Helping affect change
This year I have had the honor of serving as the Undergraduate Student Representative to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. It has been a truly amazing experience thus far. I have met unique people and gotten to be a part of important decisions, but most importantly I have been able to serve this school I love so much and be a voice for students.
In the quarterly board meetings, I get to speak up and talk on behalf of the student body. I get to let them know what the important issues are for students and the change that they hope to see in their university. This is a big responsibility but one that I have accepted. Speaking on behalf of students can be hard because there are so many different perspectives, worldviews, beliefs, and opinions that I have to take into consideration. I don’t want to just listen to the loudest group with the most people, but I also don’t want to take the words of smaller groups and generalize them for the whole student body. Learning this balance for representation was a challenge at first but one that I have been able to overcome.
Helping affect change by listening to students has been my favorite part of the position. When someone brings forth an issue that they or a student organization that they are a part of might have I always try to find a way to help them. Last May, after getting selected for the position, I heard from the Corps that they felt misunderstood and not included. From that conversation, I was able to work with them over the summer and come back to school and in September put on the first annual Corps Day. The Corps of Cadets is one of the pillars that Virginia Tech was founded on, so to be able to help bring light to such a unique and important group on campus was such an amazing adventure. The Corps adopted this event as something they want to do every year and that truly makes all the work worth it. To be able to help a group of students become more understood by the campus and the community is something I am honored I could do. Ten to fifteen years from now no one will remember that I had anything to do with Corps Day, but the legacy will carry on and the culture of unity between the Corps and Civilians will be something I am able to take pride in.
I would encourage anyone who is looking for a way to get involved with the university at the highest level to apply for this position. Being a Hokie truly is about Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). In this position I have been able to find multiple ways to live it out. Serving students, the Board of Visitors and Virginia Tech as a whole has truly been an honor so far and I am blessed to serve in this position.