Incoming Memorial Student Center President Oriana Koot, biomedical science and psychology sophomore, will lead the 70th MSC executive team for the 2019-2020 school year.
Koot started as an MSC officer at the beginning of her sophomore year as chair of the MSC Fall Leadership Conference. She spent her freshman year in MSC Aggie Leaders of Tomorrow, where she served as a staff member. Koot is a first-generation college student and said she found a home through her Freshman Leadership Organization, which eventually led to her new role as MSC President. Among other goals, Koot aims to help unify the 19 committees housed within the MSC and make the executive staff more approachable.
Koot said she views herself as someone who can unite students in the MSC by bringing together different committees with diverse missions.
“There’s around 1,300 MSC members in the 19 different committees, and each of the committees are so different and have such different mission statements,” Koot said. “I see my role as a person to unite those and bring all those different people together under the same MSC umbrella and really kind of give them a purpose to be in the MSC and see that bigger picture.”
Now preparing for her role as a prominent student leader, Koot said the MSC remains a welcoming place for all students. For those who are not on a committee, Koot said events like this year’s performance by actor and comedian Hasan Minhaj present another opportunity for the MSC to offer representation and a sense of community.
“We’re somewhere students can come to and just really feel like they have a home, really feel like they belong in one of the 19 different committees we have,” Koot said. “We also put on different programs to allow the students who might not be in the MSC to still feel like they are a part of A&M’s campus.”
As she transitions into her new role, Koot said she is looking up to business honors senior and current MSC President Taylor Welch, as well as the entire MSC executive staff.
“I never thought I would be able to be the MSC President, especially now, but they really believed in me, and they really encouraged me to go for it and saw something in me that I didn’t see,” Koot said. “Taylor Welch has helped me, since I got the position and even before, so much in trusting in me and believing in me. I really look up to them, all of my mentors in the MSC, even from my freshman year.”
Welch and Koot first met when Koot was chair of the Fall Leadership Conference, where both were able to connect with fellow student leaders. Now, Welch is working to help Koot transition into her role as MSC President.
“We’ve worked together the past few months as we’ve transitioned, and it’s just been really exciting to see how much passion and enthusiasm she has,” Welch said. “I feel like Oriana is the kind of leader that cares not only about the MSC programs but also the individual leadership development of all students.”
Koot said she is looking forward to the team she will be working with over the next year and is ready to continue to learn how to serve A&M as best she can.
“Even though I’m young and I have a lot to learn, I am willing to learn, and I’m willing to put in the work to serve the MSC and to serve Texas A&M as best I can,” Koot said. “I’m just so grateful for this opportunity, and I’m especially so grateful for those I will be working with next year because they’ve already done amazing things.”
Jack Oldham, supply chain management junior and incoming MSC executive vice president of business, will be working on administrative functions across the MSC. Oldham has also worked as director of the Fall Leadership Conference and will be working with Koot on the executive team.
“I think Oriana is one of the most qualified individuals for this position,” Oldham said. “She has a lot of experience within the MSC and outside of the MSC that has prepared her to take on this role, and I can’t wait to see what she’ll bring to the position and to the Memorial Student Center as a whole.”