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Tips to Get Through Campaigning at an HBCU

Clark Atlanta University had its season of campaigns for class queens, kings, SGA reps and undergraduate student leaders. I had the pleasure of running for Miss Sophomore, and boy was it hectic. Although I did not win the title, I was able to gain some valuable knowledge to pass on to others. Here are the tips and tricks of managing a campaign week at an HBCU.

1) Time management.

Now this week can get very serious and stressful; however, managing it right is the key. Make sure that you do your work ahead, so it does not fall behind. Most of the time campaigning takes long hours, the meetings are frequent, and rehearsals can run overtime. So, plan, plan, plan!

2) Find a talent, and MEMORIZE IT.

If your university has a showcase during campaign week, it’s probably best to have talent up your sleeve. Dance, sing, rap, or even do a monologue. Try thinking out of the box for other talents as well! Just ensure that it’s at least one minute and 30 seconds. You don’t want it to be too long that you can’t remember. Also, remember that it should accurately represent you.

3) Only focus on you.

It’s so easy to get caught up in what others have going on. Furthermore, you can start to stray away from your campaign. If you focus too much on your competition or even the distant future, you will lose sight of your platform. Home in on your platform and who you’re doing this for.

4) Get funding.

Campaigning can get expensive, so fundraise, save up, or even try a job. From clothes to dues and everything in between, campaign week gets expensive. So, it’s best that you already have something in place to fund the process.

5) Build a sturdy platform and stick to it.

Your platform is your promise/plan to make your class or university better. If your messaging is off, no one will want to vote for you. Make sure that your intentions are right, and your platform really represents those you wish to lead. After all, this is to serve your peers. My platform was “ALL In,” a promise to serve, unify and empower the class of 2024. I wanted to ensure that I was the person to put my classmates on and represent us all in excellence.

6) Be yourself.

Typically, people can tell if you are not being yourself. So always be personable and let your personality shine through. Know that who you are is ENOUGH! People would much rather want a person that is being themselves, not who you think they want you to be.

7) Understand that leadership is with or without the title.

No matter if you win or lose, leadership is always within you. Try to remember this to keep you grounded.

8) STAY HEALTHY!

During this week it may be difficult to stay well-rested, fed and hydrated. I ate nothing and ran on zero hours of sleep. DO NOT be like me and have to recuperate with days of sleep.

9) Pick the right campaign team.

Pick a team that accurately represents you as a person, is willing to help and is kind. After all, you don’t want someone mean, and that will not pitch in. Make sure that your team is for you!

10) Have fun.

Now, although the week can get hectic, try to see the fun in it all. It is easy to lose track of time and lose sight of what it’s really for. Just remember why you chose to be a leader and embrace that!

India Rice, 19, is a Mass Media major at the Illustrious Clark Atlanta University.
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