Change is on its Way (Inside and Out)

It’s election time at the NYC Campus!

Students are really getting into this one. First it was the flyers letting students know that Student Government applications were available in the library and at the Student Development office. Conversations broke out around the school between those who knew about the elections and those who were just finding out.

By the way, I’m definitely running for S.G.A. President for the upcoming 2012-2013 academic year! Wish me… uh, godspeed?

Then flyers started appearing for the new presidential candidate, Rolando Rozales. He started appearing in classrooms, sharing his vision for the school. Next thing you know, it was debate time! We had a healthy turnout as the two presidential candidates answered questions from the Dean of Student Life and the students.

Rolando (left) and I participate in the April 18th Presidential Debate. Exciting stuff!

Now here ‘s the thing: I’m not really the “talk about your ideas and accomplishments” person–at least I wasn’t before this election. I’m well accustomed to taking the background, having been Vice President of the Business Club, Vice President of S.G.A.,  Assistant Editor of my community newspaper, and Executive Assistant of a startup Christian music company. I’ve had the opportunity to serve in all sorts of ways, from folding chairs to piecing together large events.

Now, be the face of an organization? “Nah, I’ll pass,” I’d say, “(he or she)’s got that.”

But Nyack College’s President, Dr. Michael Scales, said something prominent during a past Nyack Experience that I still remember: “You don’t take a position because you want to, but because there’s a need.”

Deep, huh? It’s also true; because I’ve been given so many opportunities to practice leadership at Nyack College (I’m even taking classes on leadership development and organizational behavior), I know a lot about how to make a difference:

  • It starts with the organization. If your team is dissenting, you’ll make little to no progress.
  • You must have respect for everyone, not just those who can help you out.
  • Be a listener more than a talker. Always take opportunities to learn.
  • You can never have enough knowledge and wisdom to lead efficiently. Stay reading, especially the book of Proverbs!
  • It’s not about the position, but serving God through whatever position He gives you that counts.

I could go on and on about leadership–don’t get me started! But the one experience that really motivated me to speak, campaign, and maintain a vision was a conversation I had with a fellow, non-traditional student.

She shared how she was also a background person, until she realized the organization she volunteered in was in disorder. She had built relationships with people in that organization, knew the needs and the solution, and was ready that week to take up the mantle and become its president.

Although neither of us were seeking presidency (I wasn’t seeking Vice President of S.G.A. either, another good story for another time!), we were being redirected. “Sometimes He pushes you into the position,” she explained, “and you just have to be ready.”

So, may the best man win! Like Bill Clinton said in a 1992 interview, “I stayed in [the presidential race] because I thought I could be a force for change… and I wanted the voters to make up their mind. If the voters say, ‘Hey, we think some other person will be a better president,’ I will go home a happy man to the life that I’ve got, it’s a wonderful life. But I would have been a gutless wonder to quit… in the face of the convictions I have.”

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