Past USC presidents reflect on being the big cheese

Fab Dolan

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Thinking back on my days as USC president last year, there is very little advice I can offer on how best to do the job.

Being president is simultaneously an unimaginable privilege and a torturous ordeal. There are many rewards, but more often than not, you spend so much time on the defensive, it is difficult to make real change for students at Western.

That said, it’s important the next USC president approach the job with a sense of humility and an honest desire to make change.

Notice I place no emphasis on platform. Your platform is a good indicator of who you are as a candidate, but I predict a very small percentage of your time will be spent on the agenda you bring to the table.

What will define your term is the things you never dreamed could happen and for which you are hopelessly ill-prepared.

Will you reach out to Western students who feel victimized by words in your newspaper or will you end the discussion based on the merits of free speech? What will you say into the microphone when a reference letter from Dr. Davenport and an equitable deal for students hang in the balance?

I can’t answer these questions for you, but please know that you will have the power to choose. You will have the choice to put in the extra hours when you could go home. You will have the choice to listen when you could talk and you will have the choice to sit when you could stand for what is right.

I made my fair share of mistakes and I can promise you that you will make your own. Trust, though, that they will be few and far between if you set aside your own needs and choose what’s best for students.

Best of luck.
"Fab Dolan

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