Trail Maker

5 Students Who are Trail Makers

5 Students Who
Brett Highley

Brett Highley

  • Brett Highley
  • Jacqueline Borchert
  • Keith Hansen
  • Anne Iovinelli
  • Nicholas Goldsmith

Name: Brett Highley
Major: Political Science
Year: Senior
Hometown: McCordsville, Indiana

Throughout the 2011-2012 term, Brett Highley used his Purdue Student Government presidential platform to fight for his fellow students’ interests and make the trail easier for current and future Purdue students. In March, Brett watched the Indiana Lifeline Law, a bill he worked on for more than a year, get signed into Indiana state law. The bill provides legal immunity to those who call for emergency assistance for an individual who has consumed too much alcohol.

Sigh of relief

“The first unanimous vote during a committee hearing in the Indiana State Senate for the Indiana Lifeline Law was the most exciting part for me, because after 11 months of hard work by our team, it was the first time we had concrete results. It was exciting to see how overwhelmingly supportive legislators were to work with students and to see that students can truly play an integral role in large policy changes in our state.”

Student Voice

“Students and families are very sensitive to the rising costs of higher education, and this past year we've worked with University administrators to create a mechanism that allows for greater student involvement in evaluating student fees. The Student Fee Advisory Board will take students from every college on campus to provide a student perspective on any new or existing fees. In addition, future board members will have the ability to invest a small portion of these fees into valuable new student services or campus projects.”

Statewide pride

“In March 2011 we hosted a 'Purdue Day at the Statehouse' as an opportunity to show state legislators and public officials a sampling of what student leaders on our campus have accomplished. By highlighting everything from philanthropies to student research and innovation, we want our state leaders to witness the successes that result from their investment into Indiana higher education.”

Lasting leadership

“Your goal as a student leader is to advance the mission of your organization or campus project, and it's important that you have a long-term strategy to accomplish that mission. Though you may hold a position or title of leadership, realize that all students on this campus are leaders, and don't be afraid to allow their strengths to make up for your weaknesses. When you graduate, you want to leave your organization or project in a position where the next wave of student leaders will experience greater opportunities to create dynamic changes.”

By Kelly Rogers
Photos by Mark Simons
Published May 2012