While Missouri Western students are traveling from class to class, the Student Government Association is hard at work providing for the students of the university.
Nathan Scott, a business major and a member of Phi Beta Lambda, saw a need for change in student leadership at Missouri Western. After being vice president during his junior year, Scott knew that being the president was the job for him.
SGA is a prestigious association at Missouri Western that has leadership positions that can affect all students at the university.
“I'm never not a student body president. I'm always thinking about how we can innovate. I'm always working on something,” Scott said.
During his presidency, Scott's goal is to fight for the students of Missouri Western. Scott held late-night board meetings throughout the summer, thinking of goals, ideas and initiatives they could begin the moment classes start.
With a student identification card, students are able to ride the St. Joseph Transit for free. Additionally, other perks are available to students, such as student discounts at local shops and restaurants.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Dr. Hannah Piechowski, is the current advisor of SGA. She works closely with Scott and his administration in order to provide for the students of Missouri Western.
“He wants to make things efficient and easier for students,” Dr. Piechowski said. “He has tackled many processes and procedures that have existed to make them easier for students.”
This year, SGA is focusing on many issues, like government transparency, lower costs for textbooks and access codes, access to funding for student organizations, and a simplified tuition and fee structure. However, with Covid-19 looming in everybody’s minds, SGA saw a need to provide a sense of normalcy amongst college students.
“I feel so bad for our students because this is not the college experience they wanted,” Dr. Piechowski said. “I'm so grateful students are saying engaged.”
SGA began livestreaming meetings and hosting socially distanced campus events. This was done to boost morale and increase student engagement. Additionally, SGA wants to help students who are in need of supplies. They sponsored a giveaway, awarding chromebooks and televisions to the winners, and they also ensured that every student knew about other services, such as the Campus Cupboard and the Center for Academic Support.
“We're in a critical time of heightened student need whether it's technology or food,” Dr. Piechowski said.
And, despite the chaos attending university during turbulent times cause can, Scott rejoices in the fact the students of Missouri Western will grow closer as a community.
“It's that opportunity for people to grow and serve in a unified voice and join forces to make change,” Scott said.
Before attending university, Scott was an average high school student. Going to high school in Savannah, Missouri, Scott knew where his path would be taking him, and it took him to Missouri Western State University. Along with living close to the campus, another factor in why he chose the university was his family.
“My family has always gone to Missouri Western. It's a family tradition,” Scott said.
His father and brother also attended Missouri Western with his father majoring in accounting and his brother majoring in political science. While at the university, Scott’s older brother, Jacob Scott, was also elected SGA president.
“When I was a kid, he ran for student president. I helped him build his website, and I knew about him getting involved, and I wanted to try it,” Scott said.
Although Scott was not active in the student council in high school, he was involved in many other clubs, such as debate and Student Congress. He was also in Future Business Leaders of America where he got his first taste of presidency.
Ultimately, as a senior in high school, Scott participated in many activities and clubs and remembered how his brother participated in SGA and wanted the same experience in college.
“I am a person that firmly believes that your experience from school isn't just in the classroom. It's getting out into the campus culture,” Scott said. “Wherever I go, I want to try and find how I can get involved and how I can get connected.”