(Photo by Tegan Brandt Courtesy Cameron Koger)
A one-hour phone call was enough to make the formal decision to run for President and Vice President of the Student Union, Michael Dowd, Senior Animal Science and Global Food Systems Leadership, and Cameron Koger, Junior Marketing.
“By the end of that conversation, I knew Cameron would be an excellent person to work with,” said Dowd.
Dowd said the first spark of running for president of the student body came from student leaders standing before him, such as Sadie Polson, chief of staff 2019-2020, Jansen Penny, president of the student body 2019-2020, and Lacy Pitts, 2018-2019 vice president of the Student body.
“They really showed me what it’s like to be connected and understand, hear and listen to the student body and find out how the students actually feel at K-State,” Dowd said.
The duo aim to collect ideas from students for 158 – the number of years since the state of Kansas was founded – to further enhance the university experience.
Koger said deciding on their roles required an interesting period of reflection for the couple, but the roles they have chosen best suit their strengths.
“Michael is much better at delegating, being organized and staying on top of things, and I’m more interpersonal,” said Koger. “I won’t talk to anyone.”
Koger said he loves developing ideas and executing them on the platforms the two of them created. The position of Vice President will enable him to make better use of these strengths.
“I always wanted to be able to represent students because I feel like I have a unique passion, wanting to do as much as possible to help each student,” said Koger.
Since Koger became involved with SGA, he has served on four committees at the same time and now wants to go further to make a difference.
“I feel like I’m making a difference here [committees]but I even want to take it to the next step because I haven’t seen many people who were similar, ”said Koger. “So I thought I had the opportunity to be a unique candidate.”
Koger said he and Dowd want to become the most approachable, sincere, and authentic leaders ever on the K-State campus.
“Michael and I really think we can be the ones that the folks at Walmart can go to and ask questions about what we’ve enacted,” said Koger. “Or the people you see on campus who you talk to for 20 minutes to get a pulse.”
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Also, Dowd said he wanted to be the guy whose phone line is always open.
“I know I’ll actually sit down and listen to every response we get,” said Dowd.
The duo developed many goals in order to create a better environment at K-State. Some ideas include comprehensive mental health programs, student leadership discussions, and creating K-State digital IDs.
“The whole idea is that our experiences and K-state stories are only two in 20,000,” Dowd said. “We only have a limited amount of experience to know what K-State needs right now, and our goal is to get that from students.”
Koger’s passion for K-State is based not only on his own perspectives, but also on his family history.
“My parents met here and a couple of siblings stayed here for some time, which means a lot to me,” said Koger. “It’s also literally 20 times bigger than the population of Overbrook. It’s crazy to think it can be so much bigger, but at the same time I can walk around campus and recognize at least one person. ”
Koger’s admiration for K-State extends beyond the campus. His favorite tradition is to stick with every sporting event he participates in until the alma mater finishes the game, regardless of the score.
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Dowd’s passion is based on the idea of being part of a family and a community. No matter what situation he’s in, the friends he makes at K-State are always a phone call away.
Dowd said his favorite K-state tradition is for people to use the Power Cat hand sign because everyone connects instantly.
“Seeing people throw up a power cat in their happiest moments with their friends on campus or off campus is something very unique and individual that we can all relate to,” said Dowd.
Dowd and Koger post their campaign journey on Instagram.