By Steven VIera || Senior Editor
On Tuesday, Mar. 22, the Diplomatic Congress (DipCon) hosted its first-ever Student Leadership Fair to encourage students to run for positions on DipCon as well as other student government bodies, including the College Entertainment Committee (CEC) and college house governments. The Student Leadership Fair precedes the elections for both DipCon’s executive board (Apr. 5) and class presidents (Apr. 12) while more specific information sessions will be held one week ahead of each election.
“The Elections Committee this year decided [that] we needed to really make an effort to spread the word about DipCon and how people can get involved,” said Molly Cadwell ’16, vice president of DipCon. “Last year, a lot of the elections were uncontested; while it made campaigning easier for some, ideally, we would have lots of students running.”
To encourage students to run for positions, DipCon’s Elections Committee decided to host the Student Leadership Fair. They established and delegated a set of tasks, like reserving the atrium of the Steinman College Center, conducting outreach and public relations for the event, and more.
Representing DipCon at the Fair was its executive board: Donnell Bailey ’17, president; Charley Hagist ’18, treasurer; Carmen Navia ’18, secretary; and Cadwell. In addition, to highlight the range of opportunities available on DipCon, all four class presidents and several committee chairs were present, such as Shakeyla Flores ’19, Community Outreach chair; Colleen Gallagher ’16, Academic Life chair; and Shelby Sawyer, Sustainability chair. Zoe Peace ’16 represented the CEC, Josh Hoffman ’17 represented Club Council, and James Galasso ’18 and Kate Carrier ’18 represented the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council, respectively, while Ignacio Picado-Fallas ’17 represented the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. A handful of students also appeared on behalf of college house governments.
Cadwell estimates about 30 students attended the Leadership Fair, and she pointed out that a few even took paperwork to participate in the upcoming elections. She also praised Bailey for his role in reaching out to students and encouraging them to consider getting involved.
“I’m happy with the fair,” she said. “There is definitely a lot of room for improvement, but considering how packed the spring semester is in terms of programming and the fact that this is the first time we’ve done this, I’m definitely satisfied with the event.”
Student government has been a foundation stone of Cadwell’s time at F&M, and she cites some of her personal experience as a reason why students should strive to get involved with DipCon in order to improve both themselves and their
“On a more individual level, it’s a great leadership experience; you get to learn so much about how the school works, and you get to meet and work with some really incredible people,” she said. “I really value the time I’ve spent on DipCon and a lot of that is because I’ve gotten to work with some really amazing people. On another level, it is important to be involved in student government if you care about F&M and want it to improve. There are lots of ways you can work to improve and build our community besides being involved in student government, but I think student government might be the clearest way to do that. You’re representing the student body and working with the administration and faculty at the same time. This puts you in an interesting position to really understand what is going on at F&M and in a position where you can really make change.”
Students interested in running for office or learning more about DipCon can attend one of its weekly meetings at 6:00 p.m. on Thursdays in the Armstrong Room of the Steinman College Center, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow DipCon on its various social media platforms. Cadwell also encouraged students to reach out to her directly at email@example.com.
Senior Steven Viera is the Senior Editor. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.