Marcus Christian ’16 and Jesús Espinoza ’16 won the College Council (CC) presidency on March 20, 2015 in a special election. Espinoza resigned from the presidency in an all-campus email on Sept. 28, 2015, and Christian finished the term alone. Record Editor-in-Chief Zoe Harvan ’17 sat down with Christian to reflect on his time as president. He will serve as a class representative.
You initially started your term with a co-president who resigned in the fall. What was the transition from working in a partnership to running CC on your own like? Did it affect what you wanted to accomplish?
The transition was a bit more abrupt than I expected it would be, and you never expect going in that your co is going to leave. He left for personal reasons, and at the end of the day it was fine, and we kept moving forward. I was so thankful that I had people in Council who I trusted and who trusted in me and were supporting me.
But I think it did definitely alter some of the stuff that I wanted to do and the level of importance I put [on] them. I had wanted to work really hard on creating a base level of communication with other councils at some of our peer institutions, and that sort of fell to the wayside because I felt that there were more important things on our campus that we needed to work on.
I was able to delegate a lot more. I think it was good. I think we got a lot done, and I was so happy with the support that I got from members of Council. It was unexpected, but I think it worked out in the sense that it was able to make us all come together a little more.
What do you consider some of the greatest accomplishments of CC during your term?
Now that I’m at the end of it, I would say definitely getting people to at least show their involvement based on the level of voting. I mean, we had pretty much 70 percent, and that was with having a couple issues and confusion with the voting at the beginning. And I was ecstatic about that. Going from where we were in the fall and even past elections since I’ve been here, that was the biggest thing for me.
I don’t think we’re there yet, and I think that’s something that’s going to take a couple Councils to get there, but I’m happy to see that students are engaging in a different way and that people who haven’t run before are feeling confident enough in their abilities and their desire to help serve the school that they’re willing to put themselves out there.
So that’s the biggest accomplishment for me, seeing students engaging and saying that we have a say in our school and our campus.
What were the biggest challenges?
One of the biggest challenges was keeping the actual members of Council engaged and focused, knowing that we’re all volunteers, and that we all have other things we’re involved in. We had a couple members of Council who decided to step down or take reduced roles throughout the term, and that’s tough, but at the end of the day, you know, we’re all students, that’s our pri-ority here, and we’re all active in something else as well.
So really maintaining that excitement and engagement, because it’s not always easy. There are people who are speaking out against Council and saying that we don’t do things, so really keeping morale up and saying that we’re working for something, it’s just much bigger than we are, and getting people to be excited about doing the grunt work that hopefully councils down the road can really reap the benefit of.
How do you expect to continue working on your goals for CC as a class representative?
One of them is to keep the senior class engaged, and know that while our time here on campus as students is short, we’re still here. It’s honestly a pretty significant chunk if you think about it, because we’re only here for eight semesters, and for those people who go abroad it’s even shorter.
Also, thinking about how this is going to impact us as alumni, thinking about what we want to see and what we want our school associated with. We’re all going to have Williams on our transcripts and our resumes, and knowing that we want the school to stay as unified and as competitive as possible moving forward in the future.
I’m also excited to work with this new Council; I think it’s a great group. I’m excited to work with Caitlin [Buckley ’17] and Michelle [Bal ’17] and I’m excited to have a role there and a voice there, and to be able to represent a group that I could possibly identify with more as my classmates.
Do you have any advice for your successors?
My biggest advice is don’t be afraid of criticism. Know that it is tough work and not everybody is going to want to put themselves out there. But I trust in them 100 percent, and I’ve had the chance to talk to them, and I’m excited about them moving forward.