The Cardinal recently sat down with Heidi Ledermann, who was elected as the president of Student Senate for the 2018-2019 school year, to ask her about her new position and what she hopes to accomplish next year.
Ledermann is a public relations major with a minor in sports business. She’s held the position of vice president for student life on Student Senate for the past two years. She is the founder and president of the Nordic Ski Club and was one of the school’s Outdoor Leadership leaders this year. She also works in the admissions office as an admission ambassador and has served on Brother William’s advisory council on Unity in Diversity.
The Cardinal (TC): What prompted you to run for president of Student Senate?
Heidi Ledermann (HL): I joined Student Senate my freshman year because it was something that I had done in high school and it was always something I was passionate about. I really loved the idea of being able to make changes on this campus so that’s what prompted me to continue that.
This year, I ran as the vice president for student life and I’ve been able to do a lot in that role, and I wanted to take that one step further. Next year will be my senior year, and I didn’t want there to be any changes that I wasn’t able to make because of the position I’m in and president is the best position to ensure that.
TC: Are there any specific qualities of past presidents that will inform your presidency?
HL: My freshman year Eric Doyle was president, and what stood out to me the most was how organized he was in how he ran Senae. Everyone wanted to be at the meetings, everyone had a voice, everyone knew how to use their voice, and everyone was informed about the changes we could make.
My sophomore year Joe Malinao was president, and he was definitely a do-er. He would get an idea and just go for it. I would like to take pieces of each of those past leaders and incorporate that into my presidency. They were both incredible leaders and I have big shoes to fill, but I would like to be a leader like they were.
TC: Are there any specific changes that you hope to make during your presidency next year?
HL: We created a Student Senate survey and sent it out to the student body and we got a really great response rate back, which is good because we need student feedback if we want to help the students. A lot of their concerns fell into some major groups, the largest ones being food services and recreational activities.
One of things that’s been thrown around is having some free group fitness classes like water aerobics or spin classes available for students. It would be nice to do that and take away some of the intimidation of going to the gym on your own. Having someone there as an instructor who can help you get out and get some exercise is an incredible thing. I also plan on continuing to push for more outdoor events on campus. We are fortunate to have 450 acres on campus and we want to make sure that our students are enjoying everything available to them.
TC: How would you consider your presidency a success?
HL: We have been struggling to get students involved in Student Senate in the last year which is unfortunate. One of the things that I want to do is make Student Senate a desirable organization to join. If I can do anything to help make it a place where people feel comfortable going, where they feel like they can find friends, and where it’s something they look forward to, then I think that would be something that would make my presidency successful. I will try to do everything I can to make changes on campus, but I also need to set up a good foundation for next year and a good base of people who are passionate about the university.
TC: How can students reach out to you to give you ideas for change on campus?
HL: The best way to reach out is through the Student Senate email account, email@example.com. Otherwise, I love talking with people and hearing their concerns and having a chat about what’s going on in the school. This is a time when everyone should be enjoying going to school here, so if there’s ever anything they’re not enjoying then I would love to hear those concerns at any time. If it’s about me or the way senate is running, then I would still love to hear that. I would like to make those changes and do anything I can to make life better for the students.