TWU elects first man as student body president

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For the first time, a male student has been elected as student body president at Texas Woman’s University.

Landon Dickerson, 21, said he was unaware he would be the first man elected to the position, since another male student had been appointed to complete a term in spring 2005.

“There’s a lot of possibilities for it to be a great year and I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “Honestly, I’m just ready to start in August.”

Male enrollment was first allowed at TWU in 1995, and has been steadily increasing since 2004. In fall 2013, there were 1,694 male students, making up 11.2 percent of the university’s enrollment of 12,422 in Denton.

Monica Mendez-Grant, interim vice president for student life, said Dickerson will bring a new perspective to the Student Senate in addition to his skills at collaboration and his ability to gather information from other students.

“I’m very excited about his election as the new student body president,” she said. “I anticipate he can bring a fresh perspective to a predominantly female student population, which will continue to promote the distinct mission of TWU, which includes diversity.”

Dickerson has been the only man on the executive leadership board, and all of the former student body presidents he has met are women, but he thinks the upcoming year will be different because of new administration rather than his gender.

Ann Stuart, current president and chancellor of TWU, is retiring from the university this spring and will be replaced by Carine Feyten, who starts July 1. Additionally, a search is underway for the next vice president for student life after Richard Nicholas retired from the position last week.

“Honestly I don’t think gender has anything to do with it; I think it’s about the timing,” he said. “The administration I’m coming under is new with a new president and vice president for student life. There are more progressive changes coming to TWU.”

During his tenure, which formally begins in August, he hopes to get more of the men on campus engaged in campus life and activities.

“We have the odds against us since we’re 85 percent commuters and 11 percent male, and these odds are not in our favor, but more or less I’m trying to spur some interest in student involvement, especially with males,” he said.

He has been active in the Student Senate since he transferred to TWU in 2012, and recently served as executive treasurer of the organization. He’s also a member of the Multicultural Student Network and a Pioneer Ambassador for prospective students.

Before beginning his term in the fall, Dickerson will start working in his role to help with orientations for incoming students over the summer while taking classes.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

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