Danielle Balmer is excited to step into a new position of leadership for Ferris State University’s Student Government organization in the fall of 2011, as its new president.
Balmer, who previously served as Student Government’s vice president during the 2010-11 academic year, remains as passionate as ever about student activism and leadership on campus. Through prior Student Government knowledge and service, Balmer has developed a strong understanding of the organization’s on-campus work and has ideas and plans in the works for how the organization can continue to serve the students it represents at Ferris.
“Finding out what students want and then making it happen is why Student Government is here,” said Balmer, a native of Columbia, Mo., majoring in Resort Management Hospitality. “We are the voice to the university for all students.”
Among her most immediate priorities, as president, will be the re-evaluation of all Student Government events to find ways to make them even “more exciting and entertaining” for students. In addition to the re-evaluation of all events, Balmer hopes to make The Big Event, a massive student-driven community service project, even more successful in 2012. Balmer, who served as director of The Big Event in 2011, hopes to recruit more than 2,000 student volunteers next year to participate in service projects in the Big Rapids community.
The inner activist that drives Balmer pushes her to make positive things happen.
“I took on this challenge to challenge myself as well as the members of Student Government. Our organization has been going through a lot of transitioning as we have had many members graduate who have been a part of Student Government for a while,” she said. “We are now working with a new group that is very interested in being a part of such a great organization.”
Balmer is ready to be that lead activist for Student Government.
Indeed, campus and community service might be genetic. Danielle’s older sister, Amber Balmer, served as president of Student Government in 2008-09. It was Amber, Danielle said, who influenced her to join the organization. Danielle began assisting her sister with events and became a voting member in September 2009. Even with that inspiration and preparation from her sister Amber, who works in the university’s Admissions office, Danielle never really envisioned herself as comfortable in such a leadership role – at least not when she first arrived at Ferris.
“If you would have asked me three years ago when I first walked into the Student Government office, if I would have ever seen myself being president of this organization, I would have said ‘no way’ to that,” Danielle said.
Time and positive experiences, however, have helped mold Balmer into a campus leader.
In addition to her election, as Student Government president, organization cabinet members were announced for 2011-12.
The makeup of the 2011-12 Student Government features:
- Vice President Brooke McComb, a junior Pharmacy major from Lansing;
- Director of Finance Nick Maus, a junior in Political Science major from Big Rapids;
- Director of Internal Assessment Brennon Warren, a senior Criminal Justice major from Linwood;
- Treasurer Marci Grisham, a senior Accounting major from Muskegon;
- Director of Technology James Batchik , a sophomore Horticulture major from Clarkston;
- Director of Public Relations Byron Williams, a sophomore Psychology major from Pontiac; and
- Parliamentarian Jake Herron, a senior Construction Management major from Albany.
Balmer noted that there are more than 40 students involved in Student Government.
“Student Government is a very unique organization and can be overwhelming at times,” Balmer said. “I have a cabinet that has been around and that I know has a big influence over their peers. Leadership and Learning is what we aim for next year.”