With the August sun beating down onto the track, Student Senate President Donny Whitton throws a frisbee to his classmate while waiting for the rest of the Senate members to arrive at the Fit with Senate activity, which was held to encourage students to interact with the members of the Student Senate.
After serving in the military, Whitton made the decision to go back to school. He chose to attend JCCC to get his Liberal Arts degree and Associates of General Studies before attending UMKC to receive a physics degree and electrical and computer engineering degree. Whitton, who is originally from Kansas City, Kansas attended North Kansas City high school. During his time in the Army, he served as a combat engineer and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician.
Now in his third year at JCCC, Whitton has been involved in a variety of activities during his time here. He served as last year’s president of the Veterans Club, a Peer Advisers for Veterans Education (PAVE) team leader, and a member of the Active Minds club. He is also an employee at the Veterans Services office. In his free time he enjoys reading books as well as being active and doing physical activities such as lifting weights, rock climbing, playing basketball and wrestling.
“With my experience in the military and the other clubs and organizations I’ve learned a lot of different leadership techniques and team building techniques.” Whitton said. “As active as I’ve been on campus I know where to go to ask people to do certain things and the resources needed to solve the problems that we have on campus.”
During his time as Student Senate President, Whitton hopes to make changes to textbooks and help students solve their financial aid issues, along with getting a nap room put on campus. One of his biggest goals is to increase school spirit on campus and at sporting events.
“I really hope to build a lot of school spirit this year.” Whitton said. “Last year we had a lot of great sports teams and if you went to watch the girls basketball team or the boys basketball team the gym would be not very full. Garnering support for our sports teams and I hope that builds momentum for school spirit.”
Whitton encourages all students to becoming involved in Student Senate. Even if a student doesn’t have the time to become a member, the meetings and subcommittees are open to those who are interested.
“I encourage people to participate because you’re giving back to the school and you’re setting up a legacy for those who are going to come after you by helping to make this school a better place,” said Whitton. “You’re promoting self interest for whatever group or activity you’re a part of. We can’t accurately represent your demographic if you don’t bring us your voice.”