One of the main goals of Haskell Indian Junior College's student body president is to increase students' involvement in the Lawrence community.
Shawn Braun, a Haskell sophomore who was elected president during the spring semester, said he would like to show Lawrence residents that there are good people at the Bureau of Indian Affairs school.
"I want to branch out in the community more," Braun said during an interview Friday. "I feel we're not getting enough exposure. We've got really great students, and sometimes we're stereotyped as drunken Indians."
Braun, a Cherokee from Tahlequah, Okla., said he hopes to get students involved in local civic groups. He especially would like to see Haskell students work with the elderly in Lawrence.
ANOTHER PRIORITY for Braun, who is studying business administration, is to bring more motivational speakers to the school. Braun said he hoped that the student senate would be able to sponsor a variety of educational programs this year.
As president of the student body, Braun also will address student concerns and complaints. Braun recently held a student concerns forum, and some of the issues discussed included overcrowding in the residence halls and coeducational visitation rights.
Last year, Haskell President Bob Martin approved coeducation visits in residence halls, and Braun said there has been some talk that students violated the rules. But he said nothing has been documented to support those allegations.
ALTHOUGH Braun works with Haskell administrators and faculty members about student concerns, he said the student senate is its own, independent governing body.
"Bob Martin is to the staff what I am to the students," Braun explained.
He said he is going to try to motivate students to join at least one club this year. He said students who are involved tend to be more successful academically.
Asked why he wanted to serve as student body president, Braun, who participated in a cooperative education program with the U.S. Forest Service, said, "I've had an extensive leadership background, and I've worked with youth a lot. I guess it's more or less giving back to the students."