SGA presidential candidate: Jessica Van Ranken

(George Walker | The Collegian)

Jessica Van Ranken, junior in political science, grew up in the small town of Lindsborg, Kansas. Van Ranken said she was an active member of her community and she strived to make a difference. She said she sought a college that would provide her with the same opportunity.

“Wherever I chose to go to school, I wanted to be able to make an impact on my surroundings and feel like I could have a voice,” Van Ranken said.

This eventually led Van Ranken to K-State.

Van Ranken said she applied to be a Student Governing Association intern her freshman year, which combined her passion for government and love of all things K-State.

“The more I grew to love and understand SGA, the more I wanted to be very plugged in to what was going on and to have an effect on student government and the student body as a whole,” Van Ranken said.

While at K-State, Van Ranken has also been affiliated with various organizations in addition to SGA, including Sigma Kappa sorority, Relay for Life of K-State, Pan-Hellenic Council, vice president of the Union Governing Board, Mock Trial, Silver Key.

Van Ranken said she still strived to do more. She is running for student body president. Alongside her in the vice president position is Trenton Kennedy, sophomore in entrepreneurship.

Van Ranken said over the past few months the pair has gone through the excitement and stress of starting a campaign, but the experience has only drawn them closer.

“Jessica has grown to become my closest confidant, partner in crime, sidekick and literally my best friend,” Kennedy said.

“Jessica and Trenton complement each other,” Jordan DeLoach, junior in computer science and campaign manager, said. “They both have different perspectives and different K-State experiences, which will add diversity to the office.”

Together, Van Ranken and Kennedy said they are working toward creating a better K-State for faculty, staff and most importantly, students. Van Ranken and Kennedy’s campaign has three platforms, which focus on mental wellness, diversity and political advocacy.

“Jessica is so passionate and knowledgeable about everything K-State,” Kennedy said. “Her genuine passion translates into a strong work ethic.”

Van Ranken said she considers herself a leader for the people. A leader who, if elected, wants to include the voices of all K-State students.

“I think keeping in mind the other voices at the table and maybe the opinions I wouldn’t think of or have are greatly important,” Van Ranken said. “I would want to consider the opinions of the student body and to represent their best interests, and have student success at the heart of everything I do.”

Van Ranken said much of her inspiration to be a strong female leader can be attributed to her grandmother, who was an active member and leader of her community in Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

“I want to be a tough, strong leader like my Grandma Uschi, and make an impact on my community no matter how large or small that community may be,” Van Ranken said.