“Many people [say], ‘I need to make this amount of money to be happy.’ I just want to live my life and be happy.
That’s the attitude MaeLynn Huhn adopted as president of the Student Government Association during her final semester at Ferris.
Huhn, a psychology senior, joined SGA to represent his sorority, Alpha Xi Delta. According to the Ferris AXD website, the glorified party planner learned to be more organized and confident through student participation.
“I found it to be a great way to grow professionally,” Huhn said. “I’ve already grown a lot professionally within my sorority, but then [I] wanted to level up and go to student government. Plus, I thought it was a great way to learn more about campus. I was always looking for more ways to get involved.
Being part of SGA got Huhn out of his dorm and interacting with other students. In Huhn’s view, many people come to college expecting it to be easy to make friends, but that’s not the case for many students.
It was difficult for Huhn at first, joining SGA at the start of the pandemic, but knowing that there were other people going through this struggle also helped. Although talking to people is more difficult for Huhn, it has helped her learn new strategies for connecting with people virtually, which she thinks will be a good skill to learn in the future. .
SGA also gave her contacts and taught her different things on campus, such as student affairs, where she works as a vice president. In student affairs, Huhn’s duties include working at the reception and carrying out numerous outreach activities at different schools.
“I put together gift baskets to send to all superintendents in Michigan,” Huhn said. “It helped me learn advocacy tactics for student government…and [how to promote] Ferris as a whole.
SGA’s mission statement is “to represent the interests of students at Ferris State University in all aspects of campus life and to maintain open channels of communication among students, faculty, staff, administration and the community of Big Rapids”.
Huhn interprets this as a channel of information. They have members who bring different things to the table, and campus information flows through different reps. It also allows different people to speak in meetings. After that, they use various outlets to spread the information on campus.
Huhn feels like she can achieve this by bringing more people to the table. Due to graduating, SGA has lost a lot of members over the past semester and they are currently struggling to recruit. Huhn’s main goal this semester is to find people who care about him and who want to be an active part of the association.
“I believe [Huhn’s] a welcoming attitude will be especially critical to SGA’s success this semester,” said Cassidy Engels, Vice President of SGA. When Huhn was nominated for president, she took Engles “under her wing as vice president” for SGA. Engles met Huhn when she joined SGA three years ago.
One of the reasons Engels thinks Huhn will be a good president is that she has a lot of leadership experience. In Engels’ opinion, Huhn is down-to-earth, which makes her very easy to talk to and balanced. She is always sure to offer help even before someone asks.
“In my time knowing MaeLynn, I’ve watched her grow into her current role as president,” Engels said. “She has gained a lot of confidence in decision-making and delegating tasks. I hope the Ferris community considers her a truly dedicated person to our university. She has spent much of her time here giving back to Big Rapids and working to enrich the student experience for her peers.
Kassidy Leininger knows Huhn outside of his work at SGA. Leininger met Huhn during his freshman year at their sorority, Alpha Xi Delta. Since his first year, Huhn has become a leader that Leininger can look up to. As vice president of their sorority and all her hard work with SGA, Leininger wants the students to look up to her and appreciate everything she tries to do for Ferris.
The SGA meets Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Founders Room of the David L. Eisler Center.
Editor Jessica Oakes contributed reporting for this story.