Rickford, West file on Friday for student body president, VP


Newcomers to K-State politics Trae D. Rickford, junior in architecture, and James “Brandon” West, freshman in political science, filed for student body president and vice president last Friday.

The running mates’ slogan for their candidacy is “Mind to Manage, Heart to Lead.”

Rickford, a nontraditional student, earned an associate’s degree in political science from Colby Community College, where he served as a student senator and then student body president during the 2005-06 school year. He is the president of Wildcat Ministries and Student Center.

“Changes are going on at a national level that will affect all of us as students and as a university,” he said. “I want to help K-State and get into a position to tackle those challenges.”

West has been involved in the Army for the past four years and served in Iraq for two years. He was named 1st Army Division Soldier of the Year in 2008 and 166th Aviation Brigade Soldier of the Year in 2007. He is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma honor society and bareback rider for the K-State Rodeo Team.

“In order to be a good leader you have to have heart and desire,” West said. “Management is easy to obtain, but a good and true leader has to have his heart vested in his organization. Education is very important to me, and I want to give students the best education they can have.”

Some of Rickford and West’s platform issues include: helping nontraditional students by enhancing orientation and welcome phases, to ensure international students are acclimated to life at K-State and in Manhattan, and working with out-of-state students to revamp the residency policies.

They also want to solve financial issues by preserving scholarship and work-study programs, implement an energy task force to bring down K-State’s utility bills, and work closely with city officials to make business districts more accessible to students.

The two have environmental concerns and want to make K-State’s more historic infrastructure as well as new construction more sustainable and energy efficient and set up a student dialogue with the administration and government by holding weekly question-and-answer sessions with the incoming president, which students can attend.

“I think it would be good for students themselves to get involved, and if I can help facilitate that then that is where I need to be,” Rickford said.

The team’s Facebook group is titled Rickford/West-K-State’s 2009-10 Presidential Ticket.