March 22, 2012 in Washington Voices

Rogers alumnus a leader at WSU

Kyle Erdman elected student body president
By The Spokesman-Review
 

The incoming president of the Associated Students of Washington State University is 2008 Rogers High School graduate Kyle Erdman. After an intense 40-day campaign featuring three different tickets – and some nerve-racking waiting time – the results were announced March 7.

“I don’t take office until after commencement,” said Erdman, 22, who grew up just two blocks from Rogers. “The campaign was pretty intense; it’s like real politics. It was nice to feel the strong support from our friends.”

Erdman’s vice president is Derrick Skaug, who attended Mt. Spokane High School.

Erdman gained leadership experience in the Greek community at WSU. He’s a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon and said the fraternity’s national office in Indianapolis has offered him a job after he graduates in 2013. He’s not entirely certain where his career will take him.

“I’m not going into politics, that much I can tell you,” said Erdman, laughing.

Erdman is studying professional writing and rhetoric and hopes to pursue a master’s degree in writing later on.

He’s the first member of his family to go to college.

“My freshman year was a little tough. I had to figure things out on my own,” Erdman said. It wasn’t until his junior year in high school that he realized he wanted to go to college, and he picked WSU without hesitation.

“The first time I headed down to WSU was for orientation, before classes started,” said Erdman, “I’d never been there before, but I instantly felt at home.”

He ran for student body president on a platform of service, student well-being and keeping WSU world class, among other things. Erdman said student safety is very important, too.

“We have this thing called ‘Safe Walk’ where volunteers help students walk home safely at night,” said Erdman.

Recently, WSU’s board of regents proposed fining students $100 for not following the school’s code of conduct, with an additional $150 assessed to those who don’t pay the first fine.

“I don’t think that’s fair,” Erdman said. “If you do something now, you get in trouble as it is, both academically and with your parents. I’m not sure an extra fine is necessary.”

Erdman, who graduated from high school in 2008, was the captain of Rogers football, baseball and basketball teams his senior year. He said even when the teams didn’t win, excellent coaches helped them take something good from the games. And that in turn helped Erdman become a better leader.

Once he takes office, his first focus will be to help new students.

“Student government will be at the orientation sessions over summer,” Erdman said. “We’ll set up a voluntary workshop to introduce people to student government, and show them how they can get involved.”

Erdman’s family tradition at Rogers continues. He said his stepsister Talia Felice is now attending Rogers, where she’s one of the top basketball players.

“She’s doing really well,” Erdman said. “I had some great teachers and coaches there. I hope she has the same experience.”


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