UNT student joins city council

UNT student joins city council

UNT student joins city council
October 04
07:30 2013

Javier Navarro / Staff Writer 

College students at the age of 21 typically worry about what the next step is after graduation, but one UNT student is already a step ahead of the pack.

Integrated studies senior LaToni Thomas was appointed a member of the Comprehensive Planning Committee in the Cross Roads Town Council over a week ago. Part of her job with the committee involves zoning of the city, service projects and planning events, she said.

Cross Roads is a town in Denton County. According to City-Data.com, the town had a population of 1,607 in 2012.

While being part of the city council can bear a lot of responsibility and take a lot of time, Thomas said she sees this as an extracurricular activity and that this experience will help in her future career in marketing.

“I’m pretty headstrong, and I like having a position of power,” Thomas said. “This experience of helping to run a city and put together service projects will push me further to my goals of trying to be on top in a business.”

Thomas has a history of involvement with the Student Government Association, where she was a member during her years at Navarro College, Tyler Junior College and UNT. Some of her achievements include pushing a no-smoking policy at TJC as well as running and putting together conferences.

Her history with the SGA helped her get a position in the planning committee.

When applying for the position, the council wanted someone with governmental experience. The council got together and voted to appoint her to her current position, she said.

Thomas said that she also wants to be part of the Denton City Council, and getting the position she has now is an excellent starting point.

“I’m trying to get at least a year of experience under my belt before I aim for the bigger city councils,” Thomas said. “This is a good way to start before I actually run for an executive position.”

She also has a job waiting for her when she graduates to join the sports marketing team for the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA Developmental League affiliate, the Texas Legends.

O.L. Kelly, director of student life at Navarro College, worked with Thomas during her years with the college’s SGA, and he said he enjoyed her presence during that time.

“I think she’s very over-the-top, excited, outgoing and energetic,” Kelly said.

Taryn Wheeler worked with Thomas in the TJC SGA and currently works for Rick Santorum’s Patriot Voices.  Wheeler said that if Thomas didn’t convince her to join the SGA, she wouldn’t be at the position she is now.

“It was an all girls’ student government except for about two guys, and I was very intimidated,” Wheeler said. “She was the one that told me that if I wanted to do something and make changes, I needed to go for it.”

Thomas said she is grateful for her opportunities and said her experience with various organizations at UNT helped her get these chances.

“I learned to work with a team, and I know how to put stuff together and learned a lot of social skills,” Thomas said.

Thomas said the committee has its first meeting scheduled for Oct. 9, where she will meet her co-workers for the first time.

Thomas is set to graduate in December.

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