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The Elect Her leadership program encourages young women to run for elected offices. Photo courtesy of NMU

Student Congress hosts Elect Her

By Maritza Moreno
Staff Writer

UT Arlington Student Congress hosted Elect Her on March 6, a leadership training program, in which local women leaders spoke about gaining confidence and votes at the University Center.

Since 2009, UT Arlington Student Congress has collaborated with Running Start and the American Association of University Women. The organizations help college women gain the confidence and support to run for elected offices in different organizations on campus.

Elect Her was brought to UT Arlington by Spanish and psychology senior Sydney Bay, a former UTA Ambassador and former Student Congress External Relations director.  She attended the original event in Washington, D.C., and decided that the same knowledge should be available at her university.

“I wanted to give young women on campus the opportunity to learn about women in leadership and in politics, whether it be on a college campus or out in the real world,” Bay said.

She applied her Elect Her skills last semester when she worked as a field officer for the Obama Campaign in Miami. Bay said working for the campaign was one of the most difficult, yet rewarding experiences of her life and that she wanted to share this experience with fellow students.

This was the first time Bay did not lead the planning for Elect Her. This year, she was one of the five speakers scheduled for the event.

Although not planning Elect Her was a bittersweet experience, Bay said it gave her the opportunity to share her knowledge with other students before graduating in May.

External Relations Director Omar Alameddin along with Parent and Family Center Assistant Director Kendra Kliesen acquired Bay’s role this semester in organizing the event and bringing speakers.

We planned on having 50 students attend Elect Her this semester, Alameddin said.

Alameddin scheduled three student panel speakers. The student speakers were Student Congress President Jennifer Fox, Student Congress Vice President Alaina Cardwell and Bay.

We were excited to have Assistant Vice President for Media Relations Kristin Sullivan and a congresswoman as our expert speakers, Kliesen said.

The five speakers gave students essential communication tips and helped them create a campaign strategy.

“We got the students to run a campaign simulator, in which they prepared a slogan and went out on campus to ask students if they would vote for them,” Bay said.

A free meal was provided and the students got a chance to network with each other.

Elect Her speaker, Assistant Vice President for Media Relations Kristin Sullivan, tells students about leadership at the University Center. Photo courtesy of Richard Hoang.

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