Meet new freshman president, Neal Bhakta

Bhakta showing his bulldog spirit - Credit: Isaac Wolf

Bhakta showing his bulldog spirit - Credit: Isaac Wolf

Freshman elections officially concluded on Sept. 19, and Shakopee native Neal Bhakta was voted in by his peers. As the new representative of the class of 2021, here are some things to know about President Bhakta.

If he’s not playing football or basketball, Bhakta is likely enjoying the outdoors.

“Growing up in Minnesota, I love being outside, especially in winter,” Bhakta said. “I’m probably going to be the kid who doesn’t use the tunnel system to walk to class.”

Once he made up his mind to come to UMD, Bhakta knew that he wanted to stand out from the crowd and make a difference.

“Within welcome week, I branched out a lot,” Bhakta said. “I didn’t want to be stuck… I met a lot of new people and they got to know me.”

Bhakta is off to a fast start as freshman president as he organized a way to give back to those affected by the shooting in Las Vegas this past weekend.

“For the Las Vegas victims, I decided that we should make cards and send them out [to a local hospital],” Bhakta said.

Although he is still figuring out his role on campus as a class representative, Bhakta is eager to absorb ideas from his peers and truly start making noticeable and effective change.

“In college, it’s hard to see a school that’s unified, but I want to do stuff that makes us more unified,” Bhakta said. “Special education inclusion, activities where everyone can be together at once, things like that. I’ve been learning, for the freshman body, what they want to see changed. I’m getting a hold of them now. I know what I want to do.”

Overall, Bhakta is motivated to make this class of freshman one to remember.

“This freshman class is going to rock UMD,” Bhakta said. “We’re going to be the best Bulldogs on campus.”

NewsAndrew Becker