McKenzie Ward, a second-year student at Framingham State University, is a student leader active in addressing issues concerning food and housing insecurity, social justice issues, and mental health issues. For the last three semesters, she has worked closely with the Student Government Association to address food and housing insecurity on the FSU campus and raising awareness about mental health issues to the community. She is currently working to have FSU officially recognize Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day and further educate the community about the land the University is located upon. For the last year she has also worked to advocate for open educational resources in universities in order to make access to education less expensive and easier to access for all students through serving as the University’s open educational resource ambassador.
I first began involved with addressing the issues of food and housing insecurity during the summer before my senior year by volunteering my time at my town’s public library handing out free lunches to families in my community and reading books to the children of the families. When I arrived at Framingham State University, I decided to become involved with the Student Government Association and there I was further educated on how many college students are impacted by food and housing insecurity. I have since volunteered my time packing and handing out overnight bags that include toothpaste, shampoo, socks, and other essentials to FSU students during my first year. During my time involved in FSU’s Student Government Association I have served as the University’s Student Trustee which has provided me the opportunity to request the official reorganization of Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day by the University in order to properly honor and recognize Native America peoples and commemorate their histories. During my time at FSU, I have also spent my time educating the community on the importance of voting in local, state, and federal elections.