In the Light: SGA President Derek Baker


Derek Baker

Jonathan Santiago, Maroon-News Staff

Hailing from Buffalo, New York, Colgate senior and Student Government Association President Derek Baker was used to cold weather when he came to Colgate.

However, he was drawn to Colgate for its tight-knit community, which can be difficult to find at larger universities.

“When I visited and took my first tour here I felt really comfortable. I liked that my tour guide knew everyone walking around and that people all seemed to know each other,” Baker said.

Now that he’s been on campus for four years, he still feels the same way.

“Today, I like knowing that if I am walking around campus I will see people that I know,” Baker said.

When Baker first came to Colgate, he envisioned himself as a pre-law political science major.

“When I first came to Colgate I intended to be a political science major. I thought that it was the easiest and cleanest path to law school. However, despite the couple of fantastic classes I had taken, I didn’t feel right,” Baker said. 

His sophomore year, Baker understood that French was his passion and decided to declare it as a major. His philosophy minor soon followed.

“By the end of my second semester I realized that, for me, taking a French course was never a question. It was a given. Over that time, I realized that was because I loved learning French and felt comfortable in that environment,” Baker said.

Baker has been a member of Colgate’s mock trial team since his first year here. Mock trial also played a huge role in his high school career and social life.

“When I was in high school, mock trial shaped me by giving me specific speaking skills and confidence. Now that I am in college I can say that it has shaped me by giving me some of the best friends and experiences I have ever had,” Baker said.

After graduation, Baker plans to move to Chicago to work in Public Relations but doesn’t know what his long-term plans will be.

Baker had some advice for any first-years struggling to find their path on campus. 

“My advice for first-years: It is okay to diverge from a plan. It is better to change circumstances to fit who you are than try to mold yourself to fit the circumstances,” Baker said. 

Contact Jonathan Santiago at [email protected].