Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Student Profile: Student body president Kyle Frazier

Sam Hill

Posted on September 22, 2014 in Community
By Anthony Emerson

USM student body president Kyle Frazier is the kind of person who is able to talk to anybody comfortably. He can switch from talking about football in one sentence and school politics in the next. And he’s comfortable and charming in all topics. The Lisbon, Maine native was elected last spring in a landslide over opponents Jordan Miles and Erin Carlson. His election has been a culmination of a journey that started back in 2011.

Frazier admits that he used to be rarely involved in campus life outside of the classroom. That changed when he joined one of the most prominent fraternities on campus, Phi Mu Delta.

“I didn’t do anything on campus my freshman year,” Frazier said. “I did nothing until I joined Phi Mu Delta, and that is basically what led to everything.”

After joining, Frazier quickly got involved in student government. He cites close friend and former Phi Mu chapter president and student senator Christian Evans as the primary reason he joined student senate. “Christian offered me the opportunity and I seized it.” Frazier said.

Frazier also cited that former student body president Chris Camire served as a major inspiration. “Seeing him speak to all the students compelled me to want that, but I didn’t think it’d actually happen,” he said. “I knew that I really wanted to become student body president as soon a friend of mine, Isaac Misiuk, ran and was defeated by last year’s student body president Kelsea Dunham.” Frazier also gave his predecessor Dunham credit as a major source of motivation. “I saw everything that Kelsea did and her passion for the students and I felt that I could do the same.”

Frazier, a “lifelong” Republican, chose Democrat Rebecca Tanous as his running mate, but doesn’t believe that partisan politics belong in student government.

Frazier said that he believes that they will balance each other well, because they have a close friendship and a strong ability to work together to meet a common goal.

“She [Tanous] knows people I don’t know and we balance each other as far as personalities go,” said Frazier.

Frazier reflected on his campaign experience and said, “I’ve never been more stressed out in my entire life! But it was fun.” According to him it was unlike anything he’s ever worked Frazier said that one of the best aspects of his time as president was his opportunity to become more of a social extrovert. Since becoming elected, he’s had the time to introduce and meet a lot of students.

“I had a reason to approach students I’d never seen before,” said Frazier.

Frazier admits he was nervous at the sole presidential debate, but only “until the first question was asked.”

“Looking back, I said ‘um’ way too many times, but it wasn’t difficult for me because I care so passionately about this university,” said Frazier. “I didn’t have to think of answers because I knew immediately how I felt.”

He described the moment he found out that he won as a rather comic affair.

“Will Gattis, who was Vice Chair of the student senate at the time, pulled me aside and said ‘I have some bad news,’ and he put his head down and said ‘you’re going to be the next student body president.’ And I could’ve cried honestly, I was so happy and so relieved, knowing that enough students cared enough to elect me. I was honored. Every day I’m still honored to have this opportunity.”

Frazier described the current budget situation as a “pretty sticky situation.”

“A lot of people have been almost like sympathizing for me, but I’m more honored that the students chose me to be the guy to try to help them through this,” said Frazier. “I know it’s not gonna be easy, and I know that everything that I try to do might not be well received by all the students.”

Frazier said one of his biggest plans is the continued and expanded integration and involvement of USM into the Portland community as part of the new Metropolitan University vision proposed by the Steering Committee, of which Frazier is the only student.

“I think Portland deserves a good university, and I think USM could provide that.” Frazier said.

Frazier admits that he currently has no big plans. “I’m not trying to be reactionary,” he said. According to Frazier cuts are coming and he certainly will not overlook student opinions on that sensitive issue. “

It’s my job to bridge the gap between the students and the administration, and I’m ready to do that,” said Frazier.

Frazier has met with the new interim University President David Flanagan and thinks that he’s a really cool guy. He sympathizes with the president by saying “I feel for him,” due to the challenges he faces.

“He’s here to do what he has to do, and I’m gonna try to support him as much as I can but also make sure that he knows the students’ voice.”

Frazier also said he has a close relationship with Dean Joy Pufhal, due to the fact that Dean Pufhal was Frazier’s academic advisor during his freshman year.

“I feel as though I’m connected with the right people to help the students get what they want as effectively as possibly.”

Frazier stressed that he wants the students to not be afraid to come to him and resolve any issues they have.

“I’m trying to make students love the university more,” said Frazier. “If they could love this place half as much as I do, it’d be a much better experience.”

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