Just say YES!
The women of Ithaca College (and a few men) learned that the first step in running for office or taking on a leadership role is to step up and say “yes.” Over 50 Ithaca College students are now ready to say YES….to running for student government and taking on more leadership roles in their communities.
These women are already smart, effective leaders on their campus and they’re now ready to take the next step. While they acknowledged the barriers women face running for office, they also saw inspiration in the fact that when women run, they win at the same rates as men.
These inspiring women took to heart the message that you have to participate in the system if you want to make a change. A panel of current Student Government Association representatives talked about how to run on Ithaca College’s campus. Apparently video spoofs of “Call Me Maybe” are quite effective.
One SGA panelist told her personal story. She was turned off by the politics of the SGA, but rather than shy away from the institution, she ran to make a change. NY State Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton echoed similar statements when she talked about her ascension to political office and helped participants see they already have the skills and experience to lead.
“Don’t put limits on yourself and your abilities. You don’t have to be an expert in everything to run for office. Think critically, do research and stand for what you believe,” said Assemblywoman Lifton. This prompted participant Ayesha Patel (@AyeshaJPatel) to tweet, “Freshman year I didn’t run for senator b/c I felt intimidated. Being here makes me realize I should have never let that stop me.” Amen, Ayesha!
The participants wrapped up the day by putting their leadership savvy on display delivering their elevator speeches. Women refined the speeches individually and practiced delivery as their peers voted on their favorites. When voting produced a tie, it was broken by the first ever IC Elect Her Speech-Off. Student Kaley Beval was the ultimate IC Elect Her Speech-Off Champion with her elevator speech.
Congratulations to Kaley and all other IC Elect Her participants!
This post was written by Elect Her facilitator Karen Defilippi