The adoption of a student bereavement policy also gained consensus, placing Purdue among a handful of universities with a formal procedure to support students who have a lost a loved one during the school year.

“Before, students who experienced a death in the family had to contact faculty members individually to receive permission to miss class and hope their instructors were accommodating,” Krites says. “Now they can contact the Office of the Dean of Students, which will send official notice of that student’s leave to his or her instructors. Thanks to this new policy, a bereaved student can focus on his or her grief and know the University is supportive.”

Krites and Vice President Jamie Steiner further distinguished themselves by forgoing the budgeted stipend paid to holders of their respective offices, using the funds instead to increase PSG’s support and sponsorship of other student organizations’ projects. “We simply weren’t comfortable accepting student money as payment for jobs that we actively campaigned for and wanted to do,” he says.

An even greater sacrifice for Krites was time.

Brad Krites

In addition to serving as a president's fellow, Brad Krites is serving as the student representative on Purdue's presidential search committee, which also includes former Krannert associate dean Jim Dworkin and alumni Michael Berghoff (BSIM’85), Tom Spurgeon (BSIM’61), Gary Lehman (BSIM’74) and Morgan Burke (BSIM’73, MSM’75). The firm hired to lead the search is headed by Krannert alum Bill Funk (MSM’74).

The demands of student government typically required a commitment of 20 to 40 hours a week, he says, sometimes putting a strain on his academic and personal life.

“But it was fun! I enjoy interacting with people who challenge you and pull you in many different directions,” Krites says. “The team I worked with taught me so much, from higher-education theory and organizational infrastructure to budgetary processes and human resources. That’s something I didn’t anticipate.”

Back to business

The lessons Krites learned as PSG president continue to inform his five-year plan to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Krannert through the school’s 3+2 program. Following three accelerated years in the undergraduate program, Krites is now beginning his first year in the MBA program.

Krites, who was valedictorian of his Fort Wayne high school, didn’t have Purdue firmly in his plans until he came for an informal campus visit and encountered the University’s red-brick charm and friendly atmosphere.

“When I envisioned college, I was picturing Purdue,” he says. “I remember walking around campus with a map in my hand and a student asked if I needed help. That wasn’t an experience I’d had anywhere else. It felt inviting.”

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