My first year at UNC, I joined the men’s rowing team. I know, I know — I was a little smaller than my teammates, but I wasn’t a rower, I was a coxswain.
A coxswain sits in the back of the boat, steers it and coordinates the power and rhythm of the rowers.
When I did my job well, I helped bring everyone together and across the finish line. With my voice, I helped them be the best they could.
UNC students: You are the power and rhythm of the University. That’s been true since Hinton James walked this campus, and it’s still true for those of you who live in the dorm named after him, two centuries later.
I want to help channel your drive and passion and steer this energy through the tough decisions that we, as a University community, must make.
When I do my job well, then you’ll be able to do yours better.
Whether you’re an artist, an activist, an athlete or all three, we depend on the same community to strengthen and fuel us.
If you spend your time raising record amounts of money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital, raising the visibility of multiculturalism on campus or raising the stakes on your academics through research, I want to help you excel at UNC.
In my platform, there are big things — and little things — that will help you excel.
Helping you find faculty mentors, not just advisers.
Creating a better process to connect you with the resources you need to fix a problem.
Creating a performing arts listserv so that you know what performances are going on.
I’ll need help with these, so I’m ready to put together the best team of people possible to serve the larger UNC community.
This past winter, I went to the Music City Bowl, and at halftime I belted out the lines of “Hark the Sound” with the other UNC students around me, almost — but not quite — drowned out by the booing of angry Tennessee fans.
As I looked around I saw specks of blue dotting the stadium. Despite the sea of orange separating us, the song we sang and the team we cheered for united us all. It was our love for UNC that brought us to our feet — and kept us standing until the very end.
Every UNC fan had something in common that night. It didn’t matter how far we were from Chapel Hill — all of our hearts were there. While I’m from Nashville, I knew that night that I will always be a Tar Heel.
UNC has forever shaped who I am. It has given me innumerable opportunities and a variety of perspectives.
It has challenged and inspired me, and I am ready to give back to the community as student body president.
I’m running because I want to do something for you. If you elect me tomorrow, you’ll give me the opportunity to work for you on a variety of issues, including tuition and fees, safety and academics.
You’ll elect someone whose goal is to understand what you need from your University community.
You’ll elect someone who will use her voice to make sure that you are always proud to be a Tar Heel.
Mary Cooper is a SBP Candidate. She is a guest columnist for the Daily Tar Heel. Cooper is a junior environmental health sciences major from Nashville, Tenn. Contact her at email@example.com.
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