With more than 150 student organizations available, it’s easy for Lopers to get involved on campus, and they’re not limited to a single area of interest.
There are multicultural and Greek organizations, intramural and esports, academic and professional clubs, religious and political groups, community service opportunities and much more.
“You get to know so many people through your involvement in these organizations,” said Beal, who participates in student government, the UNK Pre-Law Society, Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, UNK Honors Program, Order of Omega Greek honor society and Phi Beta Lambda student business organization.
In the community, he’s been involved with TOPSoccer, a soccer program for youths with physical or developmental disabilities, and Skills for Success, which teaches professional and personal etiquette to local seventh graders.
Janicek, an agribusiness major from Bridgeport, is a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, Order of Omega, UNK’s Interfraternity Council and the UNK chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
Student involvement sets UNK apart, he said.
“That’s definitely a difference between UNK and other universities,” Janicek said. “I think that separates us from other schools.”
As UNK’s student body president and vice president, Beal and Janicek understand the importance of sharing their college experiences with others.
They believe current Lopers can be effective recruiters by connecting with prospective students from their high schools and hometowns through social media and in-person visits.
“That’s something we definitely need to promote,” said Janicek, noting that these success stories and testimonials can be a powerful marketing tool as UNK looks to increase its enrollment.
The duo, who took office in April, also want UNK students to promote their university at the state level.
“That’s a huge part of our platform,” said Beal, who serves as student body president and represents UNK as a student regent on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
Roughly two dozen UNK students, including Beal and Janicek, attended “I Love NU Advocacy Day” in March. The annual event brings University of Nebraska supporters to the Capitol in Lincoln to meet with senators and highlight the university system’s impact on the state.
NU Student Alliance, an advocacy group formed last year, also encourages students to get involved in this process by engaging lawmakers and demonstrating the importance of a high-quality, affordable education. The campus groups are led by each school’s student regent.
“Sharing your story with senators and building those relationships can really help us in the long run,” said Janicek, who attended “I Love NU Advocacy Day” the past two years.
As UNK’s student government leaders, Beal and Janicek plan to follow through on their campaign promise:
“We’re committed to making future Lopers’ experiences as great as our have been.”
Other items on their agenda include:
Transparency and Accountability
- Send monthly emails to keep Lopers up to date on student government and university business
- Host monthly forums in the Nebraskan Student Union
- Hold regular office hours
- Rachel Flaugh, UNK’s student body president in 2016-17, first proposed this project, which would add more study space, upgrade technology and replace furniture in Calvin T. Ryan Library
Campus Improvement Projects
- Add sand volleyball courts, parking and green space to the area currently occupied by the Otto Olsen building, which will be razed
- Upgrade the basketball courts outside Mantor/Randall Hall
- Allow the Brewed Awakening coffee shop in West Center to accept Loper Dollars
- Add a food/drink option in Discovery Hall that accepts Loper Dollars
- Create flexible meal plan options that make on-campus living more affordable and cater to students living off campus
Student Union Parking
- Stop ticketing after 11:30 a.m. in the parking areas near the Nebraskan Student Union to make it easier for students and community members to access dining options inside the building
- Advocate for new Greek housing on campus
- Modernize Mantor/Randall Hall and Centennial Towers East and West