Even on a challenging bike ride in Malaysia this summer, student body president candidate Monique Hardin knew what it took to be a leader.
Leading a group of rising sophomores on a study abroad trip through southeast Asia, Hardin showed her determination and perseverance by motivating the group to finish the ride, said sophomore Laura Harker.
“She kept pushing me the whole time,” Harker said. “We went from the back of the group to the front.”
That drive and determination will help Hardin as she runs against five other candidates for the campus’ top student government position — a job that requires managing a large staff to accomplish various initiatives and representing students in regular meetings with administrators.
Hardin, a public policy and economics major from Charlotte, said she is running because she wants to stand up for UNC students and thinks she can do it well.
“I’ve always been taught growing up, ‘You have a voice. Use it!’” she said.
This year, Hardin has served as an executive assistant to Student Body President Jasmin Jones, helping her complete various tasks. She is president of the Public Policy Majors Union and has worked with the Study Abroad Office and the Leadership Institute in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.
If elected president, Hardin said she hopes to make student government more accessible to students though office hours in the Pit and on South Campus.
Other platform points include the implementation of a textbook exchange to save students money and a Board of Trustees open house where students can interact with top administrators.
Aside from the textbook exchange, Hardin’s platform lacks major initiatives that would require administrative approval, which are common in student body president races.
Instead, it deals mostly with ongoing initiatives such as energy use, lighting, improving the dining halls and strengthening contacts with everyone from the mayor to the advising office.
Lauren Cutshaw, Hardin’s campaign manager, said the candidate has been committed to finding tangible solutions.
“Monique is more about solutions and not just ideas,” she said. “When she was working on her platform, she would call and be like, ‘This platform point won’t happen, but here’s a new idea.’ She won’t make promises she can’t keep.”
Sophomore Peter Mills, who traveled with Hardin in Asia, said he was always impressed by her cheerful and outgoing personality.
“She’s humble, and she actually does care,” he said. “You come first, and she always comes second.”
Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.