Rebirth of a Dream

Paul Kasabian

When I was in the eighth grade, I wanted nothing more than to be the student body president of St. Peter of Alcantara School on Long Island.

Back then I had plans to be the President of the United States someday, since I realized an anemic lifetime Little League batting average hovering around .150 meant that my former dreams to play center field for the New York Yankees would clearly never go anywhere. Don’t ask why I thought being the president was more feasible than being a pro baseball player; I was 13 years old then and didn’t know any better.

Anyway, I was pretty excited. I had a slogan (“Vote for Paul, He Knows it All”), a campaign song (not suitable to be printed in this newspaper) and a team that was committed to take me to the top. Nothing was going to stop me and my amazing campaign plans to create a St. Peter’s charity basketball tournament and to give every student a library card.

(Side note: I have no idea why I put library cards on my campaign. How was I supposed to convince a bunch of 11-to-13-year-olds to vote for me when I was trying to get them to a place that they avoided like the plague? No wonder I ended up losing.)

The election day came and went. Although I wasn’t in last place out of the eight candidates, I definitely didn’t take first. It was brutal. Also, it turns out that my main campaign manager decided not to vote for me because, and I quote, “you had no chance of winning.” Dreams crushed and hopes dashed, I haven’t done anything related to any student government organization since.

Fast forward five years to college.

I joined The Maroon-News right away. I joined Intramural Sports and Banana Bingo soon after. I follow what’s happening in the SGA and get really interested come election time; however, I never seriously consider running for office.

But that all changed when Javi Diaz came along.

Javi told me about his desire to run for SGA President earlier this year, needless to say, I was pretty ecstatic. Quite honestly, Javi is one of the best people I know at Colgate, as he one of the nicest and funniest guys you’d ever meet.

Plus, I knew of his involvement with SGA and how much he cares about Colgate. So naturally, I was thrilled and volunteered to be on his campaign team when the time came.

Fast forward one week later.

I’m watching college basketball in my apartment with some friends. I get a phone call from Javi, and he asks if I’m interested in being his vice presidential candidate. Thoughts of doubt start to enter my head. I have a pretty full plate ahead next school year, between being an Editor-in-Chief for the paper and the IM Sports Commissioner. I tell him to look for other candidates and get back to me.

24 hours pass by. I think more and more about joining his campaign. I think about trying my best to get a guy in office who I know will make a huge difference. I think about the reforms he and I could bring to Colgate together.

I think about myself. I think about the passion of a 13-year old kid on Long Island that wanted to do his best for his school, and how in the back of my mind, I always wanted to try and make a difference through student government, though I lacked the courage to do so for a long period of time.

Time is not my ally anymore, though, as I have one year left of school. Might as well make the most of it.

So I gave Javi a call back and accepted his offer to become his vice presidential nominee, coming full circle after eight long years and bringing back that dream I had way back when.

With the help of others, Javi and I have come up with a platform that represents two ideals: realistic change for Colgate and necessary initiatives.

Our platform is full of many ideas that fulfill one of these ideals, but Javi and I feel as though most of our platform represents both. Sexual assault and suicide attempts are prevalent and imperative issues on college campuses everywhere, so we feel we need to create more awareness and resources promoting both prevention and help.

Also, we want to work with Conant House and create mentoring programs during the school year, where upperclassmen could act as mentors for students that are having trouble during their first year at Colgate. Veterans Day recognition, putting more recycle bins on campus and reforming the Cruiser schedule are also ideas we want to pursue.

Maybe we’ll win this election. Maybe we won’t. Who knows? However, there is one certainty: regardless of the outcome, I can tell you that Javi and I have always been committed to putting ourselves on the line and working as hard as we can for the students that we represent, in whatever capacity that may be.