Marta Richenburg, junior in history and political science, is running for Kansas State student body president alongside Payton Lynn, sophomore in secondary education, running as vice president.
Richenburg said her involvement in SGA began her freshman year when she joined the intern program, and that she initially did not know what to expect.
She became the senator for the College of Arts and Sciences her sophomore year, and eventually the governmental relations chair.
“When I first came here, I definitely [thought] I should do this, but I didn’t realize how intricate it was, so I was kind of oblivious,” Richenburg said.
As she became more familiar with how SGA operated, Richenburg said she realized how many issues are present at K-State that are not being solved and wanted to be the person to get things done.
“I heard and saw so many issues and didn’t want to wait for someone else to come in and fix them,” Richenburg said. “I can only control myself and I know my abilities, and I know that I am very driven, so I really wanted to be a part of the change.”
Lynn said she also wants to take action as opposed to turning her head the other way when she sees an issue.
“I always knew I wanted to be involved in student government, and I think when you love things, you also have to be able to see the flaws in them, and I love K-State, but that also means I can’t be blind to the things I feel are an issue,” Lynn said. “I never want to be somebody who sees a problem and just sits on my hands.”
Like Richenburg, Lynn’s involvement in SGA began with the freshman intern program. This year she was elected as the senator for the College of Education and became the caucus leader.
Both candidates said that running together just made sense once they realized how closely their agendas aligned.
“It actually came about really organically I think,” Lynn said. “[Richenburg] knew she wanted to run for president but wasn’t finding the right fit for somebody to run along with her. We had a conversation one day about the things we really wanted to do in SGA and realized that almost everything we cared about aligned really well.”
Richenburg said she was initially hesitant to have a female running mate because she was scared the two might be overlooked.
“I really sat there and realized I don’t care,” Richenburg said. “I picked Payton because I know she’s loud, she’s driven, she’s not going to back down from a fight and even if us being two women pushes people away from voting for us, that’s fine.”
Richenburg also said they balance each other out and work together very well, and by running together, they are opening the doors for other female duos to feel comfortable running in the future.
Both Richenburg and Lynn said their primary campaign platform is centered around three main issues: mental health, food insecurity and sexual assault prevention.
“When we first set out to do our initiatives, we contacted a lot of different organizations — we didn’t want it to be just what Payton and I felt like we wanted to see on campus because we would be representing the entire student body,” Richenburg said.
Lynn said they picked these based on what they learned through talking to the various organizations and what they noticed was an issue.
“What we really want to do as student body president and vice president is to make sure we are in the administration’s ears about what kind of things are affecting students and what kind of changes they really want to see,” Lynn said.
Richenburg and Lynn said they think they embody the qualities needed to effectively lead, which are to be driven, outspoken and open to different perspectives.
They also said that because they both have those qualities, it makes them a better team.
Evan Porter, sophomore in political science, is one of the two campaign managers for Lynn and Richenburg. He said the candidates’ always working so hard is what garnered his support.
“Marta and Payton are two of the most passionate people I have ever met, and they are extremely hard-working,” Porter said. “Their three campaign platforms are things that I think are extremely achievable and have a lot of substance to them.”
Porter said he thinks Richenburg and Lynn are the perfect people to advocate for students because they have strong voices.
“They are both super passionate people, so I think they’re going to be very capable of advocating for students really well, and when it comes down to it, that is the job of the executive office,” Porter said.
In their final remarks, Richenburg and Lynn said if they could tell everyone one thing about their campaign, it would be that they are running to represent everyone and make sure everyone’s voices are heard.
“We want to focus on bringing the voices to the table that have not traditionally been heard,” Lynn said.
More information on their campaign or upcoming opportunities to speak with Richenburg or Lynn are available through the campaign’s Instagram account, @richenburglynn_2022.