Teamwork Wins Votes — Georgian Court UniversityJune 21, 2012
Closing an incredible spring of trainings, Elect Her—Campus Women Win held its last training of the season at Georgian Court University on Friday March 30th. Although this training marked the end of Elect Her’s training season, it was a first in many respects: not only was this was Georgian Court’s first year hosting an Elect Her training, it was also Elect Her’s first-ever training at an all-women’s college.
Over 50 strong, powerful, motivated young women packed into an old chapel on the picturesque Georgian Court campus to attend the training. Although these women came from varying backgrounds and levels of interest in politics and student government, they all shared a passion for leadership and a serious concern for making their campus and their community a better place.
Motivated by this shared passion, students seized the opportunity to discuss issues close to them during the “What’s your issue?” exercise, taking time to debate and consider important current issues like the possibility of their campus going co-ed. These issues fed into some particularly powerful elevator speeches each student delivered in the afternoon.
Students also had the opportunity to hear from some incredible women leaders throughout the day. Freehold Township Councilwoman Barbara McMorrow discussed her expertise in running for office and serving in office, shedding some light on the realities of being a woman in politics. When you are in a woman in a ‘man’s field like politics, she explained, ‘you learn that as a woman, sometimes you simply aren’t heard.” Rather than being offended at this reality, she advised that women rise above it and continue to use their voices until others have no other choice but to hear it.
Messaging expert and communications strategist Cinda Adams Gaskin gave excellent advice on how to craft a powerful message and communicate it effectively. And finally, our student panel discussed the challenges they have faced as leaders on their campus and the most rewarding parts of their roles as student government elected officials.
Prior to the start of the event, Wilsar Johnson, the student organizer of the training, had warned me that GCU women are “pretty competitive.” Once the campaign simulation began, I saw exactly what she was talking about. After I explained the exercise to the group, students wasted no time in forming their teams and devising a strategy. The winning candidate, Melissa Farley, who earned 27 votes throughout campus, developed an impressive strategy, appointing a driver, a campaign manager, and a number of field officers to create the most efficient mechanism for collecting votes.
I was impressed by the level of leadership and passion I saw from GCU women last Friday. I can’t wait to see the challenges and leadership positions taken on by this group of impressive young women!
This post was written by Running Start Program Director Allison Dunatchik.