My name is Daniel Barnes ’21, and I’m running for a position as a first-year representative in CCSGA.
According to the CCSGA constitution, this organization’s purpose is to aid in the “development of an enriching college experience.” Effectively, the organization needs to know what the students want, how to implement that want effectively, and execute it. It’s an honor for a student to be selected for this position, because their decisions and values directly influence student life—and thus, clearly, somebody with strong ties into the community of students combined with a refined ability to articulate and engage the student government is best suited for this position.
As first-year students, it’s hard to claim any jurisdiction over refined skills—we’re here to develop skills that we, perhaps, have been exposed to in the past, and think we could eventually be successful with. Thus, I’ll admit my reasons for running for this position are as selfish as they are altruistic.
I believe in growth through experiences, and I believe that serving on the student government will help me refine skills in public relations, articulation of thoughts and ideas, and innovation. These are challenges I’m willing to take on in order to refine these skills for myself, but more importantly, to use for improving the communities around me—from CCSGA, to smaller student-led groups, and eventually, beyond my education here.
Using these skills, I hope to influence CCSGA in a way which makes full use of the liberties granted to the organization, and use them to develop the “enriching college experience” to the best of our ability. I believe this organization needs leaders to spearhead new policies and new ways of thinking, and I believe that I have the mindset necessary to promote and work toward that goal.
CCSGA this year should be extremely student-oriented. Democratic principles indicate that any sort of vote or representation needs to accurately represent the people who are governed, and CCSGA should be no exception. If elected, my priority will be to gather feedback from students and use it as a primary indicator of any decisions I should make, promote, and/or vote for.
I see myself as somebody who could create positive change at this school because I feel as though I’ve worked through unique problems in the past. I attended a smaller high school where drumming up support for activities is a task of its own. I failed with several of my goals because of this. For example, I attempted to create a computer science club which ultimately flopped. I also planned to throw a sledding event as president of our National Honor Society, which wasn’t even hosted due to no interest.
However, I’ve had successes where I later worked through these problems. After failing with my computer science club, I began working with a network to tutor/teach computer science to middle school students. After the National Honor Society’s failed event, I later came back to host a color run which raised a sum of money for a local suicide prevention agency. I’ve worked around problems in order to achieve a specific goal, and I believe that kind of attitude is one where a lot of value can come from. This is why I see myself as highly suited for this position.
My greatest concern on campus is the diversity of families whose students choose to attend school here. Colorado College ranks #2 in colleges with students from the top one percent of income, and #4 for students in the top fifth. Likewise, we rank in the bottom 40 colleges (2,357 of 2,395) for share of students with families from the bottom fifth of income.
This is undoubtedly a problem—access to education needs to be universal, and restricting CC students to a certain demographic limits our worldview/discourse greatly. I believe a change to this can come from inside the school. While CCSGA has no control over tuition, we can put work into improving the school’s internal activities/opportunities, such that our outward-facing presence promotes a wider range of applicants. Most students who are accepted to CC apply early, so “marketing” the school more definitively with a greater presence (online or otherwise) and greater culture will effectively work toward improving this gap of family income at CC.
Thank you for reading and considering me for the position of first-year representative. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Daniel Barnes ‘21
By Daniel, on October 5, 2017, 8:06 am