Thank you, SGA, for changing my life

Every Spring, about a month before finals, Marist’s Student Government Association (SGA) has a transition dinner, which is the official transition of new club officers. It was held at Christos so everyone in SGA and our advisors as well as other administrators, got “dressed for success” and headed out for a nice dinner.

This year, I had the opportunity of serving as Vice President of Club Affairs for the Lubrano Administration. Being in SGA is not necessary an easy task, but I would not have traded my experience this year for anything. As a sophomore, I saw myself grow exponentially. I became a confident leader. I am not afraid to speak up for what I believe in and want to share my opinion with others. I learned to delegate responsibilities, handle confrontation, find happy mediums between administration and students, but most importantly, I learned about myself. Ghandi said, “be the change you wish to see in the world” and this is something that I live my life by.  I had chosen Marist for so many reasons, but I never expected to get involved in SGA because I had already done it in high school. I wanted to experience new things and challenge myself. I felt that by running for election in SGA that I was backtracking and not moving forward with my life. Well, I proved myself wrong.

SGA was one of the best things that happened to me at Marist so far. Not long after being at Marist, I

One of the Marist signs I arranged to be made hanging in the Dining Hall

knew I wanted to make a difference and realized that SGA was my outlet to helping and improving the Marist community. As a freshman, I had a personal project to make the dining hall more “red fox-alicious” ! I talked to administration and got the Marist logo put on two different signs to be hung in the dining hall. I also had the opportunity to go through Marist’s photographic archives in the basement of the library and hand pick (with white gloves, of course) old Marist photos to be enlarged and framed for viewing in the dining hall. Although this was a small project, I felt successful and that I had improved Marist in some way. I knew I did not want to stop there.

This year, as the Vice President of Club Affairs, I made a lot of technical changes and “in house” improvements, but not many people, other than club officers, got to see these changes. I felt as though I was not contributing enough to Marist and knew I could make more of a difference. Well, my opportunity a rose when SGA was invited to the presentation of Marist’s five-year strategic plan. I knew this was my opportunity to have my voice heard by administration and help the Marist community. During the presentation we were allowed to ask questions and make comments, but no one was really doing that, so even though I had a few comments, I did not want to interrupt. One

Student Body President, Matthew Lubrano's farewell address at Transition Dinner

professor had a comment and in seeing him speak his opinion, I gathered the courage to raise my hand and speak in front of everyone. After taking the intro to business class in the Marist Summer Pre-College Program in 2008 the summer going into my senior year of high school, I knew what a SWOT analysis was and I was fully prepared to properly assert my constructive criticism. I explained how one of Marist’s weaknesses is that we have so much Red Fox spirit and not much to show for it on our campus. We don’t even have a Red Fox on the field at Tenney Stadium and that is one of the places where Marist fans bleed red and white! I suggested that we embrace our college’s history and patriotism to its full potential by adding more visible Marist spirit on campus (like adding a fox on the field at Tenney Stadium). When stating my opinion, I saw other adults nodding and agreeing with me. I even heard a few people in the front say “that’s a good idea” and “she’s right” under their breaths. I was proud of my voice and decided to stand up one other time. At the conclusion of the presentation, a few administrators came up to me to thank me for my opinion and having the courage to say it in front of everyone. I was proud of what I did, but not as proud as I was going to be one week later when our Student Body President, Matthew Lubrano, announced that the strategic planning committee was so impressed with my critiques that they added my suggestions into the strategic plan!!!! I couldn’t believe it! I was extremely excited and knew I had made SGA proud as well as helping to improve Marist in the future.

Throughout the course of this year, I faced many challenged that I did not expect to come across. I

My speech to give out Club Awards

completed them successfully and grew in the process. After serving in SGA for two years, I decided that I needed to continue to challenge myself further and take more chances at Marist. Transition dinner was very meaningful to me this year because I am not returning to SGA next year. I had the honor of announcing the club awards and was proud to be considered one of the hostesses in the program for the evening. I hope that the next student leaders of Marist College stand up for what they believe is best for Marist and learn as much from SGA as I have. I will continue to serve as a leader of this campus, but not directly in SGA. So thank you, SGA, it’s been real! 🙂

Two more of my favorite quotes:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.”

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr

<33 Brittany MacLeod

Class of 2013

Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/RedFoxNation

Interested in joining SGA? Click here: http://clubs.marist.edu/sga/

Curious what clubs we have at Marist? Check them out here: http://www.marist.edu/studentlife/clubs.html

Want to apply for the Marist Summer Pre-College Program? Click here: http://www.marist.edu/summerinstitutes/

2 of the pictures shown in this blog were taken by Junior Chanel Vitale. Want to see more of her photos from Transition Dinner? Go to this website: http://www.flickr.com/photos/chanelphotos/

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