Grace out of Greensburg


Pictured: SGA Campus Issues Chair Grace Sirois in her office.

Coming from Greensburg to Wichita, especially after living in a Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer for a year, was more than a change of location for Grace Sirois.

Sirois’s home was destroyed in the 2007 Greensburg tornado. She was in sixth grade.

“Most of what I felt was shock,” Sirois said about the aftermath. “I didn’t have a lot of thoughts. I didn’t understand the capacity of what it was, really.”

Organizations like Red Cross and Salvation Army came to help, Sirois said.

“To me, it was a little like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe these people are helping strangers,” Sirois said, leaving an impression on her that would influence her college trajectory. 

Sirois serves as Wichita State’s Student Government Association’s campus issues chair and is the president of the Future Health Care Professionals organization. A junior, Sirois studied pre-nursing for three years, but changed her major to health services management and community development last semester.

“The chips fell where they did,” Sirois said. She feels lucky to be in the position she is now.

Sirois said Future Health Care Professionals, which is geared towards all students in the health professions field, used to be a popular group, but stopped functioning for a time. Sirois said last year’s efforts, when she also served as president, have helped to revitalize the organization.

“We’ve rebuilt a lot of stuff, and that’s been with help by our adviser and the dean,” Sirois said. “It was kind of a team effort, and we’re getting that up and growing.”

But Sirois biggest involvement is in SGA, she said.

“I’m very new to student government,” Sirois said. “It’s my first year as a senator. I spend a lot of time here. I’m really passionate about the things we’re working on.”

The campus issues committee’s focus is in the name, Sirois said.

“It focuses on all the issues, essentially,” Sirois said. “We’re doing three initiatives this semester, which is going to encompass the Shocker Food Locker grand opening (Sept. 30), a Shockers Against Sexual Assault week in November and an Inter-Faith Prayer Space week.”

Sirois said she’s very excited about the Shocker Food Locker’s new location and its grand opening. She recently finished designing the food pantry’s website.

She’s also “always willing to hear any concerns of students.”

“I take things as they come,” Sirois said. “Students, if they have an issue, can come talk to me.”

Aside from her SGA and FHCP roles, Sirois serves as a success coach for first-year seminar.

“I take a course with all first-year students and I meet with them 1-on-1 three times a semester, make sure they’re doing okay, track their attendance, make sure if any resource they need I can help them,” Sirois said.

Sirois is “obsessed” with the Internet, and likes to watch a lot of documentaries when she has time, which is rarely.

“I try not to have much free time, so a lot of my ‘free time’ is spent working on things,” Sirois said. “I’ve just been really fortunate to be able to do things I enjoy on campus, so I feel like that’s my free time.”