By: Benjamin Rieke
If you talk to the student body president about Minnesota State University Moorhead, you’ll find one word that sums up her thoughts: home.
“When I came up to the campus, there was something about the culture and the way that the professors connected with me that very first time I was here at a Dragon Days event,” Kaleen Krueger said. “I knew that this was the place I wanted to be.”
Krueger acknowledges how clichéd the statement sounds, but her enthusiasm is genuine. Before coming to MSUM, Krueger grew up in Casselton, North Dakota. She moved to MSUM in the fall semester of 2014, and she was a member of Student Senate by the end of her first week as a freshman.
“I wanted to get involved in an organization that was going to teach me the most about the place I was going to call home,” Krueger said. “I call MSUM my home because I know so much about it.”
Krueger has worn many hats in her four years with Student Senate: senator, secretary, public relations chair and now president of the student body. While her titles have changed, her mission has stayed the same—helping other students at MSUM.
“I really value being able to impact someone’s experience at MSUM, and I knew that I wanted to take a higher leadership role to be able to do that because there’s so many aspects of your college career that are affected by the place that you live (in),” Krueger said. “I wanted to bring an experience to the students that would be positive.”
Krueger says she has two major goals she plans to accomplish as president. First, she wants to help students better understand what Student Senate does for the campus. Organizing on-campus events like #DragonSwagBingo, funding student organizations, and acting as a bridge between students and the university are just a few of the responsibilities of Student Senate.
Second, Krueger wants to help students get more involved on campus and remove any stigma newcomers might have when joining Student Senate. She makes it clear that she is a student first and a senator second.
“We are the same; we’re equals. Just because I have a title doesn’t mean we’re any different,” Krueger said. “I want students to know I’m here no matter what. I’m here to be an advocate. I’m here for them to talk to and just be a person they can hang out with.”
Being approachable and building new relationships are important to Krueger. If students want to talk with her, their best bet is to visit the Student Senate office.
“I like to live in the senate office!” Krueger said. “I find myself sitting at the front desk a lot because I don’t just want to be shut off from students. I definitely want to be out with the students.”
Student Senate is just one part of Krueger’s busy life. She is in her fourth year here, double majoring in business administration and integrated advertising. In addition to serving on Student Senate, Krueger is active in multiple organizations on campus, including Students United, Collegiate DECA, Emerging Leaders, and the National Society of Student Leadership and Success. When Krueger isn’t in class or in a meeting, she’s watching Dragon basketball and enjoying campus life.
“Our campus is fantastic and incredible. Our campus culture is phenomenal and supportive,” Krueger said. “I don’t think we have many problems on campus we need to fix; I think it’s more like, ‘How can we push MSUM to be an even better campus?’”
Krueger enthusiastically described how Student Senate is already looking to improve MSUM. There are plans for a new food pantry to help students who may not always be able to afford food. She has also been working with the school’s board of directors on a new affirmative consent policy, as well as a carbon emissions document.
Krueger wants new students to know they too have the power to improve their campus.
“I have no doubt in my mind that if there is an initiative that students are really passionate about, the college would be very supportive of that,” Krueger said. “I really want a lot of students to be involved this year. I want students to know that there are committees and different areas they can get involved with and they don’t have to be a student senator,” Krueger said.
With only two semesters left before graduation, Krueger’s days with Student Senate are drawing to a close. However, while she will certainly miss it, MSUM will always be a part of her life.
“I’m going to miss walking through campus and getting to say, ‘Hi’ to at least ten people on my way to class. I’m going to miss that feeling of home that is overwhelming here,” Krueger said. “I can’t wait to come back as an alumni and go to a basketball game or get to come back to the Student Senate offices in a few years and be like, ‘This has changed and this is awesome!’ There’s so much that’s going to change over the years at MSUM, and I’m so excited to see what is accomplished.”
Fun Facts about President Kaleen Krueger
|Cat Person or Dog Person||Cat Person, but definitely loves dogs too|