Freshman class president looking to make a difference at AU

Mackenzie Pflum, Reporter

Transitioning from high school to college poses a challenge for a lot of freshman students. Time management, making friends, getting involved throughout campus, and many other things all while trying to maintain good grades, get sleep, and stay healthy. freshman Kayin McDonald however, is coming with full steam ahead.
McDonald is no stranger to the city of Ashland, growing up here all his life. While it came to deciding where he wanted to go to further his education, the Ashbrook program at AU was what really sealed the deal for Mcdonald. “I’m looking to go into the law field and want to run for public office some day so it was the perfect fit for me since it is one of the best undergrads in that area in the country right now.” Along with the Ashbrook program, McDonald was also offered a position on the Men’s Soccer team, which was another big pull towards AU.
Now being half way through his first semester, he has taken college head on adding freshman class president to his title. Because being in student senate, an athlete, and a part of Ashbrook was not enough for McDonald, he got involved in other places around campus.
He joined seven different organizations on campus including college of republicans, philosophy club and is a member of jazz band. He works as a lifeguard at the Recreation Center on campus and refs soccer games on the weekends. He volunteers his time at Ashland High School to coach the students who are involved in Mock Trial, an extracurricular activity where high school students act out a civil or criminal trial by arguing for either the prosecution or defense side against another team, which acts as the opposing side.. McDonald also juggles three different majors and three minors.
The freshman class president takes his title seriously and wants to help resolve the issues he sees on campus. The biggest in his eyes, wages for campus employees, specifically facilities. “The facilities department is so underpaid it’s saddening.”
After putting out a survey to the freshman class in his monthly email, he saw about 90% of the issues reported had to do with facilities. Because facilities are understaffed this creates another issue. They have half of the staff they want to have and McDonald believes he knows why.
“They never get raises, ever. They were cut because of Covid and when they were brought back they only were receiving the normal wage which is minimum wage. When you work on the grounds you’re doing much harder things than someone would do working at the rec center.”
McDonald knows this first hand, as he was a facilities worker over the summer.“You’re doing a job that no one wants to do. You’re in the cold, at 6 a.m doing stuff, the stuff that usually gets paid for because no one wants to do it.” He believes the push for this issue started after meeting the employees and hearing their stories.
Mcdonald knows that in his student government position he does not have an abundance of say in the matter, but it is something that he is passionate about and wants to help in any way that he possibly can.
“There’s not a lot I can do, but there’s a little I can do. I’m trying to think of different outlets and just being that nag to the higher ups to get them to fix this,” he said.
Outside of Ashland University, McDonald has some ambitious goals for himself in the upcoming years. “I think it would be really cool to be mayor, in fact I kinda plan to run against Matt Miller somewhat soon. I know it would be really hard but it would also be a cool experience.”
After attending Ashland the plan is to further his education in law school and become a lawyer. Furthermore down the line, McDonald would like to run for office at the state level and continue his experience in government.