By Alyssa Eby
Katey Ebaugh ran unopposed for Student Senate President for the 2016-17 school year. She spoke in forum last Tuesday before Student Senate opened the floor to questions.
Current Student Body Vice President, senior Jeremy Basinger opened with the importance of the president’s role and responsibilities.
“Being Student Body President is the direct line from the students to the faulty, meeting with President Harder regularly,” Basinger said.
Ebaugh began her speech emphasizing Bluffton’s Power of Purple. She herself has been familiar with the phrase because of her work in Admissions, but realized it needed some clarification among students.
“The slogan is derived from Bluffton’s mission statement which talks about the community of people from all different backgrounds coming together to learn and make a difference in our community and around the world,” said Ebaugh.
In order to give a visual, Ebaugh pulled a selfie stick out from behind the podium and proceeded to ask everyone to place their arms around each other as she took a selfie with the student body.
After a round of applause from the audience, Ebaugh then spoke of her passion for Power of Purple. She expressed her gratitude to be able to represent our unique student body in order to learn from each other and change for the better.
“Being Student Body President is more than just a title, it’s a lifestyle of service and commitment to being a good listener and learner,” Ebaugh said.
The faculty and staff on Bluffton’s campus have helped shape and inspire Ebaugh, not only to believe in change, but to also see the potential in every individual.
Ebaugh feels privileged to be in a position where she can encourage her classmates and make change for them.
“Your voice matters,” Ebaugh said. “Your gifts, your passions, they are what make Purple Powerful.”
She continued to share of people and events that have impacted her and shaped her to be who she is. Her time in service in Indonesia with FFA helped her see a lifestyle of service and see the needs of others.
“One cannot represent a student body well, if they do not know the student body well,” Ebaugh said. “This is why I have a continued desire to talk with more of you whom I have not yet met.”
She is ready to be the voice for those that she has already met, and for those who she is yet to meet and represent them all.
Ebaugh plans to proceed with updating Bob’s Place, putting in a commuter’s lounge and to start a compost. Potential ideas after these include a coffee shop in the library where Beaver Bucks would be accepted.
“My goal is to work with the system of Bluffton to build community,” Ebaugh said. “This will not cost money necessarily, but it will take time.”
As president, Ebaugh will work will making events more efficient and have similar clubs come together more to build community.
Bringing attention to the gap between Ropp and Bren-Dell compared to the students that live in Neufeld, Ramseyer and the Hirschy’s, Ebaugh hopes to work with sponsored events to bring residence halls together.
Ebaugh sees the potential in everyone’s gifts, and hopes to be an example of a genuine, servant-like leader, who cares greatly for each person, just as others have done for her. Always ready to go the extra mile, Ebaugh stood before her student body, proclaiming her ability and eagerness for the next year.
“I believe with my experiences and passions, I’m ready for this position,” said Ebaugh.
To learn more about Bluffton’s Student Senate and find updates on projects, visit their page on Facebook.