BY CORIE LYNN
Each month, FHSU President Dr. Tisa Mason and Student Body President Haley Reiter meet to hold a discussion about what is happening at the University. This conversation is the Presidential Roundtable
This month, the conversation centered on Reiter’s own plans as a student and what each president is looking forward to in the coming semester. The two finished by giving each other words of wisdom.
“This semester I’m looking forward to a lot of the work SGA in the spring semester. We get to work with a lot of student organizations,” Reiter said. “Unfortunately, it’s been a lot over Zoom, too. Just connecting with them and helping them utilize funds to help them do some really cool trips, bring speakers to campus and just interact with those groups.”
She explained that such organizations included Shooting Sports, which is hosting a competition in Hays in March, and the Catholic Disciples, who have plans to bring in nationally acclaimed speakers.
Answering Mason’s question about whether these organizations have access to extra funds because of last year’s lack of travel, Reiter explained that the students have been able to utilize rollover funds this year but future decisions will be left to the next Student Government administration.
Reiter does not have plans to once again serve as Student Body President.
“I love my position so much, but I hope to move on and maybe look into studying abroad,” she said. “I don’t think I could serve our campus as successfully from a few countries away.”
After learning of Reiter’s plans for international study, Mason stated that FHSU students have an extraordinary opportunity to travel for the price of the University’s tuition.
As students, such as Reiter, look forward to studying abroad, Mason looks forward to the potential for in-person campus life resuming at FHSU.
“I’m really excited,” Mason said. “This sounds like a weird thing to say, about the vaccine rollout because as vaccines come to our area, that means, sooner or later, we’re going to be able to come back to face-to-face. And I’m also excited about the fact that we’re the only KBOR regent school that is having spring break shortly.”
As the roundtable progressed, Mason also asked Reiter if she had any advice.
Reiter, in response, emphasized the importance of continuing open lines of communication while saying that the University has done well so far.
“I feel the students have appreciated the communication that they receive from administrators or faculty and staff,” she said.
Mason agreed that flexibility would also be important, especially as students and faculty transition from online to in-person campus life.
She also stated that, because of low COVID-19 numbers and the campus community following on-campus protocols, students are able to have their spring break and can look forward to an ease into in-person activities.
“I think as our student organizations work with our critical incident group to asking permission for holding events for the rest of the semester, they’ll see us relaxing a little bit of the standards because we’re in a good position,” Mason said.
Before concluding the roundtable, Reiter asked Mason if she had any advice for her and her fellow students.
“Keep your eye on the prize,” Mason said.
She says this includes active interactions with faculty and classmates as well as getting out more while remaining smart about safety. With this in mind, Mason believes students should take a few more risks, think proactively and be optimistic about summer and the fall semester.
Further, Mason explained the need to be kind and see the variety of ways to serve in the community.
With a final reminder to stay safe, Mason reminded students to enjoy their college experience.
“It is what you make it,” she said, “and we’re working hard to make it better for you. We appreciate every single student who has chosen Fort Hays. You matter to us. We value you, and we’re excited about your journey.”