Op-ed: Run for SU. I believe in you.

Grace Egbo | President of Student Union

“You’re running for Treasury, right?” I looked at the text message with an eye of suspicion. “THE SU Treasury? Nah, are you serious?” I replied back, annoyed that my friend would even suggest such a thing. “Haha I’m dead serious. I KNOW you’d make a great fit ;)”.

That was February 2017, and at the time I already had a full plate: I was part of numerous student groups, a treasurer for one of them, working two part-time jobs and all of this was on top of my computer science studies. If you had asked me at the beginning of my first year at Washington University whether or not I would be in student government, I would have laughed nervously and walked away. I never believed someone of my background was fit for such a position. I don’t know how my friend correlated any part of me to joining the Student Union Treasury, but because she believed in me, I ran for SU Treasury anyway.

Looking back, Student Union is the single most important extracurricular activity I have done. Being a part of SU Treasury and ultimately becoming SU president has honed my leadership skills in more ways than I can imagine. From day one, the normal introverted Grace had to be thrown out the window. I had the pleasure of being able to interact with student groups and personally learn more about the funding policies of SU. As an SU treasurer, I was able to help represent various interests for student groups so that students could continue to find their niche and pursue passions that are central to their identities.

However, after two semesters of being in SU Treasury I knew I was getting too comfortable. Even though I enjoyed helping student groups from a financial standpoint, I wanted to help and support students in all aspects of their Wash. U. experience. Thinking through all the SU positions available, SU president stood out as a challenge that I felt could help me get the job done. Was I terrified? Absolutely, with a resounding yes. But because someone believed in me when I ran for SU Treasury, I now believed in myself and knew that I could run for SU president. Best. Decision. Ever. I’ve talked with more student group leaders than I can count, physically interacted with top university leaders that I initially only saw on Google images and oversaw SU initiatives that will make a positive impact in the lives of students for years to come. To my friend, I’m glad I listened to you and, again I thank you.

That’s my SU story and now it’s time to write yours. Why should YOU care about joining SU? SU is an organization where you can truly make the impact that you want during your time at Wash. U. You have direct access to resources and people that can be a catalyst for the change you want to see on campus. There are open positions in Senate, Treasury, Olin Business Council, Class Councils and the Executive Board. All these positions work in tandem with each other to ensure that the mission of SU is upheld. Student Union cannot advocate, allocate and program without you. Despite my initial beliefs, everyone has the capacity to be in Student Union.

Your major, your thoughts and your background all serve to enrich the processes of how Student Union operates to best support the student body.

So what are you waiting for? My friend saw the potential in me and I see the potential of all of you that wish to make a positive difference in the lives of your fellow students. Application packets are now open on WUGO and there will be an information session on Sunday, Feb. 24 from 7-8 p.m. in the Bear’s Den Private Dining Room. Learn more about the open positions in SU at su.wustl.edu/join.

Run for SU. I believe in you.

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