Richie Hernandez, winner of Mr. KU 2015, had a few things to say since being crowned. As co-chair of Title IX Roundtable, chair of Student Safety Advisory Board, national communications coordinator for the Association of University Residence Halls and member of College Republicans, among other things, Richie certainly has his hands full while working towards his degree at KU.
Why did you choose to go to KU?
When I first started applying to college, KU was a school actually on the bottom of my list. I was accepted into University of Colorado Denver and Boulder, St. Louis University in Missouri and Washington University in Missouri, which at the time I wanted to be a doctor and they all have leading pre-med programs. My mom, however, didn’t want me to go to school out of state so she refused to pay my application fees. So I came to KU instead and stayed here my first year of college. After that year of being here at KU there isn’t another school in the world that I would want to go to. I never really chose to come to KU but now I wouldn’t give it up for anything. KU is one of the greatest places I have ever been to and I see myself so fortunate to be apart of this amazing place.
How do you plan to exemplify being Mr. KU?
I never really thought about exemplifying being Mr. KU. But now that I have put some thought into it, I could be ready to help people in the name of Mr. KU. I do a lot for this university, but maybe having the name Mr. KU will help back up some of the things I do. It will look better, in my opinion, for someone to help volunteer with what the university does holding the title Mr. KU. Being Mr. KU will help me to improve the outstanding reputation that KU already has.
Middle, Mr. KU 2015-2016, Richie Hernandez
What does being a Jayhawk mean to you?
Being a Jayhawk is not just a title to me. Whenever I hear someone say, “we are Jayhawks,” “I am a Jayhawk” or anything with making someone a Jayhawk, I get a little tingly. Being a Jayhawk isn’t just representing some mascot that a school has. Being a Jayhawk is being a part of a family that strives to help one another and works hard to make sure we all feel the same way. Knowing that I am a Jayhawk means that I am a part of years of tradition, amazing communities, outstanding opportunity and much more. There is no other symbol I would want to represent me than the mighty respected Jayhawk.
What is something that you hope to contribute to in your future?
One of the main things that I hope to contribute to in my future is people. I am interested in the greater outcome of the human race. Being able to contribute to those in need and the ones that have what they need but could use that extra drop of opportunity is what I live for. I hope to be there whenever someone needs me and be able to help change the lives of many. That is why I hope to be a public servant when I graduate rather it is by public office, health administration, or some other way. I live to help people and coming to college has only made me realize that even more.
What did Mr. KU mean to you?
Mr. KU to me is an amazing honor. I don’t really know how many people know what it is but that doesn’t really matter to me. Being Mr. KU means that I am what helps represent the face of KU. I get to help be one of the Jayhawks that will bring others to our school to live out their legacies. I think that being Mr. KU will help me in contributing to making this university an even better place than what it already is. I am so honored to be titled Mr. KU and hope to give it the most positive image that I can.