Name: Caroline Yopp
Year: Junior, Class of 2013
Major: Agricultural Science, Communication
What position are you running for?
I’m running to serve as NC State University’s next Student Body President.
What made you want to run for Student Body President? My passion for our University ultimately compelled me to run. NC State has so much to offer: amazing people who care about the world, a vibrant and diverse community, world-class innovation and research, a dedicated and loyal fan base, and endless opportunities to pursue your passions. We’re doing great things at NC State.
However, we need to increase the dialogue about what role Student Government plays in the student experience. It’s not a secret that the average student at NC State either doesn’t know what we’re doing in our Student Government offices or doesn’t care. That needs to be fixed. We need to change the way we feel about Student Government, but that involves changes from our end as well.
What’s one of the biggest things you want to accomplish as President? We need more pride in NC State. While we have amazing fans at athletic events, our University is doing so much for our community and our world that’s overlooked. If I could do one thing as President, it would be to change the culture. Students shouldn’t feel that they just go to school here; this should be their home. We need to do a better job of connecting students to this University. Not everyone wants to paint their body for games like I do. That’s okay. But, we should help them find something they DO like that celebrates being a student at NC State. When we graduate, we should be able to go out and spread the good news: why it’s so special to be an alum of North Carolina State University.
In what ways do you differ from your competitors? Why should our readers vote for you as opposed to the other candidates? Each candidate brings their own experiences to the table that would help them in this position. I can only speak for myself. I am a values driven person: diversity, character, service, and people. They are in all that I do. I am continuously growing so that I can better serve people. I think it’s important for a candidate to place a high value on diversity. How can you serve a body of people like the one at NC State without it? I also feel that my leadership experience both inside and outside of Student Government has prepared me for this position. It’s awesome to have experience in the field, but leadership development from multiple arenas has developed me into a well rounded person who knows how to lead in many different groups and circumstances. One of my greatest strengths is relating to people. Talk to me for five minutes and you will find that I’m genuine, relatable, and interested in what you have to say.
Being Student Body President, many people will look to you for help or assistance. How will you try to help everyone and satisfy his or her needs?A student body officer has to be accessible. Students must be aware of several ways to contact the officer. Social media is a powerful tool. Be present. Show up to student led events on campus. Being seen is crucial. It shows how much you care and makes you approachable. It also helps you understand the needs of a community. I understand that you can’t please everyone all the time, but you absolutely can listen to everyone. If I don’t know the answer, I should do everything in my power to direct them to someone that does. Being truly concerned with the needs of others is not just important; it’s vital.
Running for President, you must have a lot of Pack Pride, what’s your FAVORITE thing about NC State? That’s so hard! There is so much to love about NC State. If I had to choose, I’d say the people. I have met some of the most amazing individuals who have impacted my life forever. We have students right here on campus who are destined to change the world. Whether it’s pushing me to scream louder at the NCSU v. Carolina basketball game or forcing me to think critically while restructuring a farmers cooperative in Hopkins Village, Belize, they inspire me daily and drive me to be better. I’ll always be grateful for them. The more I think about it, they’re definitely my favorite thing.
What’s something you’ve learned about yourself here as a student at NC State? It’s okay to fail. It’s never okay to give up. Life is hard. Life is really hard. We’re not always dealt the cards we want, but we must play the ones we’re given the best we know how. Some of the most trying times of my life have been as a student here at NC State. They became opportunities for personal growth and development. While we think of a university as buildings and biochemistry tests, the years we spend inside the walls of those buildings turn out to be some of the most telling of our lives. This is where we figure out who we are. The opportunities I’ve been given at NC State have helped shape me into the woman I am today, and I love who that person is.
Are there any other organizations you are involved in? I’m a Caldwell Fellow, an intensive servant leadership scholarship program here at NC State. It’s a community of people who value diversity, service, and growth. I’m blessed to be part of such an amazing group of people. I’ve been given opportunities to travel the world, interact with the Raleigh community, and discover that service is not an act, but a way of life.
I’m also a sister of the Eta Upsilon chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority. I had the awesome opportunity of being a founding sister. It is truly a unique experience helping to build something like that. You really test your leadership skills. We’ve been through a lot to get where we are now, and I’m tremendously proud of the confident women that make up that chapter.
What are some of your past accomplishments? My freshman year, I traveled the state of North Carolina as a North Carolina FFA State Officer. I represented the over 16,000 FFA members of NC as an ambassador for youth, education, and agriculture. I presented countless leadership workshops, conventions, and conferences with audiences of thousands. I met with leaders in local, state, and national government on a routine basis. I did all of this while being a full time student and active member of several organizations on campus, including Student Government. This experience truly prepared me professionally. I understand what it’s like to voice the opinion of thousands. In October, I represented North Carolina as a national FFA officer candidate, making it to the final 16 candidates out of the over half a million FFA members in the country.
As a freshman senator in Student Government, I was voted by my peer senators at the Best New Senator. My sophomore year, I was voted again as the Most Inspirational Senator.
I am an inducted member of the Order of 30 & 3, have made Dean’s List 4 out of 5 semesters, and my research proposal and case study were recently accepted by the Association of Leadership Educators for their national conference this summer.
What are some of your hobbies? Honestly, I’d be perfectly content browsing used bookstores and drinking coffee in a shop downtown with good friends every day of the week. I love playing tennis, painting, and checking out acoustic sets at local venues. More times than not, I’m watching ESPN on the couch with my mini-schnauzer, Cecilia.
If our readers want to learn more about you, where can they go to find out more? You can check out my campaign website at www.yoppontop.com or feel free to add me on facebook!
Any last remarks? GO PACK!