Harris graduating with a legacy on the Hill

Morganfield senior Charlie Harris is a political science major. During his four years here, Harris co-founded WKUAID, worked with SGA and helped organize campaigns on campus like fair trade and One Planet Day. “Being a part of something like this has defined my work with global issues beyond the Hill,” he said.

Mike Stunson

Morganfield senior Charlie Harris feels as if he’s left a legacy at WKU.

Harris is the co-founder of WKU Americans for Informed Democracy and chief of staff for the Student Government Association.

“I really wanted to make a difference at WKU and in Bowling Green,” Harris said. “I wanted to be a good neighbor and fight injustice wherever it may lie.”

Harris and Matt Vaughan, a senior from Mexico, Mo., started WKUAID their freshman year. WKUAID is an organization for students committed to the idea of global citizenship and changing the world.

“We thought it would be good to work together on issues to improve campus,” Harris said.

In addition to the clubs he is involved in, Harris has also done extensive work on the ONE Campaign and Earth Day activities.

SGA President Colton Jessie said Harris is a “great example of a shining WKU student.”

“Charlie has a work ethic like I’ve never seen,” Jessie said. “He puts so much time into everything. He always has a million things to do but always gets them done.”

Harris was an SGA senator his freshman year but decided to resign from his position his sophomore year. Jessie convinced Harris to come back to SGA for his senior year to be chief of staff — Jessie’s right-hand man.

“I didn’t want anyone but him,” Jessie said.

Vaughan said he was skeptical at first when Harris decided to become chief of staff.

“It is a big-time commitment and he already had a lot on his plate, but he went ahead with it and has managed to pull it off without any hitches,” Vaughan said.

While serving with both WKUAID and SGA, Harris has tried to bridge the two organizations. Last semester, SGA supported a bill to make WKU a fair trade university, which was an WKUAID project. The bill was eventually approved, and WKU became the fourth university in the country to be fair-trade certified.

“He has done a good job of bridging the two,” Vaughan said. “He has helped make SGA a more sustainable organization.”

Harris said seeing all of the changes that he has been a part of has been “amazing.”

“Four years ago there wasn’t any fair trade stuff on campus or much sustainability,” Harris said. “Seeing all the progress these four years and being a part of it makes me feel so good.”

Harris will graduate this month, and hopes to work for a non-profit organization.

Vaughan said Harris has played a large role on campus despite not always getting the recognition for it.

“He is more dedicated than anyone I know and has been that way since freshman year,” Vaughan said.