Can a Woman Be President? Just Ask These Ladies!

May 03, 2013

As President Barack Obama’s second term gets underway, speculation is already running rampant over who will run next. Will our next president be a woman? It’s an important question, but one that college students all over the country have already answered with a resounding yes. While women are making slow gains in political parity at the federal level (2012’s bump from 17 percent to 18 percent representation in Congress is not much), college women have been stepping up to leadership roles in student government in much larger numbers.

Elect Her–Campus Women Win expands the pipeline for women running for office by encouraging and training college women to run for student government. This year, a record number of Elect Her alumnae have gone on to run for student government president, with women running for the top seat at 16 of our 38 sites! This is great news, especially given new research showing that the political ambition gap starts while women are in school. With some elections still underway, the overwhelming majority of Elect Her presidential candidates have won their races. We can’t wait to see these women lead their universities in the coming year. View the slideshow below to meet some of these amazing women leaders.

Meet Amazing Elect Her Leaders

Ana Morales at Denison University

Ana Morales's election poster.
Ana Morales was recently elected president of the Denison Campus Governance Association for 2013–14. Ana says:

“I am just very excited that this happened. Before I was going to run, I was trying to find ways to talk myself out of it, so I told my Elect Her advisor, Marci, and asked her to please keep me encouraged — and she did. Even in times that I doubted myself, I had great support. I ran an organized and coordinated campaign of about 50-plus students, and we won the election.”


Anna Lubitz at Stony Brook University

Anna Lubitz's election poster.
Anna Lubitz just served her second year as Elect Her student liaison at Stony Brook University, and was recently re-elected to her second term as her school’s Undergraduate Student Government president! Anna says:

“The Elect Her experience was wonderful. I learned so much to enhance my leadership skills, and the knowledge gained from the program helped me to achieve some of my most challenging goals. I definitely recommend this opportunity to anyone (especially women) who plans to run for office either on campus or off campus after graduation!”


Stefani Jones at Duke University

Stefani Jone's election poster
Stefani Jones, an Elect Her alumna from Duke University, was elected president of Duke University’s student government for the 2013–14 school year. Stefani says:

“You can’t be afraid to get out there and make yourself known. Survey the issues that students are talking about and make sure you’re approachable and friendly. People want campus leaders whom they respect, but they don’t want people who aren’t relatable.”


Julia Susuni at George Washington University

Julia Susuni's election poster.
Julia Susuni attended Elect her at the George Washington University and went on to be elected president of the GW Student Association. Julia says:

“The campaign was a great experience because I had the opportunity to work with a tremendously hardworking and motivated team of people. Elect Her was also a really eye-opening experience. One of the main things that I took away from Elect Her was that when you’re the leader of an organization, it’s important to lead, but you should also be cooperative and foster leadership qualities in other people.”


Amber Lopota at Northern Michigan University

This semester, Amber Lopota was elected president of the Associated Students of Northern Michigan University.
This semester, Amber Lopota was elected president of the Associated Students of Northern Michigan University. Amber says:

“Elect Her offered me a skill set and enhanced my confidence in a myriad of ways. I walked away from the workshop feeling empowered and prepared. I knew what was coming next, I knew what to expect from the opposing candidates, and most of all — I KNEW I could do this. I could win this race. And guess what? I did.”


Nichola Greenblatt at Willamette University

Nichola Greenblatt's election campaign poster
Nichola Greenblatt ran a successful campaign for president of the Associated Students of Willamette University. Nichola says:

“The presidential campaign challenged my emotional stamina and sense of self but ultimately proved to be one of my most fulfilling experiences. Reflecting back on the Elect Her workshop, I realize how valuable it was to engage with bright and tenacious women involved in politics. I hope to also play a part in showing other women that public leadership is not out of reach — and a woman’s potential should never be underestimated.”


Carrie Mattingly at the University of Louisville

Carrie Mattingly with her running mates.
Carrie Mattingly (far right, with her running mates) was elected president of the University of Louisville Student Government Association after a tough campaign. Carrie says:

“My campaign this year was particularly challenging. I had the advantage of being the most experienced candidate, but that advantage brought its fair share of attacks. I had to learn throughout my campaign to stay true to my message and to let go of negative comments, many of which were very hurtful and gender-driven. I grew into a more mature leader through my tough campaign, and I continue to be so proud of my team. I am thankful that the challenges I faced during my campaign will likely prepare me for those I will face while serving in office.”


Jasmine Barnes at Loyola University

Jasmine Barnes
Jasmine Barnes (second from bottom, with members of her campaign team) created a banner for her successful campaign for Student Government Association (SGA) president at Loyola University, New Orleans. Jasmine says:

“When I ran for SGA president, I ran a grassroots campaign. It reflected the concerns of students who want a Loyola experience that is relevant to the price they pay and the value they have for Loyola.”


Marisa Magallanes at Sierra College

Marisa Magallanes
Marisa Magallanes was elected president and student trustee of the Associated Students of Sierra College. Marisa says:

“Being able to apply the tools and strategies I learned through the Elect Her training into my campaign as student body president made all the difference. I now have the privilege of calling myself President and Trustee Magallanes!”

Jessica Kelly By:   |   May 03, 2013