’17
Danny
Bedford Hills, NY
Journalism
Leadership Studies

Interests

All Sports Delicious food Arguments about nonsense A lot of TV (The Wire, Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones especially) Politics, history, and just about anything nonfiction.

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About Me

Goodbye to SGA

April 27, 2017

The first week of classes freshman year, there was a sign in my hallways saying that there would be free pizza outside my dorm on Friday. Sold. Friday came, and everybody in my dorm flocked outside for free Papa John’s. As I’m scarfing down some pepperoni, some kids in matching polos asked me if I was interested in joining student government. Apparently, student government had arranged for the free pizza, and this was a recruiting event. (Suddenly, things made more sense.) I had done student government in high school, so I figured I’d give it a shot. 

I ran for student government my freshman year, and I won a seat. Four years later, it’s insane to look back at that moment and realize how much that free pizza influence my college experience. I’ve been a part of student government for seven semesters, every semester of college besides my semester in Barcelona, and it’s become a critical part of my identity on campus. Student government has given me some of my best friends and favorite moments.

Student government at Richmond has a lot of responsibility, ranging from allocating over $200,000 of funds to student organizations across campus to hosting forums on race with faculty panelists facilitating town hall style questions from the audience. It also has a huge impact on a small community like Richmond, where key administrators rely on student voices to gauge the pulse of campus. 

This year, I served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs, meaning that I was responsible for any student concerns with an academic focus — inside or outside the classroom. My committee was able to achieve a lot, ranging from working on new academic programs for university accreditiation, serving on the search committee for our inaugural Director of Fellowships and Scholars, and working with the faculty senate to reduce the costs of textbooks, among many other things. I also led a great committee with dedicated senators and some great freshman who are going to do great work well after I graduate.

At our last meeting, we do a ceremony known as Pass the Gavel, where everyone goes around the room and shares a moment that comes to mind — something we accomplished, worked toward, or an improvement that was made. At my final Pass the Gavel, I reflected on all the work we’ve done in student government in four years, and reflected one of my favorite stories.

My freshman year at Richmond, my brother was a senior. His apartment block was being demolished to make way for Gateway, the significantly better apartments that I have the fortune of living in now (See my previous post). 

The night before my brother's graduation, the seniors had a massive, final block party at the apartments set for demolition and promptly destroyed them. I’m talking holes in ceilings and doors off of hinges. Walls came down. Amongst this free for all, I stumbled into an apartment that seemed relatively unscathed. There I discovered the former president of student government, who was a bona fide legend on campus. He had been a huge role model and influence on me and the rest of the freshman throughout the year, and was like Yoda if Yoda was more chill. 

We talked for ten minutes on life, love and the pursuit of happiness as he reflected on graduating college. As we said our goodbyes, he offered me some of the wisest advice I’ve ever received. 

“Heifetz, remember. When opportunity knocks, you answer."

He picked up a chair, and smashed it through the wall, forming a chair sized hole into the next apartment. 

“And if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

I addend that wisdom with my own: Always accept free pizza.

I'm always hungry, usually talking, and an occasionally funny senior double majoring in Journalism and Leadership Studies with a minor in Business Administration. I am the Vice-President of Academic Affairs for the Richmond College Student Government Association, an Associate Editor with The Collegian, the student newspaper, and a brother of Theta Chi Fraternity. This past summer I interned for the Washington Redskins official website, Redskins.com. I am probably procrastinating as you read this.