Loneliness Led to a Student’s Presidency
By: Myriam Bonilla
Sarah Giselle Peart joined the International Student’s Club because she felt lonely and wanted to make friends. She never expected to be elected president.
“I saw it as a way to create new connections with people that were in the same position as me,” said Peart. “People who were new to the country and didn’t have many friends.”
The International Students Club consists of students from around the world from different cultures, the club met every Tuesday from 2:30pm to 4:25 pm.
The organization conducts group activities that incorporated cultures from countries like Japan, Colombia, Malaysia, and Jamaica. Many participants speak multiple languages including Spanish, Chinese, Hindi and even some dialects Patois.
Peart met with the club frequently, introduced herself to every new member, volunteered to help with events, and attended every time they met. Eventually, everyone saw Peart as a vital person and they all elected her Treasurer in 2018.
She organized the yearly income of $1,500 dollars neatly and concisely, she budgeted, and picked up all the food needed for the people involved. Peart excelled at her job and worked well with all the other executive which involved the Secretary, President, Vice President. She held the seat from 2018 to the end of the spring 2019.
She worked so effectively, that the club as a collective nominated her for an even higher position, presidency. They placed her name on a special voting slip and she eventually won against her opposition.
One of the club members, Nadia Davis, who participated in the club from August 2015 to now, voted for Peart on the date of the election.
“I voted for Sarah because she is driven and self-aware,” said Davis. “She has a way of uniting people and that’s more than enough to sustain the club.”
Davis also believed Peart would be a great candidate because she saw how much patience she had and how she listened to all her fellow members opinions and problems. Peart’s intelligence, determination, and popularity also made her earn the role of president.
After the election in the spring, Peart celebrated her win happily and waited for September of 2019 to truly start her new job as leader. Once the new semester started, she started her presidency with a mixture of nerves and excitement.
She quickly learned that the job requires many hours of dedication and hard work if she wanted to perform well. Peart’s first responsibility consisted of the organization of all the club’s affairs.
She planned the entire club calendar for the academic year which included all the dates of when the club met. She scheduled activities and chose the speakers for specific workshops.
“I love having the creative control to come up with new activities and creative ideas,” said Peart “It really enhances the club and its purpose.”
She helped arrange many club activities for example, International Wedding Day meant individuals participated in Malaysian wedding traditions. In Chalk the Campus, participants drew flags with colored chalk to represent each of their countries.
Presidency taught Peart how to problem solve and balance student life while she adhered to the requirements expected of her as the head of an organization. Peart found some aspects of the position a challenge especially since she had to make all of the executive decisions.
Overall, Peart wanted to show the participants how inclusive and culturally rich other cultures were.
“The purpose of the club is to create an accepting comfortable, friendly, culturally diverse environment for both international and national students,” said Peart. “I think I’m trying my hardest to be the president that this club deserves.”