In The Light: Ryan Nelson



Maggie Grove

Pittsburgh native Ryan Nelson has been a crucial member of the Stu­dent Government Association (SGA) throughout his years at Colgate, helping to shape policies here on campus.

The political science and philosophy double major joined the SGA as a first-year after he was elected to the position of senator and also was a committee chair­man. His sophomore and junior years were spent serving in the SGA as a par­liamentarian. This year, Nelson serves as a Senior Policy Coordinator.

He describes his position as “basically a Chief of Staff type role. I coordinate with all the other people on the executive board and try to help them with their projects…I also work with the president and vice president to set the agenda and plan the vision for student government.”

For Nelson, working in the SGA has provided him with a unique op­portunity to connect with the Colgate student body.

“The very basis of student government is the ability to connect with students and work on their behalf to shape the school… essentially we work with students to give back to students,” Nelson said.

Nelson is also a prominent member of the Colgate student debate team, with whom he has traveled to Ireland, Bo­tswana, Turkey and a host of other lo­cales. In the first semester of his sopho­more and junior years, he served as vice president of the debate club. Now in his senior year, he has returned to being a regular debater.

“I’ve formed a very close knit group of friends [in debate]…I’ve traveled all over the world and it’s helped me to grow and learn,” Nelson said.

Nelson, a Stimets Award recipient and Charles A. Dana Scholar, is also a member of the Residential Life staff as a Residential Advisor (RA) for Drake Hall. He is also a member of the senior honor society, Konosioni.

“Colgate has shaped me intellectu­ally. The challenges in the classroom with amazing professors who do amazing things, the leadership experiences that I’ve been able to have…have allowed me to grow as a person,” Nelson said.

After graduation, Nelson will be attending law school. Where is he considering?

“I’m leaning toward Stanford, but I’m also interested in University of Pennsylvania and University of Michigan,” Nelson said.

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