Juniors Alli Kennon and Jess Trad have been elected as national student representatives in their individual conferences for the upcoming school year.
Kennon will be one of two national representatives for the American Forensics Association National Individual Events Tournament and the Lambda Pi Eta National Communication Conference — a first for any Hastings College student.
“I am there with my other national representative just to be the student voice. So that’s making sure when we’re having conversations about change that we want to make, I am the person that’s in there that’s always thinking about the students and thinking about the student perspective,” Kennon said, talking about her duties as a representative. “Students can come to me with ideas that they have for change and I can propose that to the national committee and hopefully get it passed to make the experience better for the students.”
Kennon was a representative for her district going into the national meeting this year. She ran unopposed in her campaign for a national representative spot, also going through an application process, providing a resume, personal statement and preparing a 3–5 minute speech.
“When I was a first-year at the national tournament, I saw the national reps on stage and it was one of the things I always wanted to be able to do because it was like ‘those were the two students that were representing thousands of students’… ever since then, I’ve always had this dream to be able to be in this role because I think the student voice is most important,” Kennon said.
Kennon hopes that with this position, she will be able to make needed changes in order to ensure the safety and survival of students competing in forensics and shed light on the success of the HC Forensics team.
Trad will be the national representative for the High Plains region of the annual Sigma Tau Delta conference. Sigma Tau Delta is a national English honorary with a chapter at Hastings College — Trad is the president of HC’s chapter.
“I work with the national board, the people in charge of Sigma Tau Delta, and help them plan the next convention and then I also attend two board meetings a year … and then at those meetings, we don’t have votes that the board does, but we act as a voice for all the students involved in the organization and then we can take any concerns students have and present those to the board. And then we’re also in charge of planning and working the convention for next year,” Trad said.
Trad was voted by her region to be the national representative, becoming the first students from HC to be a representative at the conference. As part of the position, Trad will take part in monthly meetings, run social media pages and write a blog on a given topic. She will be representing 5-6 states in order to share students’ suggestions and concerns. With this position, Trad hopes to start engagement from HC students for the conference.
“Our chapter hasn’t had a lot of participation in the national conference and so I’m hoping to encourage more of that from our school for next year, especially now that I’m more involved with it,” Trad said.