Inside NDSU Student Government

An inside look at the Student Body Executive Team

Many students do not know the inner workings or faces behind the student body government. The Student Body President, Christian Walth, has always been an active member on campus.

“I fell in love with leadership at the residence hall association so at the end of my freshman year I actually quit track and I told my coach; I am going to run for student body president in two and a half years,” Walth said.

During Walth’s and Vice President Alex Duerr’s campaigning, they were very vocal about their platform and future plans. 

“We wanted to promote a sense of belonging on campus for students who got to campus and promote a sense of community for students who are already here. So lots of goals, lots of things we’d like to achieve in the year but if I had to describe it in one sentence it’s just to get more students involved and make sure they feel like it’s their home,” Walth said.

Mental Health was also a big part of their platform

“Our other basis for our platform was mental health, we thought that students were struggling with mental health across the North Dakota University system, so over the summer, during the campaign period and beforehand, we have really been planning lots of things with campuses across the state,” said Walth. “We’ve been helping get the green bandana project at every university which is really exciting. I am looking to put more mental health awareness into syllabi across campus, so that if students are struggling with their mental health they can tell their professors and have it be a valid reason, because we believe mental health is a valid reason to miss class.”

They also hope to procure more funding over the year for continued student mental health improvements. 

“We will be working with legislators soon to see if we can provide more funding for mental health from the legislature to give to the North Dakota University System. It’ll be a big endevor and I think it will go very well. We are optimistic.  If anything I think we will start some good conversations,” Walth said.

As for the rest of the executive team, there are 12 members, two of those being Walth and Duerr

“I am the president, really the roles that I have are to put people into committees, making sure that we have student representation across campus and helping them find commissions within the executive team, and in cases of incidents, controversies, emergencies or in celebrations, the student body president is usually the first one that gets to speak about it, whether it’s good or bad,” said Walth. 

Duerr was Walths running mate and is just as busy.

“The vice president is the president of the Senate, so he helps coordinate the Senate with the chief administrator,” said Walth. “They help the Senators make sure they know what they are doing but also speak on behalf of the Senate, so while they do not get a vote in the senate they are like senate presidents similar to the legislative branch in American politics. Alex’s main role is to make sure that senators feel equipped as there are a lot of them.”

There is also a Finance Commission that works closely with clubs on campus. 

“Two executives work in finance so they make sure all the two tier organizations are able to get reimbursements, are able to be funded, and are able to be successfully created,” said Walth. “The CSO which is the Congress of Student Organizations also helps get the organizations started and essentially the finance team helps get them funded.”

Students looking to start a new club can find guidelines on the website as well as reach out to the CSO.

“If a student wants to start a new club we help walk them through that process and help them become an officially recognized organization at NDSU,” said Maximus Swenson, Executive Commissioner of Congress of Student Organizations.

There is also an Executive Commissioner of Diversity and Inclusion on the executive team.

“We also have diversity and inclusion as one of our commissioners, that one is pretty self explanatory, they make sure our diversity and equity efforts across campus are growing,” said Walth. “We want to make sure that students feel like they have a belonging on campus and that they also feel like they are represented on campus.”

Students who have ideas or need help with something can reach out to Walth and he may point them in the direction of the Academic Student Affairs Commission.

“The Academic Student Affairs Commission is in charge of representing the students so if they want to see something happen at ndsu, maybe they want to do events, programming or maybe they just have problems that they see on campus that commission is the one that they would go to,” Walth said.

“In addition we have the External Affairs Commision, there are two executives that help with this commission we have the External Affairs Commissioner and we have the Legislative Affairs Commissioner. They both work together to make sure that we have positive relationships with community holders, with policyholders, and with the legislature, so making sure that we have a positive image at NDSU,” Wath said.

There are also Public Relations and Technology Commissioners as well as an Executive Administrator.

“As the public relations liaison for student government I work a lot with our Senators and fellow execs publicizing the events that we do and different things going on in student government,” said Ashyln Schauer, Executive Commissioner of Public Relations. “I also help run our social media and then work to publicize any events the student government is partnering with other organizations with. I help with promotional material and engagement.”

A personal goal of Schauer’s is engagement and involvement.

“It’s really getting awareness of student government. I think we have an important role for the students to represent them and to allocate their student fees and be their student voice,” Schauer said.

Walth echoed Schauers goal and expressed his passion for student involvement throughout the interview. 

“We just want to make sure students have a voice even if they are not in student government. If they would like to contact anyone I always recommend students contact myself and I am able to direct them,” said Walth. “If anyone is interested in joining student government we have seven commissions that students are able to join, more dependent on what happens during the year, and there are also about 18 committees students are able to join. Committees are different from commissions because they involve faculty and staff on the committee.”

Students can contact Walth at

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