What it takes to be a Tiger: Impacting campus through advocating for change

BY LAURYN BECKER

Photos courtesy Kendra Clary

It is widely known just how big a role the Fort Hays State University Student Government Association plays in students’ everyday lives. Through actively making changes on campus, SGA is constantly looking for ways to make Fort Hays a better place. One of those members making a change is sophomore Legistaltive Affairs Director Kendra Clary. 

Clary

“The best part of my job is becoming aware of issues that my peers on campus are struggling with and working with other passionate students to make changes towards these issues,” Clary said. “The Student Government helped me realize that there are resources everywhere for students and by being active in campus activities and events we can increase access to these resources for all students.”

Throughout her time at Fort Hays, Clary has also been involved on the track team. Between bridging the gap between students and the university to sprinting down the track, it’s safe to say Clary often has her hands full. But Clary makes it a point to continue to improve ways to balance her time. 

“The best way to balance your time is to find passion in everything you do and to take care of yourself. I make sure I have an idea of any obligations I have around my class and work schedule for the week so I’m prepared a day or two before,” Clary said. “The real secret is making sure you prioritize eating and sleeping. To accomplish the goals of a Tiger, you must fuel the Tiger.”

Clary, a political science major, is also the President of the Young Democrats Club. Through this club, she is hoping to continue to advocate for positive changes on campus while still voicing the needs of students. 

“Our target goal is to find ways to encourage a connection between university students and the politics that surrounds them. It is important that each student is able to voice their needs,” Clary said. “The Young  Democrats is a large blend of communities, beliefs, and cultures. That means we represent a blend of morals, needs, and values that all deserve to be heard. We want to stray away from polarization in the political community and work with anyone so that we can advocate for everyone,”

Through her position as SGA LAD, Clary hopes to make Fort Hays as inclusive as possible and feel like a second home to Tigers. 

“My overall goal for this year is to help every student feel like they have a safe and welcoming second home here at Fort Hays. The people I have met here are so amazing and I want each student to feel excited about trying new things and meeting new friends on campus,” she said. “COVID was a long and hard year for students and staff but this year we have the opportunity to host better events, listen to every student’s voice, and create new memories.”

Political Science Assistant Professor, Dr. Jay Steinmetz has witnessed Clary in action as she continues to push for positive change on campus firsthand, and has watched Clary grow into the Tiger that she is today. 

“In addition to being a far-reaching thinker and critically reflective in her intellectual inquiry, Kendra is an incredibly kind and caring human being. It is a distinct joy to have her in class,” Steinmetz said. 

Also continuing to watch her grow as she pushes for change is Student Body President Mark Faber. Faber and Clary continuously work together with the rest of SGA to positively impact campus. 

“Grit is the word that describes Kendra Clary. Whether it’s academics, athletics, or extracurriculars there are few that can match her level of commitment,” Faber said. “In her position as LAD, it is her goal to decrease political polarization on campus. The most impressive quality that Kendra demonstrates is her ability to put her personal beliefs aside and advocate for bipartisan communication and collaboration.”

For Clary, being a Tiger means making Fort Hays home and taking part in the campus community. 

“To me, being a Tiger means being part of the community. You’ve got to make FHSU a home to yourself. The community at FHSU stretches beyond just the students. It is an amazing blend of values, cultures, and reasons for being here that we can all share together. Tigers are passionate about being involved and making changes for the growth of all Tigers,” Clary said. “Whether it’s supporting athletes at games, participating in student clubs and organizations, or studying with a new classmate we are all in this together. Every Tiger should look out for each other, engage themselves with campus resources and activities, and enjoy being home.” 

For more What it Takes To Be a Tiger, check out https://tigermedianet.com

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