The People's President: Matt Gunderson

If you have been following along with us on this journey through the People’s Organization of Network Gaming, you might have noticed that their outgoing president has often been featured in Her Campus articles. That was no accident. Matt Gunderson is so important to his organization that we felt it best to show that in our coverage.

So, who is this amazing Matt Gunderson? Matt is from Kenosha, Wisconsin, even though he is not part of PONG’s infamous “Kenosha Krew”. Although it is difficult to become a member of the Kenosha Krew, they are no longer accepting new members. However, Matt was a member of ROTC before he broke a hip. In school, he passionately studies psychology and, reluctantly, business administration. After graduation, he will be pursuing a graduate degree in social psychology in order to conduct research to further that field.

It should not surprise anyone how passionate he is about social psychology. If you think you can use vague psychological terminology, you are about to properly learn about the diffusion of responsibility.

While studying psychology (and philosophy for fun), Matt is very good reading and understanding other people. During one of the many times I had the opportunity to interview him, he prefaced answering a question by telling me I was going to laugh because I “laugh at everything”. I laughed immediately, there was no stopping it.

Before he was the President of the People’s Organization of Network Gaming, he was their Vice President, as well as the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Stout Student Association. Being a part of SSA introduced him to Chris Johnson and Cody Gentz, his future Vice President and Treasurer. Listening to him talk about meeting them will give you the impression that you are hearing a Greek epic.

They reminisce about their days on the Financial Affairs Committee in that way. Disregard President Obama, Prime Minister Trudeau, and President Nieto as the government bromance of the decade.  Instead, it’s definitely Gunderson, Johnson, and Gentz. They even allegedly had an off-brand FAC discord back in the day to constantly be in contact with each other by sending ridiculous memes to get through the madness that is the Annual Budget Process. Through meeting these phenomenal people in this committee, Matt made the decision to shape the future of the organization that he holds so close to his heart. We now have the future Presidents of PONG in our midst.

When Matt is not ascending to the next level of human evolution, he spends approximately 20 hours a week honing in on those video game skills. Most of this is live- streamed on Twitch. With Her Campus, we have actually held quite a few bonding events watching “Aestris” streams. Most recently, we have been excited watching him design the Her Campus logo using Animal Crossing. We are still awaiting a Her Campus road, a shrine of some sort, but we’re very happy to see and appreciate his excitement for our organization. If you’ve seen our social media this week, you’ll notice that beyond posting pictures and clips of his streams, we’ve also temporarily changed all of our logos to that famous Her Campus flag design.

It is easy to see why PONG members respect Matt so much in his leadership of the organization. There are several Her Campus members that have that same respect for him. In the months and weeks that our organizations have worked together, he has given us so much of his time and energy creating a positive working relationship, despite some dramatics from us. When our writers were absolutely terrified of walking into a LAN for an interview, he went above and beyond in accommodating those fears in conducting interviews outside the event. He was able to get our most terrified writer to participate in LAN events, affirming that he can make the impossible happen.

In a previous article, we’ve said that one could argue that Matt is one of the most beloved student organization presidents that Stout has ever seen. You don’t need to speak to many members of the organization to see that they’re so enamored by him. There are many reasons for that:  his deliberative demeanor, his calm nature, the way things seem to always work out when he is leading the show. 

Something that Matt says repeatedly is that he does not believe you can ever make everyone happy, but he seems to have done just that. Overall, Matt Gunderson is the person that everyone looks up to, PONG-affiliated or not. His impact on our campus will be felt by generations of leaders to come. As people called Princess Diana the “People’s Princess,” Matt Gunderson is the “People’s President”.