Take a moment to get to know the 2020-2021 Student Body President, Tara Orr. Encourage your student to get involved with the Student Government Association.
Tell us about yourself. I am from Blue Springs, MO. Blue Springs is right outside of Kansas City which is why I have such a enormous love for the Royal’s and the Chiefs! I have two older brothers; Bobby (who is actually my best friend and role model) is 25 and works back in KC. Tanner is my other brother who is 23 and is a paramedic firefighter in Oak Grove. My brothers and I have always been incredibly close, and I love when I get to go home and see them along with my mom and grandma. I am currently a Senior Marketing: Advertising and Promotion Major in the Accelerated Masters Program. I graduate with my undergrad this Fall of 2020 and then graduate fall of 2021 with my MBA. I will have only been in college for a total of four and a half years! Being a first-generation student and following in my brothers’ footsteps, I am very proud of this accomplishment. I never thought that I would be pursuing a master’s degree, but college will change any plans you thought you had! After I graduate, I am hoping to find a career within a marketing consultant firm. I don’t exactly know what this looks like quite yet, but I have some time to figure it out!
You were just elected Student Body President. What are your goals for the position? How do you think your goals will help the students and Missouri State? My goals as Student Body President are to grow in connection with the students. This is a time of uncertainty, and I want to try and make sure students are able to have an amazing college experience even though it may look a little different. I want to provide a voice for all students and have them feel included and help them to truly know how important they are.
How long have you been involved in the Student Government Association? How did you get involved and why is it good for our students to get involved? I have been involved with the Student Government Association since I was a freshman. During SOAR my freshman year, my brother texted me and told me to introduce myself to Caitlin Schaefer, who at the time was the current Student Body Vice President. I got to talking to her, and she explained to me what SGA was and why I should get involved. I am incredibly thankful I took her advice because taking that small step was what got me to where I am today. I started out as a representative of my sorority, then served on cabinet as Chief Communications Officer, and then ran a campaign to hold the position of Chief of Staff. SGA has taught me a lot about what it really means to be a leader. SGA has taught me a lot about building relationships and working towards a greater good. I think if you are even slightly considering it, go ahead and join! I never in a million years thought I’d be the Student Body President, but with hard work and dedication, you can honestly achieve anything. This goes for any organization!
You are very involved on campus. Why is it important for students to be involved at Missouri State? What lessons have you learned from being involved? I am incredibly involved on campus. I think it is important to get involved because of the friends and connections you make along the way. I would not have survived some of my most stressful times in college if it wasn’t for my sorority sisters, my friendships within SGA, my fellow Hill City Salt Company leaders, and my friends on the AD Team. These friendships have helped me to grow into the person I am. I have been challenged in so many wonderful ways, and know that I am never alone. When you join an organization, you are joining something bigger than just yourself. It is what makes college what it is. There are so many ways to get involved in the city, at Missouri State, or even with your major! Don’t regret a missed opportunity, take them every chance you get.
What is your favorite Missouri State tradition and why? My favorite Missouri State tradition is Fountain Day! I love seeing everyone come together to celebrate their campus. Spring is my favorite season, and I love after months of seeing the fountain off, getting the chance to see it come to life with some of my closest friends. Makes spring even more enjoyable than it already is. Also the photo opportunities when it’s on and a sunset in the background, words cannot describe the beauty!
What is your best advice for the family members of our incoming students? I think the best advice for family members of incoming students is just checking up on them. College is an incredible time, but it definitely comes with its hardships. I am thankful to have a mom and grandma who would just listen to me when I was having a stressful time or giving me words of encouragement when I wasn’t very motivated. Being a first-generation student has been difficult not knowing a lot of answers to some questions, but even if they didn’t have the answers for me, they would always be there to listen. Sometimes your student will just want to rant or celebrate with you! The best thing you can do is give them your attention and listen to whatever it is they have to say.
What is your best advice for our incoming students as they start their freshman year? The best advice I have for incoming students as they are starting their freshman year is to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way! Freshman year was for sure one of my favorites. If it wasn’t for the organizations and opportunities I took my freshman year, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wouldn’t have the lifelong friendships that I do. College is an unbelievable experience, and I am so excited to welcome them all to campus this Fall. Although things may look a little different, say yes every chance you get.