‘You live this position,’ Student Govt. president says

During Summer Vogl’s first year at St. Cloud State, she said she knew exactly what she wanted to do, and much of it started in the Student Government office.

With a social studies teaching major and a minor in political science, Vogl made her way to the office, where she met former Student Government President Lindsey Gunnerson. After a brief conversation and being shown around by Gunnerson, Vogl said, “They found a spot for me right away…I was sitting on the senate by Thursday.”

After her stop at the office, Delta Zeta bid her on a week later and Gunnerson became her big.

The following year, Gunnerson wanted to run for Student Government president and asked Vogl to help her, she explained. They worked alongside each another during that time. In the process, Vogl was appointed to be the academic chair of the student organization before going on to be the Executive Member of the Year last academic year.

Nearing the end of Gunnerson’s presidency, Vogl, along with other members of the body, wondered who would run for the seat, she said.

Thinking back to a conversation she had with Gunnerson, she remembers the former president saying, “’Summer, I think you’d do a good job.’”

After making the decision to run and finding her running mate, Vogl found she was running unopposed. Members of Student Government are checking the archives to see if this was the first time somebody ran unopposed in history the of the organization.

Vogl started in the position May 1. For the first few weeks, she went through a binder that each president contributes material to before handing it off to their successor. She entered the position fully trained June 1.

The beginning was overwhelming, Vogl said looking back.

“What the heck am I doing?” she asked herself.

She had few helping hands over the summer. But even then, during her transition, she said asking for help was the hardest thing she’s had to do.

“Everybody has to ask for help at some point,” she said. Recalling where she started, Vogl said she’s “shocked” at how much she’s changed, explaining she’s become more confident in her communication with others.

“When you get into this position, you have great big plans of what you’re going to do and how you’re going to make a difference,” she explained. “But, you get so much thrown at you.”

“You have the weight of all the students on top of you…and then you have to figure out how you can do you the best you can possibly do,” she said.

“You have the weight of all the students on top of you…

Being the student body president doesn’t get turned off either, Vogl explained, “You live this position.”

On campus, Vogl is often scheduling, preparing and attending meetings with university administration, committees and counsels. If she isn’t able to go, she chooses delegates from the Student Government senate or chair members to go in her place.

Mixed in, she reaches out to faculty, staff and organizations around campus, acting as a student liaison to the university.

“Some days I’m sitting in these meetings and I feel all these students sitting on my shoulders,” she continued. “What should I say for them?”

Outside of the office, she meets with St. Cloud State President Potter regularly, checks in with Vice President for Student Life and Development Wanda Overland a few times daily, and sits on numerous committees and forums on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Between Student Government and the committees, Vogl works with about 50 people. When she’s in her office, people walk in and out, bringing things to Vogl’s attention or asking her questions. Her phone rings what seems like every few minutes with emails or notifications that Vogl says flow in constantly.

To help ensure things run smoothly throughout the week while she’s balancing her other commitments, like the additional 12 hours she works at the Department of Campus Involvement, Vogl comes in Sundays to start preparing for the week ahead.

Student Government Vice President Mikaela Johnson said to Vogl, “You’re here more than you are home.”

Even with her schedule often being booked up, Vogl said, “The hardest part of coming into this role is communicating effectively with everybody and keeping the line of communication open.”

“If somebody brings me a concern, I’ll try to help them in any way possible,” she said.  “It makes me re-evaluate how I can serve these students better.”

One way of keeping the line open, she tries to listen to others, she said.

“I think I can be reaching out to more students…I feel like I reach out to the same people over and over, I need to go beyond my friend groups.”

She said she wants to be able to reach out to all the multicultural student organizations. “It’s not just about me and building my resume,” she said.

“We need to always remember the reason we’re here,” she said. “I feel students can be forgotten.”

“We need to always remember the reason we’re here

Over the course of the semester, Vogl said she’s spent time planning with Student Government, and as for next semester, she says “it’s the semester of action,” carrying out projects and unfinished business.

Aside from reaching out, Vogl says she’s looking forward to the building safety walks. She’ll help schedule a walkthrough of a building each month over the next five months. At the same time, she said student government will look further into advising and looking at the Southside homes surveys to help better student living on campus.

Looking forward to after graduation, Vogl and her adviser have mapped out two routes, she explained. She plans to either apply to law school or continue on to get her master’s degree in school counseling with hopes to teach one day.

“I knew I needed to teach politics and I knew I needed to talk about my history,” she said. History fascinates her because it incorporates a variety of aspects, including law, business and social issues, she said. After college, she wants to teach middle school.

As for pursuing law, on the other hand, she said, “We’ll see how I make it out of this pre-law class this semester,” she said. If she decides to go onto be a lawyer, she’d focus on family law.

As fall semester wraps up, Vogl said, “I’m going a little crazy.” But, that’s not because of final exams or papers, she said it’s the lightest class load she’s had. Having a busy schedule is something Vogl needs, she said, and plans to carry throughout her life.

When she does get to slow down and step out of the office, she calls Walnut, Minnesota home.

“I just sit there on top of the hill,” she said, describing that you can look out onto pastures and farm-like scenery. “It’s so relaxing.”

Even in her home life, Vogl takes a leadership role. Coming from a family of cattle farmers, she said she’s the president of her cattle association. “I love being a leader,” she continued. “I guess that comes from being the first born.”

Vogl has three brothers, ranging from ages 18 to 13. They’re all different in their own way, she said. Though they’re not able to visit often, she said once they’re in the room, it becomes apparent how different their personalities are.

“You can tell I control the conversation,” Vogl said laughing.

While attending a full class schedule and meetings, and being the president of student government, Vogl said is also helping to plan her wedding. Her fiancé, Travis Schoer, who she’s known since high school, has helped plan much of the wedding for this June, she said.

“He can’t believe I do all of this,” she said about Schoer. Counting down the days until graduation and her wedding day, Vogl said she’s looking forward to finishing up projects and tying up loose ends next semester.

“At the end of this term, I want to be able to say either A, I made a difference or B, I did the best I possibly could,” Vogl said about her presidency. “I’m extremely proud that our school cares about what Student Government does.”

“It’s crazy to be able to look at that and say I helped with that,” she said, explaining that Student Government is able to make recommendations and has a voice when deciding on allocations and policies, like the Preferred Name Policy and Eastman Hall renovations.

“I couldn’t have done any of it without any of my senators or exec[utive] board,” Vogl said. “It feels like all of these people are behind you to support you.”

“It’s been an experience. I’ll be able to use this for the rest of my life.”

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