To the Editor,
Just like that, it is finished. It truly has been a pleasure to serve as your student government president this past year. I am grateful to Vice President Ali Heiring, my cabinet and to all of those who have served with me over the past year. My involvement with Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC) has really made my Lawrence experience what it is, and what I will always remember it to be.
Through my involvement as a district representative, serving on cabinet as a freshman, coming back from study abroad to be a class representative and running for president my junior year—I will always remember LUCC as the one thing that motivated me every day to be better and to do more.
When I think about all of the events that have occurred over the course of my presidency, I can say that our community is now stronger as a collective than it has ever been. We have improved accountability with our class representatives and we are more in touch with the student organizations on this campus. Student organizations have the ability to speak their mind and create programs that are inclusive of the entire community, while collaborating with groups they may never otherwise have collaborated with.
We have successfully increased student participation, as students are utilizing LUCC as a resource to have their voices be heard—our review of the sexual assault and dining policies have stemmed from student engagement.
We have a more favorable relationship with our administration, especially with my opportunity to serve as a student observer on the Board of Trustees. I can tell you that our trustees truly care about our students and are working hard to make decisions that impact our campus for everyone’s betterment, even if it may seem as though they only decide whether or not our comprehensive fee will continue to increase.
As I prepare to graduate this June, I want to leave LUCC and Lawrence with a few thoughts about the future. First, as we are beginning to connect more and more every day, it would be unfortunate if we did not continue to collaborate with like-minded groups to host large, successful campus events that all students can attend.
Second, we must work harder to overcome our differences. Creating an engaged campus community that also remains inclusive of all ideals, opinions, orientations and races is at the centerpiece of pushing Lawrence over the edge to be an example of leading higher education institutions.
As Lawrentians, we are passionate about what we do, but we must be supportive of the passions of our peers as well. Collectivity will ensure everyone’s success and sometimes we need another’s encouragement to help us maintain that drive.
LUCC has a unique position on this campus, and I really saw how its potential can be used for the greater good of this campus during my time here. I want to leave you with thoughts of inclusivity, collaboration, and sincere ways to improve this campus, and its culture. I look forward to seeing the ways Max Loebl & Jo-Hanna Rifai will embody these values for success in their time with LUCC.
—Wesley Varughese ‘16, LUCC president emeritus