Let’s welcome the newest members to the executive board of the Student Government Association, Lindsey Gunnerson and Alex Bryson, are our new presidents for the 2014-2015 school year. Gunnerson is the president of the Student Government Committee and Bryson is the vice president.
Gunnerson was born in 1993 in St. Cloud but originally from Annandale, Minn. Being only 21, Gunnerson has accomplished more in her lifetime and continues to make a difference at St. Cloud State. Bryson, also being 21, was born in Little Rock, Ark., and lived there for about two years before he moved to Wisconsin and eventually moved to Minnesota.
Bryson always knew he wanted to go to college and pursue an engineering degree like his father, the most influential person in his life.
“I was a super crazy kid with a lot of energy, I played every sport under the sun and my dad was always there for me; he volunteered whenever he could,” Bryson said.
Gunnerson tied it down to three people who influenced her and had an impact on her life—her parents and her grandmother. “I didn’t go to daycare. My grandmother took care of me as a child. My grandpa died at a young age, and my grandmother raised seven children by herself. Seeing her as such a strong single mother made me appreciate hard work and empowerment.”
Bryson applied to a number of colleges, but one of the coaches from his swim team encouraged him to apply to SCSU. He made a visit here and after some time he finally decided he would attend. If it wasn’t for his coach he would have never applied; he’s happy he made the decision and continues to swim for the swim team.
Gunnerson applied to the University of Minnesota, St. Bens and SCSU. The U of M was too big, St. Ben’s was a little too small, and St. Cloud seemed like a better deal, seeing it was close to home. She was admitted into the honors program here and thought it would be a great opportunity; the program led her to meet Bryson. She wanted to major in chemistry, but she always wanted to become a dentist, so she thought bio-medical science would be a better fit. She ended up changing her major one more time and settled on women’s studies.
“Taking the women’s studies classes opened up my eyes to global issues and politics. This made me bring these issues to the student government committee while I was the senator and chair,” Gunnerson said.
Bryson, on the other hand, settled on his major right away and hasn’t changed it since he started college.
They are both excited for the future here and what issues they can bring to the executive board. Gunnerson has progressed through the Student Government Committee. She first started as a senator, got promoted to chair, and in the spring of last year ran for president and ended up winning. Bryson reflects on how it hasn’t even been a year yet since he joined the committee. Bryson was sitting on the chair committee for his first semester of last year and was approached by people saying that maybe he should consider an executive role. Now they are in the positions they wanted to be. Bryson commends Gunnerson for stepping up and becoming the president.
“I don’t think I can do what she does. I’m glad she’s the president,” Bryson said.
Usually, when you run for a position for the committee you look at five key issues you want to work on. For Gunnerson and Bryson, they are Husky pride, outreach, diversity, safety, and engagement for across campus. They always keep these key issues in the back of their minds when dealing with their fellow peers and issues that come aboard.
However, each year is a different year and even when they focus on these issues, things pop up unexpectedly. For example, the university is currently facing a pretty big deficit.
“This directly impacts us because we deal with allocating funds and student fees across campus and creating budgets for student organizations, along with our own budget,” Gunnerson said.
Moving towards this year, they agree how they want to see more student involvement. Gunnerson explains how anybody can be a part of the committee and come to the meetings. She wants people to know that their newly furnished office is always open to students, even if they just want to hang out.
When there are elections twice a year, it’s very hard to get students out there to vote, Bryson implied. He wants to create a tight-knit community on campus and bring people together to make a positive change.
“We really have to be proactive in engaging and reaching out to students. Not just on campus but off campus as well. We want to make ourselves visible for students, and I think we can accomplish that goal,” Bryson said.
Gunnerson and Bryson are graduating this upcoming spring semester and have inspired many students here on campus. They see change in the future and are excited to start this year off right.