Student Government column
Here’s a candid confession: student government isn’t always sexy. Being in student government means spending days waiting for replies to emails. It means setting meeting dates two to three weeks in advance, not only because the department head you’re meeting with has a busy schedule, but also because your own calendar is packed full. It means redefining your dreams over and over again to satisfy a large administration and complicated student body or trying to find the line between dreaming big and dreaming up something affordable and realistic. For me, it’s been marked with learning that my dream school, despite having exceeded all my expectations in academia and opportunity, still has work to be done to ensure that all students feel empowered on campus.
It means filling notebooks with brainstorming sessions and resources for change. It means learning how to dig deep into the place you’ve called home and realize you can make a change, and it might even only take a few emails — which is how I got Carnegie Mellon to switch from Blue Books to its sustainable counterpart, Green Books! It means surrounding yourself with a network of intelligent, passionate people through the Graduate Student Assembly, Senate, or Cabinet and setting up a game plan for how you are going to bring your project to success. It means meeting incredible administrators who guide you and inspire you with their dedication to this university.
Actually, thinking about it again, if you’re someone who loves to see and be a part of positive, sustainable change, maybe student government is still a little sexy.
Now, let’s bring it back around to student elections. The people in these positions matter. When I think about my time in Cabinet, and the opportunities we’ve all been granted to leave a mark on campus, I get so excited to see what will come next from the next wave of student government representatives. How will they continue to push for the protection of our undocumented students? How will they ensure that the student body and administration learn how to empathize with and protect sexual assault survivors, first-generation students, students with disabilities or financial insecurity, and historically marginalized groups? There are so many opportunities to grow kindness on campus, and I look forward to not only seeing those actions happen, but also being able to express who I believe will best represent these groups through my vote.
These are the reasons why I’m voting in these student government elections. What are yours?