Regarding the nomination for the Student Organization Leader of the Year, we can think of no one more qualified or deserving than the President of the Men’s Nordic Skiing Club.
Ben Koenig came to NDSU four years ago after having participated in cross country skiing all throughout high school. He found soon enough that college was just not the same without the competitive drive that skiing provided. Having met a classmate that also shared his love and passion for skiing competitively, they began discussing the possibility of starting a club. Later that year, they succeeded.
The first year was a building year, and only a few skiiers found interest in the club. After the first season, Ben learned of the advertisement opportunities around campus and was able to spread the word about the club. The second year, the club doubled in size. Up until this point, this club was still referred to as the NDSU Nordic Skiing Club. Following the exponential growth of the club, Ben suggested the option of splitting the club into men’s and women’s.
This year has marked the second year of the official split between the Men’s and Women’s clubs. The clubs continue to grow, nearly doubling in size every year. Skiing is a fairly expensive sport that puts a large burden on students as well as their families. Ben saw this problem and came up with a solution. With help from the vice president, who is also a great asset to the club, they were able to put together proposals for skiing equipment that will benefit new members for years to come.
Ben is a natural leader and a genuinely caring person. He has been an amazing role model to all members of the club throughout the past four years. Before leaving for races, he makes sure that the skiers participating are well trained on the etiquette required when representing NDSU. He is always “pumping up” skiers before the races by either singing an inspirational, yet slightly out of pitch song, or leading the team in an amusing pre-race, “Go Bison” cheer.
Ben is deserving of this award due to all of the above reasons. His hard work, passion, and love for helping others has made him an amazing leader over the past four years.
The NDSU Men’s Nordic Skiing Club, as well as the Women’s Club, will genuinely miss Ben’s charismatic leadership and helpfulness in the years to come.
Nicole Thorndal (President, NDSU Women’s Nordic Skiing Club)
Leah Miller (Vice President, NDSU Women’s Nordic Skiing Club)
Morgan Martin (Treasurer, NDSU Women’s Nordic Skiing Club)