By Bridget Sjoberg | Staff Writer
When it comes to her views and values, Minneola, Fla., sophomore Breann Bates seeks to confidently voice her opinions and use her senate position as a way to impact students at Baylor and the community around her.
Bates is a member of the Baylor Senate, a group comprised of 13 representatives from each grade level that meet weekly to discuss issues that matter to Baylor students. Bates also serves on the Senate executive board as legislative secretary.
“I absolutely love Senate — it’s been a highlight of my time here at Baylor,” Bates said. “I love being able to be a voice for people in our community.”
Bates focuses primarily on health and safety issues and hopes to create a poll to send out to students gaging their interest in various campus topics and concerns in the future. Ultimately, Bates hopes the Senate will continue to place students as the top priority on Baylor’s campus.
“We want to write legislation that fits what our community wants and needs instead of just individuals on Senate,” Bates said.
She encourages students to reach out and express their concerns, noting the best way to do so is through the emails of student body officers on the Baylor website, or by approaching an officer in one of their offices in the SUB basement with a particular issue.
Along with serving Baylor as a member of the Senate, Bates hopes to serve the community through her political views. She’s spoken at and attended several conferences — most recently the NRA Women’s Leadership Forum, where she had a place on a panel to speak about activism and leadership. Bates has also been featured on the Today Show for her activism as a young conservative.
“One of the most impactful moments for me was after I did the Today Show video — I went to a conference not too long afterwards. Some girls came up to me, and they recognized me from the video. They were telling me about how they were inspired to get involved in their communities,” Bates said. “I realized that I can help other people find their voice — I’ve found my own, but my goal is that other people are inspired to take action. That was humbling and very inspiring. People really are aware of what you’re doing.”
Most recently, Bates was approached to be a cast member of NRATV’s online show, Love at First Shot, which pairs novice shooters with professionals to teach them about basic safety, and the world of the shooting industry.
“It was an incredible experience,” Bates said. “It comes out next month so I’m excited to relive it again. It’s also all women which is awesome.”
In the future, Bates hopes to pursue a career in broadcast focusing on politics, or in any area that allows her to serve her community. Through it all, she plans for her relationship with God to guide her through that career discernment process.
“My faith keeps me grounded and humbled and lets me see other people as equals,” Bates said. “It allows me to step back and see that we’re all God’s children and are connected by that truth — it’s uniting and encouraging.”
Fort Worth senior Elizabeth Larson is president of Baylor Senate and appreciates how Bates has used her position to promote change on campus for the issues she’s passionate about.
“Early on, she illustrated the best qualities of a representative,” Larson said. “She identified an issue with the pipes in her dorm, brought the issue to the attention of administration and resolved the issue within weeks. She’s an incredible steward of her class and works incredibly hard to address all the concerns and perspectives.”
Larson sees Baylor Senate as an important body to represent students and their concerns on campus, and she knows Bates will continue to prioritize the needs of others at Baylor.
“Breann’s class is very lucky to have such a hardworking and passionate individual serving them,” Larson said. “I know that Baylor is a better place that fosters stronger community because of Breann.”