By Jeffrey Hendrix
Student Writer, EKU Communications & Marketing
Whether it’s his fraternity, his university, or the entire state of Kentucky, he’s happy to serve his peers by leading and representing them wherever and however he can.
Sebastian Torres, a senior political science major from Hollywood, Florida, serves as executive vice president on Eastern Kentucky University’s Student Government Association. In addition to holding office on campus, he’s already getting a start on the next phase of his career at the state level.
Gov. Matt Bevin recently appointed Torres to serve as the student member on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) through June 2017. The CPE was founded in 1997 to coordinate change and improvement in the state’s postsecondary education system. It is composed of 15 members: 13 citizens, one faculty member, and one student appointed by the governor. By representing students with both the SGA and CPE, Torres hopes that he will “be able to leave Eastern, and really the state of education in Kentucky, better.”
Representing fellow students in an official capacity while keeping up with school is a huge responsibility, but Torres is “happy to serve the state of Kentucky any way that I can. Being able to represent students from across the Commonwealth is a humbling opportunity. I am very excited to fight for student interests every step of the way.”
Torres has also been appointed as a member of the Tuition Development Work Group, where he will work with other CPE members to review the tuition-setting process and recommend a ceiling for tuition and mandatory fees. “We have not had a tuition-specific meeting yet, but I expect it to be very serious and grounded in statistics and data. I am very anxious to work with other board members to reach an agreement that benefits students above all else.”
Torres understands that “Kentucky and Eastern are both going through huge changes.” That’s why his main goal in either position is to “ensure that students’ best interests are always heard and heeded. Students seek quality education, and I hope that I can advocate for it whenever possible,” he said.
Torres is no newcomer to politics. Since he started attending EKU in 2013, he has become active as a grassroots activist and as an official. “I have been involved in several political organizations on campus, such as Students for Rand and Young Americans for Liberty,” Torres said. “I have a passion for political action.”
Torres’ recent appointment may be the beginning of his service in the political arena. He sees himself “involved in the public policy process” when he graduates from Eastern. Now that Torres has already been recognized by the governor as a worthy representative, will the Commonwealth see Torres on the ballot box any time soon?
“I would like to be involved in state and federal politics, but don’t see myself as a candidate,” he said.
Even when Torres enjoys less political activities on campus, his penchant for leadership still shines through. He is a “proud” member of Lambda Chi Alpha, which he serves as an executive member. He is also a member of the EKU Trap and Skeet Team, which competes in shotgun competitions nationwide.
Torres has had many opportunities to improve the skills he will need for his upcoming political career while an undergrad at EKU. “The interpersonal skills that I have learned at Eastern will help me throughout the rest of my life,” he said. “I have had the opportunity to meet people from varying backgrounds and had the chance to grow my skills as a communicator through the organizations on campus that I am involved in.”