In September 2021, Jeff Ebeck, junior in finance, reached out to Parker Vulgamore, junior in agricultural economics, to see if Vulgamore would be interested in running with him for student body president and vice president in the spring. With an instant connection and a shared vision of how they wanted to improve Kansas State, the pair decided to take the journey on together.
“When Jeff and I started to talk through how we see the future and our vision for K-State, it just made sense [to run together] in a lot of different ways,” Vulgamore said. “We both compliment each other really well. I think we represent such a large and diverse network within the student body — and that is basically what you are doing as president. You are elected to be representatives of the student body.”
Ebeck and Vulgamore decided to run on two platforms: prosperity and purpose. Stacia Mendoza, external campaign manager and junior in finance, said these platforms promote quality over quantity.
“Prosperity and purpose really encapsulate what their goals are,” Mendoza said. “They want students to have the resources they need on campus to find their purpose so that they can prosper while they are at K-State and into the future once they graduate.”
Prosperity: Ensuring students have the tools and resources to prosper at K-State and leave with the knowledge and connections to enjoy prosperity and success afterward.
Purpose: Helping students connect with the K-State family to find their purpose and passion on campus through degree programs, student organizations, projects, service and more.
Vulgamore and Ebeck have leadership experience within the Student Governing Association and other student organizations. Vulgamore has served two terms as a senator for the College of Agriculture and is currently the caucus leader for the college. Ebeck has participated in the SGA internship program, served as the modernization director and is currently the student finance director. Both candidates have served on numerous committees within SGA as well.
“A lot of Jeff’s experiences come from the executive branch and the president’s cabinet and a lot of mine comes from the legislative branch — the elected body — that represents the students about policy and other stuff,” Vulgamore said.
Ebeck said the pair’s past experiences taught them the necessary skills to represent the student body.
“It is important to be able to communicate to administrators and say, ‘This is where students are lacking, and this is what students need on campus,'” Ebeck said. “We are building trust between administrators and students by being good communicators.”
Vulgamore and Ebeck have many goals that fall under prosperity and purpose. A few of these goals and initiatives include creating a more effective freshmen orientation, expanding outreach and recruitment efforts in “small-town” and out-of-state high schools and ensuring independent student organizations are supported and represented.
Ebeck said he is passionate about helping students understand and use various financial skills such as understanding how loans work, how to do taxes and other necessary skills in adult life. Ebeck has already partnered with Powercat Financial in creating financial literacy workshops but is hoping to take it to the next level by creating a “K-State 8” course that promotes financial literacy.
“I would like to have a class about increased financial literacy,” Ebeck said. “How can I get loans but also how can I pay them off? If there was a class for students that they could take for three or even one credit hour and knock it out of their K-State 8, that would be awesome. It would help them prosper and to be able to understand taxes and loans.”
However, Vulgamore said that his and Ebeck’s platforms do not just come from themselves. They have been collaborating with groups on campus to ask what those organizations need for support, and the two want to continue that dialogue with as many students as possible.
“We are here for you, but we are always here to listen to you,” Ebeck said. “We always have an open door, email, or even a DM on Instagram. Feel free to text or call us. I would love to hear your thoughts or even how we can enhance our platforms to align more with your student experience.”
Vulgamore said he wants to make sure every student has a seat at the table.
“Students are going to have a seat at the table, and your organization will be represented,” Vulgamore said. “We are going to do everything we can to communicate back with you about what is going on. We are really optimistic for the future with President Linton and everything that can come from this.”
Vulgamore said he encourages students to get out and vote this election season.
“I encourage everyone to get involved, use your voice, exercise your civic duty as a citizen of this university, go out and vote,” Vulgamore said. “Express your opinion and have your voice heard. We are here to empower and listen to you.”
More information about the Vulgamore and Ebeck campaign is available on their website. Elections will be held Feb. 22-23, with students receiving a notification on their Canvas page to vote during that time.