Mardi Gras, the Saints, and a New Mayor Can’t Compete with…March 03, 2010
Campaign College at Loyola University in New Orleans! That’s right. Following all of these events was the training on February 20 about running for student government. Loyola student government officers LeeAnn Moss and Kristen Lee worked with Karen Reichard, director of the Women’s Resource Center, to bring the training to Loyola, one of ten 2010 Campaign College sites across the country. Moss and Lee also served as volunteer student liaisons at the event.
The day included many inspiring speakers and activities:
Casey Trahan, a consultant with IBM and a Loyola alum, spoke about her student government experience and the skills it brought to her professional life. She also encouraged students to step outside their comfort zones in college while they have a safe space to grow.
Brooke Smith, a member of Mitch Landrieu’s transition team, shared her experiences of being an outsider in politics and how she ultimately got involved. Her experience working in the private sector and finding her way to campaigns and state/local government demonstrated to the students how their paths might develop over time. Smith emphasized how important it is to get involved in campaign work to build political networks.
Cathy Rogers, an associate professor in Loyola’s School of Mass Communications, spoke to students about how to create their own campaign message and brand and urged them to consider their own values and how to share them succinctly and positively with their audiences.
Sarah Cooper, student government president, and Maria Rossi, student government vice president, shared what students should expect in these roles. Cooper and Rossi were realistic about how much work their offices require, as well as how much they are learning about being team leaders and delegating and about their own strengths and weaknesses.
As a part of the training’s campaign simulation, participants scoured the campus for “votes.” The “winner” of the simulation was none other than Kristen Lee, one of the student liaisons, who used her “campaign team,” which consisted of her mom and sister, to get the most votes. Way to go, Kristen!
State and local AAUW members were on hand as volunteers throughout the day and networked with the students. We were so glad to have their support and enthusiasm for this program.
New Orleans is celebrating a lot right now, and residents feel alive with hope and opportunity. We know the participants at the Loyola Campaign College realized new opportunities for themselves in running for student government, and we look forward to following their campaigns!
Listen to what participant Gracie Palombo learned.