Why I am Proud to be a Laurentian

By: 
Annie Dietderich
Class of: 
2016

I finally made it.

This semester, I was elected as Vice President of Senate Affairs, a position on the Thelomathesian (Thelmo) Society’s executive board. As a freshman, I promised myself I was going to be part of student government at St. Lawrence, and am proud to reflect on what I have gained from the experience.

I have always been a student government nerd. At the first-year matriculation ceremony, it is tradition that the student body president gives a speech. It was the speech by the then-president John Montgomery ’14 that influenced my decision to apply to Thelmo. He was a student who was extremely passionate about his fellow students succeeding and becoming proud Laurentians. When the applications came out that fall, I didn't hesitate to pick one up and apply.

So as a first-year student at St. Lawrence University, I began to climb the steps of Thelmo. There are 32 senators that make up the Senate in Thelmo. Then there are nine chair posistions, which sit on the junior executive board and chair different committees. Lastly, there is the executive board, which consists of six positions. The executive board is the only body that is elected by the students. All of the senators and chairs are appointed by the executive board.

I will always remember getting the email that told me I was selected to serve during the fall of my first year. That semester, I started to learn the ins and outs of the society. I learned that one of the largest responsibilities of the organization was to allocate money to student clubs and organizations. However, as I became public relations chair in the spring of my freshman year and Campus Entertainment Chair in the fall of my sophomore year, I realized the society had a much larger presence on campus and bigger responsibilities to the students.  

Thelmo is a part of so many different elements of campus. We are more than the traditional meetings which are held every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Hannon Room.  Our junior executive board works with the senators to plan events and various initiatives to improve the student experience. What I love most about being part of the executive board as vice president of senate affairs is being part of a team. I have been given the opportunity of tackling important issues by working with five inspirational student leaders. Working with my fellow board members has allowed me improve my communication, inter-personal, and leadership skills

Overall, being able to give back to the community and help my peers accomplish their goals is why Thelmo makes me proud to be a Laurentian. I have been able to learn about the internal governance of the University, created strong relationships with student leaders, work with the board of trustees, and represent the student voice to the strongest of my abilities. Looking back, getting involved in the society was the smartest decision I made as a freshman, and I hope to continue to encourage new students to continue to give back in this way to the Laurentian community.