With elections approaching, I thought it made sense to use this as an opportunity to explain what I value about my own experience.
First and foremost you are elected to an Executive Board position to represent the student body and voice the concerns that are brought to you. This ranges from small issues, like requesting mirrors in the lady’s room bathrooms in Duffy, to campus-wide campaigns that aim towards creating a better social environment. Being a voice of the students challenges you to explore what you believe in and to better understand and explore those values. The job isn’t easy, and sometimes you can get caught between a rock and a hard place with the positions you’re put into when the student body doesn’t have one cohesive voice. The value in this conflict is that it gives you the chance to explore issues much more intensely because the decisions you make are felt by the rest of the student body.
You also have the opportunity to learn a lot from the incredible leaders that surround you in other positions. I personally have been able to feed off a diverse range of working styles and opinions that have allowed me to become a more flexible and open person. Executive Board challenges you to work through differences in individual values and opinions to create a single product that each member is proud of. I have never worked so closely with people before this experience but it has so significantly increased how much I value working on a team. The positions are filled with articulate, intelligence, and competent students that you truly can rely on to go above and beyond their responsibilities to make SGA function. HOWEVER, I would be lying if I said you could get by with just the other members of the Executive Board. Two people that have truly helped to guide me throughout my experience and have helped me succeed in this role are Julie (the previous Finance Chair) and Jim (our advisor). To start with Julie, I know I can text her the most random questions or complain about the most trivial things and she knows where I’m coming from. She’s always willing to throw some advice my way or give me a little kick to do better. As for Jim, he is absolutely the glue that holds SGA together. Although he likes to say he is just there to give things from a “historical perspective”, he truly helps us navigate through the job and is instrumental in helping to bring our ideas come to fruition. These mentoring relationships that come about through Executive Board really have strong real-world application as many jobs are moving towards a system that fosters mentoring among employees.
To wrap this all up, I think Executive Board is beyond worth the time and investment you put into it. You learn invaluable communication and project management skills that will stick with you beyond the classroom. The job is not easy at times and you’re completing difficult, meaningful work but it is so rewarding and I encourage all who want to apply to do so.
-soon to be a washed up Finance Chair