Getting to know Emily Kinner, SGA’s new vice president

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Ryan Fischer | The Parthenon
SGA Vice President Emily Kinner

Emily Kinner, the new vice president of the Marshall University Student Government Association, says she is as equally excited to work with her constituents as she is about her new position.

Kinner is a Huntington native and graduated from Cabell Midland High School with the class of 2014. She is a junior at Marshall University with a double major in broadcast journalism and political science and a minor in Spanish.

Some of Kinner’s responsibilities as student vice president consist of leading weekly senate meetings, serving as liaison for senate and executive cabinets and organizing the fountain ceremony.

“We seem to have a lot of dedicated, hardworking students that are ready to represent the student body,” Kinner said. “Also, we are trying to get a more diverse senate so we can have multiple opinions; we want healthy debate [environment] on the senate floor so we can make the best decisions for the student body.”

Kinner’s affiliation with SGA started early in her college career. During Week of Welcome her freshman year, she met Matthew James, assistant dean of student affairs and executive advisor, and future SGA president Matt Jarvis. In the first week, Kinner said those two individuals, along with the rest of the SGA family, sparked her interest to get involved in representing the student body.

“One of her strengths is she is committed and doesn’t like to be told no,” James said. “As vice president, you have to be persistent when you are asserted into that role.”

“She is very dedicated to her role with the SGA to where she takes a lot of pride in her work,” said Cedric Gathings, the vice president of student affairs. “She wants to establish a stronger voice for her students to feel empowered.”

Kinner said she continues to grow into her new role, which demands being assertive and authoritative. Kinner said she is forced to step out of her comfort zone.

According to her peers, she is described as easy going, reserved and generally quiet—until she is placed behind the microphone to sing, her second passion.

“I think she truly finds herself through her expression through music,” James said. “When she gets into that performance zone it’s a total transformation.”

“Her music is a way of expressing herself and connecting with students,” Gathings said. “When she sings, she is very expressive and engaged. I got to see a different side of her. When you put her behind the mic she transforms into this amazing superstar.”

Kinner started singing at age nine and started playing the guitar soon after. Kinner first showcased her talents when she entered in a talent show hosted in the Village of Barboursville.

Kinner said she is a part of three bands: “Scarlet Hill,” “Emily Kinner and the Fringe,” and “Wild and Wonderful,” which she founded alongside lifelong friend Hannah Villars, a freshman at Marshall University.

“Hannah and I have been jamming since we were little,” Kinner said. “Any instrument she touches she can pretty much play. We posted a video on our Facebook page in the beginning of the summer. Since that post, we’ve had some pretty good feedback… We [have also been] contacted about performing at some venues recently since we’ve posted that video, which is exciting.”

Kinner said one of her future goals as vice president is to open a student run café on the eighth floor of Smith Hall, where each college would contribute to making the café run smoothly.

She said she envisions business students handling finances, dietetic students organizing a menu and arts and media students handling the social media events and scheduling performances.

“The café would be something unique that few campuses have to offer,” Kinner said. “It would also give students some real life experience before they go out and seek jobs in their respective fields of study. Most importantly, it would provide a safe environment for students surrounded by their peers, so they don’t have to leave campus to have a good time.”

Kinner said she wants to leave an everlasting impact on the expectations of future SGA members and, more importantly, the students at Marshall University.

“I truly believe that the SGA are the student representatives of the student body at Marshall University and I take that to heart,” Kinner said. “We shouldn’t be invisible, we should be seen at all different events on campus to show our dedication, support and commitment to the student body to the best of our ability.”

Kinner said she aspires to continue to pursue her political interests after graduation and she wants to be a political commentator in the future.

“I want to go into politics, but not as a politician. I want to report it,” Kinner said.

Kyle Camacho can be contacted at [email protected]

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