He can’t go many places lately without getting some sort of congratulatory shout-out, handshake or complimentary hug.
But student body president-elect Josh Simpson says he’s keeping it all in perspective, and knows there is work to be done.
Simpson, who served as vice president of operations last semester, beat out incumbent SGA President Brent Folan by 264 votes in the Nov. 13 student election.
“The work of a lot of people paid off,” the newly elected Simpson said. “I was happy and relieved at the same time that I finally had an answer.”
Simpson had spent the majority of the three weeks leading up to the election campaigning, and said it was easy to forget that he was a college student at times.
A senior from Sherman, Texas, Simpson is set to graduate in May with a degree in Entrepreneurial Management and Political Science.
He makes it clear, however, that he isn’t a money-grabbing business man or political blowhard.
“I’m not a traditional business major,” Simpson said. “I’m interested in the people side of things.”
It is his people-first approach that he hopes to take to SGA, and use to reshape the student-led government, Simpson said.
SGA has lost its ability to communicate with students, Simpson said, and it is important to get that ability back in the face of a rapidly changing university landscape.
Reaching out to student groups who feel like they aren’t being heard and students in general is Simpson's main goal for next semester, he said.
There have already been talks about possible town hall-like meetings, or open forum house committee meetings, for students to come voice their opinion, Simpson said.
The presidency needs to shift from a “project manager” role to a visionary that can build a good framework for the future, Simpson explained.
“If you create a good framework, good things will come,” Simpson said.
Simpson and Lauren Sharp, the newly elected vice president of operations, have already begun the process that will bring free scantrons to students.
The university's long term success is the ultimate goal, Simpson said, even though he will be graduating in May.
The biggest driving force for Simpson, he said, is his faith. Simpson believes his consultative-type leadership and introspective personality are exactly what SGA needs.
It is a sentiment that his fellow cabinet member Graham McMillan shares.
“I can tell you without a doubt, and without hesitation Josh [Simpson] is the best leader we have,” McMillan, vice president for external affairs, said. “He’s probably thinking of something right now.”
Running is a passion for SImpson, who often runs through local neighborhoods to clear his head of the everyday grind, he said.
If he’s not on roads running, you might find him at a coffee shop, park, or somewhere quiet, Simpson added. It is places like these that he likes to read, journal, pray, and do good thinking.
Simpson will have plenty of time to think in a few weeks when classes end for the semester.
He said he will take this time to fortify his plan for next semester, as well as meet with his cabinet.
“I want students to take ownership of their university,” Simpson said. “I think SGA is a great outlet to create the changes they are looking for. If you have an opinion on something I want to hear it, SGA wants to hear it, because that’s our job.”