The Friday before spring break, the student body president was announced during what some students called a moving time at chapel. Junior Christian ministry major Tommy Wilson won.
“It is very exciting to me,” Wilson said. “I would have never thought when I came to UMHB that I would have a chance to be a part of campus and serve in this way.”
Wilson first started thinking about applying for the position last year. While in Hong Kong on a mission trip, he was invited to apply for Student Government Association’s director of spiritual life. This started the process and he decided if he liked it, he would pursue the position of student body president.
Wilson used his missions-minded background to establish his goals, which focus on the university and the world around it.
Wilson’s predominant concern is not having enough time to see his plans carried out. But he hopes to use those challenges as opportunities to serve the Crusader community and beyond.
“Being student body president gives me more responsibilities and resources to help UMHB grow and change to become the university that God wants us to be,” Wilson said.
He listed ways he expects to find support and encouragement in the upcoming year.
“First and foremost is my relationship with Jesus. He is the one and only one who will get me through this next year and help accomplish what needs to be done,” Wilson said. “I also have close friends and family who have supported and prayed for me this far and will continue to.”
Wilson said he will work closely with UMHB administration and staff, like Dr. Jerry Bawcom, Dr. Randy O’Rear, Dr. Steve Theodore and Kristy Brischke. Wilson also said his local church, First Baptist Belton, and UMHB as a whole will be an encouragement.
Wilson thanks the students for participating in the election process and asks them to remain involved on campus. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve UMHB and lead it through the next year. He also thanks “Garret Smith and Kim Jones for a great election race. They are great assets to UMHB, and I am proud to call them my friends.”
Senior recreation leadership major John Mark Harvey has known Wilson his entire life. He has watched Wilson in many leadership roles and said the new student body president has excelled in the past.
Harvey said, “I trust him, know his heart and know he is effective. So whether it is student body president, going on a mission trip or even trying to survive in the wilderness, I would want Tommy to be my leader.”
He thinks Wilson’s ability to be creative and somber will help.
“(I like) his attitude that all things can be accomplished through God, and more than that his willingness to go out and live like that,” Harvey said. “He is willing to try new things, to step out and do things that are out of the norm. He is a complex person, in a good way. He can be crazy and funny and have a good time, but is also very sensitive to God’s direction and can be serious and purpose driven when the situation that calls for it is at hand.”
Harvey said he enjoyed just being Wilson’s friend.
“Tommy is a man that struggles with things just like everyone else, and he will tell you that too, but I believe God has big plans and purposes to use (him) and I am grateful to be his buddy along the way.”
Student Organizations Director Kristy Brischke will work closely with Wilson during the next year.
She said, “I am so excited about Tommy being elected …. He is going to do a remarkable job. I think he has a wonderful combination of charisma and administrative skills. The student body is going to be very lucky to have his leadership next year.”
She said there will be challenges.
“As much as I hate to say it, the student body president does play a lot of politics,” Brischke said. “He needs to be a voice for the students, but he also has to be willing to work alongside the administration. It is sometimes tough to advocate for both sides.”
She explained that Wilson will receive a full tuition scholarship. His duties will include helping choose the executive cabinet for the 2009-2010 school year, to “preside over the executive cabinet meetings each week, attend weekly meetings with me and the vice president for Student Life and meet on a monthly basis with Dr. O’Rear.”
Class officer applications are due in the SUB on April 2. Voting will be the week of April 13th. Students can apply online at www.umhb.edu/sga by clicking on ‘Get Involved.