student body president, university of kansas
Third Quarter 2012
story by ANNE BROCKHOFF
photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
University of Kansas student body president Hannah Bolton is used to being a part of things. She describes her hometown of St. Libory, Neb., as “really, really small,” and her graduating class at a Catholic high school in nearby Grand Island had only 40 students.As a result, she participated in every activity, from volleyball, basketball and tennis to student council and band. So of course she plunged into campus life upon arriving at KU in 2009. Bolton joined the Chi Omega sorority and began exploring other organizations. Then student government caught her eye.
As a sophomore, Bolton was co-founder and co-director of The Big Event, which recruited thousands of KU students, faculty and staff to assist with neighborhood service projects throughout Lawrence. She was also elected to student senate, but gave up her seat after being appointed chief of staff for
the student senate executive staff.
Bolton held that position throughout her junior year, and then ran for student body president.
“Once I started getting involved, the ball just kept rolling,” says Bolton, who’s now a 22-year-old senior majoring in business management and leadership.
Bolton says she’s only the fifth woman to hold the job in the more than 100-year history of student government at KU, but gender doesn’t matter. She’s focused on her platform of 11 goals, including improving grading consistency within academic departments, that she says will benefit all students.
Can students really change how the university operates? Absolutely, says Bolton, who wants to work in higher education and administration after graduation.
Participating in campus and other organizations is essential if students want to help shape their educational environment and positively impact the surrounding community.
“Service days like The Big Event show the Lawrence community that students do care,” Bolton says. “Students enjoy giving back.”