Meet your Student Body President



Photo Courtesy of Shannon Smith/ The Gateway
Photo Courtesy of Shannon Smith/ The Gateway

Jared Kennedy

Every college campus with a student government has a student body president. Think that is just a figurehead gig that doesn’t really translate to any changes on campus? Think again, because Patrick Davlin has a clear plan with reasonable goals for his reign as our fearless student leader.

Tony McWilliams has been Davlin’s roommate for several years. He said Davlin has been a close friend throughout college.

“Patrick is diligent with everything he does. I have never seen Patrick be more passionate or diligent than when it comes to student government,” McWilliams said. “When someone simply mentions the organization, his eyes light up and he wants to talk about anything and everything happening on campus. He has a great love for the campus and the organization, but he also very genuinely cares about the students and their success.”

Davlin said much of his family has attended UNO, making it a school he has a deep connection with—enhancing his willingness to serve its betterment.

“It’s rare to find a university filled with people so dedicated to enhancing the quality of their community, and I think that ambition is really well reflected in the way that UNO has been recognized in the past couple years,” Davlin said. “All the work we’ve done to make UNO a better place—for veterans, nontraditional students, and international students in particular—really sets us apart from anywhere else in Nebraska.”

Davlin said as student body president he wants to make changes to the Student Government presence on campus.

“If you ask a random student what SG-UNO does, or who their Student Senator is, there’s a good chance that they don’t know,” Davlin said. “My biggest goal is to do whatever I can in the next year to grow Student Government’s place on campus through outreach to all kinds of student organizations at UNO, and hopefully generate some meaningful conversation and interest around where students want to see the university go.”

McWilliams said Davlin has a knack for connecting to just about anyone, and added that his sarcasm and sense of humor are entertaining.

“Although he and I share different beliefs in a lot of aspects, we have had many great discussions (most at length) and he always respect my opinion. Even in those differences, we have built a friendship that will last a long time,” McWilliams said. “His sarcasm never stops, but he can certainly recognize appropriate times to dial it back.”

While Davlin recognizes the limitations of his role as student body president, he is thankful for a strong legacy of good leadership.

“My role is really to reflect what Students want and say to the administration. My predecessors Brock Lewis and Jordan Koch did an amazing job of laying the groundwork between our organization and all the levels of our University’s administration,” Davlin said. “In that way, I’m fortunate to already have a strong voice in those settings, and it gives me a tremendous opportunity to make the kind of changes that reflect real student concerns and requests.”

According to Davlin, making sure the voice of the students is heard and their needs are met is of paramount importance.

“At UNO, where so much is growing and changing, I think it’s critical that there be a constant and clear student voice that can be heard at by the administration, faculty, and staff,” Davlin said. “Really, at its heart, this is what Student Government is—getting involved in an organization like this gives all kinds of students the opportunity to be part of the conversation with UNO administrators and the greater Omaha community.

McWilliams said Davlin maintains a personal life that is becoming of a student body president.

“Patrick will be successful in life because he surrounds himself with people who are hard working and have huge aspirations,” McWilliams said. “I’ve always been a firm believer in the idea that you inherit characteristics of those you surround yourself with.

McWilliams added that Davlin is a giver—that he has a gracious personality and values the ideal of giving back.

“He recognizes when others need help, and is willing to lend a helping hand. Just as he’s willing to help others, others are in turn willing to help him,” McWilliams said.

Davlin is a computer engineering major. While he said it’s very difficult, he admits it’s incredibly rewarding because he gets lots of different opportunities and variety.

“I chose it on sort of a whim—I had no computer experience coming out of high school outside trying to install custom software on my iPhone, but I had a close friend who really enjoyed the program when he started it, so I gave it a try and really ended up enjoying it,” Davlin said.

Davlin is currently an IT intern at Union Pacific. He said he enjoys his work there and hopes for employment there after graduation.