UHV Student Senate takes in travel, leadership training

Student Senate in DC
UHV Student Senate members Ashleigh Kellis-Carr, left, Emily Bergstrom, Paige Ruschhaupt and Bre’Neka “Shorty” O’Bryant stand in front of the U.S. Capitol during a recent trip to Washington, D.C., where they attended the American Student Government Association’s National Summit.

Student government representatives from the University of Houston-Victoria recently saw the sights of the nation’s capital, attended training sessions, interacted with peers and satisfied a traveling bug.

A quartet of UHV student government officers and a faculty adviser attended the American Student Government Association’s National Summit Sept. 29 to Sunday in Washington, D.C., for training and networking with peers from other universities.

Officers attending the conference were President Emily Bergstrom, Vice President Bre’Neka “Shorty” O’Bryant, Treasurer Paige Ruschhaupt and Secretary Ashleigh Kellis-Carr. Also attending was Student Senate faculty adviser Thomas Cox, an assistant professor in the School of Education & Human Development.

“It was a lot of fun, but we also learned a lot about reaching out to students to get them more involved in the university and community,” Bergstrom said. “There was training on how to utilize our different leadership skills.”

Bergstrom said the group also attended a program session on working with university administrators.

“It just covered how to work effectively with school administrators and things we can do to keep open the lines of communication,” she said.

The UHV senior biology major said the conference focused on the many aspects of student government and the different roles that students play.

“There were many informative sessions, and we were able to bring back a variety of ideas that we could begin to implement immediately,” she said.

One project on the horizon for the UHV Student Senate is a no-cost bike program for students, who would be able to pedal from Jaguar Hall to the campus.

In addition to seeing some tourist sites in Washington, D.C., including the national monuments and the new statue of Martin Luther King Jr., the group found time to take a three-hour train ride to New York City, where they took in the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, the Sept. 11 Memorial and Central Park.

“The conference was beneficial to our group on many levels,” Cox said. “The officers got a chance to interact with each other and myself in ways that will make working together in the Senate more productive.”

Cox said the conference gave UHV student leaders a chance to interact with student government heads from other institutions, borrowing best practices and brainstorming ideas.

“It was refreshing to see our team connect with others and learn how student organizations across the country are involved on their campuses,” Cox said. “I am very proud of what an outstanding group of student leaders we have here at UHV.” 

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Ken Cooke 361-570-4342