NCTA clubs, teams are student leaders

NCTA clubs, teams are student leaders

Aggie students represent 16 campus groups for the NCTA Student Senate. (Crawford/NCTA News photo)
Aggie students represent 16 campus groups for the NCTA Student Senate. (Crawford/NCTA News photo)

December 1, 2017

By Mary Crawford, NCTA News 

Students standing on the “capitol steps” in a group photo taken this fall at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture are student leaders.

With the pillars of Ag Hall as the backdrop for the photo, the NCTA Student Senate represents Aggie student clubs, organizations and collegiate teams, and a campus population of 250 fulltime students.

“I think Student Senate is a really great place for all of the groups to come together on campus,” said President Payton Peterson of Holdrege, a sophomore majoring in veterinary technology. “A place where everybody’s voice is heard.”

Leaders meet bimonthly on Tuesday noon hours at the historic Ag Hall, the first building to open in 1913 for the new residential high school, the Nebraska School of Agriculture.

Fast forward to 2017, academic quality and experiential learning are still hallmarks for the college, affiliated with the University of Nebraska system.

Students hail from far corners of the United States, coming to Nebraska to earn associate of science degrees in agricultural production systems (agricultural education, animal science, equine management, agronomy, and agricultural mechanics), agribusiness management, or veterinary technology.

The Student Senate represents all majors. Academic enrichment through student clubs and competitive teams enhances their studies, says Jennifer McConville, associate dean.

“Leadership opportunities and interaction with students across campus is part of our shared governance philosophy at NCTA,” says McConville, who was an agribusiness professor. “I appreciate the maturity and campus leadership of our student senators.”

Sixteen campus organizations are officially listed as recognized student organizations at NCTA, said Laura Romeo, NCTA staff advisor for Student Senate.

They include:  Aggie Rodeo Team, Aggie Shotgun Sports Club, Ag Business Club, Collegiate Cattlemen, Collegiate 4-H/FFA, Farm Bureau Club, Horticulture Club, NCTA Livestock Judging Team, NCTA Ranch Horse Team, NCTA Stock Dog Team, Phi Theta Kappa, Safari Club, Student Technicians of Veterinary Medicine, and Women In Ag.

Each group selects two representatives to serve on Student Senate, Romeo said. Generally, they are one freshman and one sophomore, or might be the club president or treasurer.

The 2017-2018 officers are President Payton Peterson, Holdrege; Vice President Trisha Fox, Stuart; Secretary Jolene Chmelik, Grangeville, Idaho; and Treasurer Alyssa Novak, Eldorado, Nebraska.

Student Senate supports community service projects such as helping with the Curtis Hometown Christmas next week. Or, they organize social and fundraising events such as a community chili cook-off planned for January 25 at the NCTA Student Union.

Senators are responsible for distributing student funds to the various groups for operating monies through the Student Union Resource Fund (SURF) process, said Romeo, who oversees the process through her position with the NCTA Business Office.

Policy input and advising on campus initiatives is also key, said Peterson.  For example, last year, students noted a need for improved lighting along a walkway to the Veterinary Technology Complex.

Students work early morning hours and shifts at night in caring for Vet Tech animals at the college.

“The deer are very domesticated on campus and once I had a little run-in with a deer right there on the path,” Peterson chuckled. “So we got more light along there.”

As president, Peterson also serves on several advisory groups such as the Statewide Advisory Council and the NCTA Diversity Committee.  “We take student concerns to the Deans who are very responsive, and we also have student input in many initiatives on campus.”

Download a PDF of this press release