MARILYN HAGERTY: UND student president wants to leave Sioux nickname in the pastKylie Oversen thinks it’s time to move on and talk about all of the wonderful things at UND. She’s the new 2011-12 student body president.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
Kylie Oversen thinks it’s time to move on and talk about all of the wonderful things at UND.
She’s the new 2011-12 student body president.
“The name change issue has been hanging like a cloud over the heads of students. Now we are taking things as they come, and we have been working with President (Robert) Kelley,” she said.
With that mindset, Oversen will be attending the first student senate meeting of the year at 6 p.m. today. It’s being held at North Dakota Museum of Art to acquaint the 29 student senators with the facility. Usually the meetings on Sunday evenings are held at UND’s Memorial Union.
They are conducted by the vice president, who this year is Nate Elnes, a senior in business administration. He ran with Oversen last spring, and they won without opposition.
She was disappointed when several others who had expressed interest dropped out of the running.
But she has an agenda — there are things she hopes to do on campus.
She would like to create a diversity center for students on campus — one that would not be limited to the smaller, specific groups.
Every day is a little different when you are president of students on a campus like UND. The opening week of classes has been overwhelming.
Oversen feels the financial pinch that affects students in 2011. She knows students need help in understanding the loans they are taking out along with the serious side of credit cards.
She knows of potential college students who are taking work in the oil fields. She knows students are piling up debts that one day will hit them head on. She knows students worry about finding jobs when they graduate.
Who is President Kylie Oversen anyway?
Well, she’s a tall, willowy young woman with long brown hair. She grew up in a family of six children of Gary and Michelle Oversen in Killdeer, N.D. That’s a western North Dakota town of 800 people, and there were 33 in her high school graduating class.
She came to UND, partly because she had attended a summer Girls State session here. She was drawn partly by a sister, Amanda Weidler of Velva, N.D., who has a nursing degree from UND. Kylie Oversen is a fifth-year student majoring in sociology with plans to attend law school.
Kylie Oversen is single and lives in an apartment near the campus. She’s involved in Christus Rex Lutheran Center at UND. For her, the size of Grand Forks is just right. Big enough with 50,000-plus people. Small enough for easy living.
She likes downtown Grand Forks and is interested in preliminary plans to create a UND presence there.
As president of UND students, Kylie Oversen gets a $2,000 tuition waiver. And she says, “You don’t do this for the money.” She spends 20 to 30 hours a week in her office in the Memorial Union. She works closely with her vice president and agrees that she and Nate are on the same page.
Tonight, they set sail on an uncharted course.
Reach Marilyn Hagerty at email@example.com or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.