The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Nidhi Patel: role as Student Body President

Tyriq Johnson
Nidhi Patel serves as the president of student body during the 2023-2024 academic year.

Nidhi Patel is a senior majoring in finance with a minor in marketing. She acts as Eastern’s Student Body President and will hold this title for the 2023-2024 school year.  

Patel grew up and went to school in Summit, Ill., until her first year of high school, when she moved and began attending school in Hinsdale. She went to Hinsdale Central High School for her entire secondary school career.  

During high school, she never did anything remotely close to representing the entire student body, “I played badminton and was involved in scholastic bowl, but that was it: no student government.”  

Patel chose Eastern to complete her undergraduate degree because she knew it would give her more opportunities. “I chose Eastern Illinois University because it had a very student-centric culture, and I did not want to go to a big university where I felt like I couldn’t accomplish as much,” Patel said.   

Patel said it was great to follow what she wanted to do and focus on her education. “It was nice to be able to know my professors rather than be in a lecture hall with 200 students,” Patel said. She was able to discover student government while trying to find herself.   

The student government has an Executive Branch that provides administrative power over the programs and policies at Eastern, which the student government creates. The executive board includes the Student Body President, Executive Vice President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Vice President for Student Affairs.  

Patel’s journey started with her first year at Eastern. She was honestly really bored and wanted something to do. “I had a friend who was the Student Body President at the time, and she encouraged me to join student government.”  

She ended up listening to her friend and became a senator. She was a pre-med major during this time and the entirety of her sophomore year, so it took up most of her time. She was not involved in student government because she “needed to focus on other things,” Patel said. 

She eventually dropped her pre-med major and picked up her current finance major. This led to her running for student government during her junior year. She was then elected as the Vice President of Academic Affairs.  

As Vice President for Academic Affairs, she represented the student body and administration for Eastern and served on the Council of Academic Affairs and Faculty Senate. Her duty was to serve as an ex-office member of the Senate Academic Affairs Committee.  

“The position was opened, so I just interviewed for it and ended up getting it.” The position is on the same executive board as Student Body President.  

This year, she ran unopposed for Student Body President, giving her the current position.  “It was a pretty fun experience,” said Patel.  

Being elected as Student Body President means that you represent both the student body and administration of Eastern while also serving on various committees, boards and legislative bodies. They will also oversee important events like Convocation, Open House and First Night.  

Nidhi Patel, the president of student body listens as Karolina Guzek, speaker of the student senate begins the student government meeting in Martin Luther King Jr. Union Wednesday evening. (Tyriq Johnson)

While running, Patel was focused on the academic side of things, but after getting the position and learning the ropes, she saw how much freedom she had, “I narrowed it down to some initiatives that I had for the position,” Patel said. 

Patel shared one of her plans for her role, “Firstly, there are student government initiatives in remaking the appointment system that we have, more so things that the student body will not be affected by.”  

She also wants to increase student engagement while Eastern remains competitive in the modern university atmosphere. “On the student engagement side, I want to create a workshop for long-term mental health management because I feel like a lot of current initiatives focus on making yourself happy only for the day or having a fu mental health event, but it does not get to the root of that issue,” Patel said.

Patel wants to have consistency when it comes to treating mental health. She stated that she is “hoping to create a workshop where students can attend throughout the course of a couple of months.”  

Patel would also like an app dedicated to students as a main navigation system. During her freshman year, Eastern had an app called Panther Life, which allowed students to find where their classes, social events, dining hall menus, and more essential things were.  

Patel wants to bring the app back for a more convenient way of going about campus. “It’s 2023; almost everything has an app,” she said.

Many people are using artificial intelligence (AI) as an act of educational dishonesty, and Patel wants to stop the issue. “I also want to push for more AI workshops; I think it is very important that the student body stays educated with AI,” Patel said.

After serving as the Student Body President, Patel has a plan for her life. She stated that, “After Graduation, I want to take the CFA for charter holders to break into the investment banking world.”  

Patel also hopes to start an internship with a New York Financial Firm. She said that “As of right now, I don’t know which one, but whichever one takes me!”  

Patel wants to strive for “More student engagement” because she realizes that this is the first year where “Pre-covid events are starting to happen again,” Patel said. She wants to allow students to love Eastern to the largest potential.  


Jacob Adcock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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Jacob Adcock
Jacob Adcock, Reporter
Jacob Adcock is a freshman English education major. This is his first year at The News.

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