Elect Her at Below ZeroMarch 02, 2011
Despite subzero temperatures, students at the University of Wyoming keep their campus alive with inspiring activities during these freezing winter months. On February 10 Liz Brown, Associated Students of the University of Wyoming (ASUW) vice president and AAUW National Student Advisory Council member, organized an Elect Her–Campus Women Win event ahead of the spring student elections. Speakers included Wyoming Democratic Party Communications Director Brianna Jones and former Laramie mayor Jodi Guerin.
Jones, who served as an ASUW senator when she was in college, shared great insight into how her student government experience led her to a professional career in politics. She spoke about the importance of messaging and various communications strategies that students can use in their campaigns. Guerin, who recently ran for the Wyoming Senate, discussed the benefits and challenges of choosing a career as a public servant. Guerin explained how serving in elected office is a true opportunity to make a difference in your community, but it can often be very difficult fighting for what you believe in when there are many opposing viewpoints. She also described to the students how challenging it can be to be a woman in the male-dominated political environment.
Brown, ASUW Senator Bryan Dugas, and Assistant Dean of Students for Leadership Development Matthew Caires talked with the students about what it really means to run for ASUW. Currently at the University of Wyoming, women make up 55 percent of the student body but hold only 29 percent of executive positions in student government. Brown and Dugas shared winning strategies that included having a well-organized campaign team and speaking to as many students as possible to build personal connections.
Many of the participants were currently serving in student government and wanted to learn more about how to best prepare themselves for reelection. Overall, the students want to run for student government to address issues such as lack of diversity on campus, streamlining information about student programs, and student safety during subzero temperatures.
Congratulations to Meghan Kolf, who won the Elect Her–Wyoming Women Win campaign simulation! And thanks also go to the amazing staff and students for making this training happen and for preparing students for their future leadership roles.
This post was written by Executive Director of the Public Leadership Education Network Pamela O’Leary.