From a small town to K-State, this junior works to help students through SGA, legislative advocates

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Faith Tuttle is the director of state relations and leader of legislative advocates. (John Chapple | Collegian Media Group)

Faith Tuttle, junior in political science and international studies, grew up in Gove, Kansas, with a population of only 80. Her graduating class had 12 people. Now at Kansas State, she is the state relations director for Student Governing Association and the de facto chair of legislative advocates.

“I wanted a new experience because I came from such a small town,” Tuttle said. “Everyone [there] goes to Fort Hays. If I would’ve [gone to college] closer, it would have been a continuation of high school. K-State was somewhere I could really blossom and be my own person.”

As the local relations director for SGA, Corbin Sedlacek, junior in accounting and management, has worked with Tuttle extensively. He first met her during their freshman year when they were in leadership studies.

“At first, she’s really quiet,” Sedlacek said. “I didn’t know whether that’s because she was shy, but then I quickly realized, ‘Oh, she’s just absorbing information.’ She’s absorbing information, but then, if someone asks a question, she’s able to just answer it like that. She has a unique presence in a room.”

Tuttle said she easily gets bored and hates just sitting and doing nothing. She wants to always be doing something productive.

“I really enjoy what I do,” Tuttle said. “I think that’s really what drives people. If you had to do something you hated, you just get burnt out and you don’t want to do it. I keep doing it because I enjoy it. You’ve got to find something that you enjoy in life.”

Through legislative advocates, Tuttle leads a group of students who go out to the capitol building in Topeka to advocate for the interest of K-State students. Last year, legislative advocates pushed for restoration of the funding cuts to higher education.

“I’m a facilitator really,” Tuttle said. “[This year] our committee decided on sexual assault, mental health and universal transfer credits. If you take a credit in high school, it will transfer to any major Board of Regents schools in Kansas.”

As a member of the College Republicans, Tuttle said sometimes the asks of legislative advocates conflict with her personal political ideals, but she pushes her own beliefs aside to represent the student body.

“It’s not easy,” Tuttle said. “I’m not representing my beliefs as a Republican, I’m representing the students’ beliefs. As chair of legislative advocates, I’m not advocating my own conservative beliefs, I’m a facilitator for the committee. I facilitate and they decide on what we’re going to do. I think people give bipartisanship a bad name, but I think really the answer is usually in the middle.”

Although she is involved in a partisan group, Sedlacek said he believes Tuttle works very well with those across party lines.

“Overall, she’s brought a sense of professionalism, in the sense that she’s able to be very diplomatic and isn’t afraid to address things that need to be addressed,” Sedlacek said. “She does so in a non-confrontational way — being able to have real conversations that don’t result in real conflict.”

While at night she’ll be eating popcorn and watching Netflix like anyone else, in her free time during the day, Tuttle said she enjoys doing her extracurricular work.

“I’m involved in extracurricular activities; that’s what I do for fun,” Tuttle said. “That’s my fun. That’s what I love to do.”

After she leaves K-State, Tuttle wants to go Washington, D.C. to work potentially in the office at U.S. Representative Steve Scalise. She interned in Washington, D.C. last summer.

“Either there, start as staff assistant, work my way up or any member office,” Tuttle said. “Something like that I think would be really cool, but really public service, I think that’s really interesting. I love politics.”

For now, Tuttle is content to stay in Manhattan to advocate for her peers.

“She has an internal motivation,” Sedlacek said. “She strives to make the lives of students better in all that she does, and that’s really apparent.”

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I'm Pete Loganbill and I'm one of the assistant news editors at the Collegian. After transferring from Johnson County Community College last semester, I am now a junior in Public Relations. I believe constant communication leads to progress, no matter how difficult a comment may be for me or anyone to hear. Contact me at ploganbill@collegianmedia.com.