Opinions

OPINION: Action & Engagement on Mount Saint James: A Letter to Crusaders

Christopher McCormick ’23

My fellow Crusaders,

It’s election season on the Hill again! The time has come to elect our representatives for new years’ Student Government Association, especially our future SGA co-presidents. I’m sure that, even in the last few days, you’ve probably already seen posts and posters and buttons all over campus advocating for this or that pair of candidates. I’m sure you’ve already started to wonder who to vote for, or how to wonder who to vote for, or what the SGA co-presidents do, or a little mix of all of those. I can’t answer all of those questions for you, but I want to offer some thoughts on some of them, hopefully pointing you in a helpful direction. I want to tell you why Anna and Erin would be great SGA co-presidents.

First, I believe that Anna and Erin’s past experience with SGA makes them great candidates for the co-presidency. I have worked with Anna and Erin in the SGA cabinet this year, and I have seen firsthand that their successes in the Cabinet would translate well into co-presidency. Anna has worked this year as one of the co-directors of Academic Affairs, helping, among other things, to plan for the ENGAGE summit and advocate on students’ behalf for improved mental health policies on the Hill. Erin, this year the Director of Social Justice for the SGA cabinet, has also played a big role in the ENGAGE summit, as well as working with various MSOs and with the Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to ensure that the voices of BIPOC students and other groups on campus are heard and supported in the SGA.

What do these two roles have in common? They’re both grounded in the belief that students should have a voice in shaping their time here on the Hill. That belief has defined Anna and Erin’s work in the SGA thus far, and, if you vote for them later this month, it will define their work as co-presidents. Now, that being said, although Anna and Erin do have extensive experience working with the SGA, they’re not stereotypical career politicians. If anything, they’re the opposite! It is personality which shapes their work in the SGA: their willingness to work with people, their ease making quick friends, and their constant desire to welcome newcomers to their table. Here I have to acknowledge my obvious bias; I have been friends with Anna and Erin for almost my entire time on Mount Saint James. And, perhaps more important than any other attributes they might have as political candidates, Erin and Anna are simply good friends. They are the sort of people who make Holy Cross a special place to be. And the same characteristics that make them reliable friends — their trustworthiness, their effort in making time for others, etc. — will aso, I believe, make them good co-presidents.

Beyond their good friendship and their past experience, I also think that Erin and Anna’s broad involvement on campus makes them effective candidates for the co-presidency. Leading any government, including Student Government, takes a lot of time and energy, and handling a lot at once is an inescapable part of the job. Yet Anna and Erin are no strangers to that kind of multitasking. Their involvement in organisations such as College Democrats, Feminist Forum, and the SGA — to name a few — prove that they can already handle the demanding day-to-day of the SGA co-presidency. Erin and Anna’s broad involvement on campus also means that they interact with a varied portion of the student body. They’re interested in getting to know not just some kinds

of Crusaders, but all Crusaders, and they’re interested in representing all Crusaders in their work in the SGA.

What makes an effective leader? For me, the criteria are pretty simple: experience, personality, vision. These three things Anna and Erin have in excess, and these three things Anna and Erin will bring with flair should they become our co-presidents. Truthfully, I haven’t always been an especially involved student on this campus. It was only recently that I began to participate more in a variety of activities and groups on this campus, and it was only even more recently that I first got involved with our campus’ Student Government. But where I have gotten more involved, it has been thanks especially to people like Anna and Erin. Their passion for their projects, their caution in approaching difficult tasks, and their desire to live peaceably and get along with everybody, even their opponents, have made them great fellow cabinet members, and I believe that those same attributes would make them the kind of SGA co-presidents that we the student body could rely on. Happy voting!

Categories: Opinions

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