Friday October 13, 2017

Being the Voice

Alrighty readers, welcome to MyLife: Junior Year Addition! 

Things have been crazy so far this year, that’s for sure. Do you have that friend that likes to sign up for everything that they possibly can? Well, that’s me. 

Except, I tend to have a theme to my involvement: student advocacy. 

If you’re new to the blog, then welcome— but returners know that I’m a political science major. Public outreach and public service have always been passions of mine, fueling and inspiring the majority of my life experience so far. I’ve spent hundreds of hours in community service, three summers working in government, and the past two years at the University of Dayton doing everything I can to enable my fellow classmates to feel like their voice is heard. How, you might ask? Let’s take a quick drive-by of my most recent involvement! 

The Official Voice

What better way to give voice to your fellow students than through the official voice of the student body? The mission statement for the Student Government Association definitely says it best: “(SGA) actively advocates on behalf of the undergraduate students, seeks to hear every voice across campus, and to serve as the liaison between the administration, faculty, staff, and the student body.” I’ve had the opportunity to serve our Student Government Association in a variety of ways over the past two years, working on everything from creation of legislation to contributing to a project to bring HBO GO to campus (for free). When the administration is looking for student input, they turn to SGA to gather and relay feedback. Over the past handful of years our SGA has had the chance to have meaningful say in the direction of the University of Dayton. I play a small role in an organization of over 60 prominent campus leaders, but the variety of voices coming together make this University the place that it is. 

Living Where You Work

Perks of being an RA (resident assistant) living on a floor with 32 first-year males? Changing hearts and minds, of course! Since the arrival of our class of 2021 on campus earlier this fall (more on that here), I’ve been lucky to have had the chance to build some incredible relationships with my residents. There’s a lot that changes in someone’s life when they first enter into college, and I’ve had the opportunity to witness tremendous growth in so many people in the past month alone— I can’t wait to see where we are by the end of the year! The role of the RA is to aid in this process and help people make that often-times tough transition just a little bit easier. “Rewarding” doesn’t even come close to explaining my job. 

My Favorite Word: Taskforce

In the past month I’ve been lucky enough to be brought on board with a number of University task forces and steering committees— I know it sounds boring, but I live for this kind of stuff! Most recently I was selected as the sole representative to the undergraduate student body on the steering committee overseeing the development of the new fairgrounds property (more on that here). It’s an incredible opportunity to be involved in this high-profile development project, and to have the chance to imagine and help guide the joint development of these 38 new acres. Helping shape the future of the University of Dayton is an incredibly humbling experience. 

There’s no limit to what you can do when you set your mind to it, especially at a place like the University of Dayton. Having the opportunity to shape the community in which I live is an invaluable gift, and a task I don’t take lightly. Being a member of a college that values undergraduate input is absolutely essential for enacting change.

Change lives at the University of Dayton.

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