Politics are not an easy topic to defend or understand. They can cause great strife between people, create tensions within communities and reveal individuals’ true characters. However, these intimidating aspects of the political world did not cause Senior Class President, Madison Bailey, to steer clear of the hurdles to jump over or hoops to jump through during her time here. In fact, Madison has been the President of the Colgate Class of 2018 since her freshman year and has thus been recognized as the first female student in Colgate’s history to have been elected as Class President for all four years. YAY GIRL POWER!!
After visiting Colgate as a prospective student while she was a junior in high school, Madison immediately fell in love with the campus and knew that this was going to be the place where she continued to involve herself with the school and her peers to make the community at large a better place for all. While tracing Madison’s history, we discovered that she was extremely involved in her high school’s community. She was the four-year community service representative for her class and was the Co-Head of community service in her senior year, which overlooked grades K-12 in her district. It was thus only a natural progression for her to find her niche in the political community at college.
In talking to Madison about her experiences over the past four years, one thing remained clear: being an integral part of the Colgate community allowed her to develop her own voice and have the confidence to say yes and more importantly to say no.
“Colgate has really made me who I am and I am so grateful for that and it is one of the reasons why I love giving back to this community. Something I never expected to learn was the importance of saying no. When I went abroad, I realized how much free time I actually had without having a crazy amount of meetings to attend in one day and how much less stressed I was as a result of it.”
“When I ran for this position in the fall of my freshman year, I honestly thought that I would be passing bills, writing resolutions and doing mostly legislative work. What most people don’t know is that the Class President is pretty much a glorified event planner. Each semester I get a budget and need to plan class-wide and school-wide events that promote collaboration, boost morale and bring the community together.”
Since her freshman year, Madison has matured in more ways than one. She has cooperated with a number of community members, faculty and students in order to unify the campus. Madison also revealed that one of her favorite accomplishments during her presidency, which took almost three years to coordinate and plan, was the miniature petting zoo present on the academic quad during finals week last year. With this in mind, she noted that being Class President comes with a great degree of responsibility and power that needs to be constantly checked and balanced.
“As I have gotten older and have progressed through the role of Class President, I have started to use my position of power in a different way, besides just planning events. For example, last spring I was sitting I my Humanitarian Interventions class and it came up about how we have a piece of the Berlin Wall located on Broad Street. As a Peace and Conflicts major I knew this fact, but I was surprised to find out that most people in my class did not. I decided to do something about this and am now helping to curate a plaque for the piece.”
Throughout her time here, it is extremely evident that Madison has put an immense part of her soul into her Presidency and dedicated an unwavering amount of passion and commitment to unify not only the Class of 2018 but the Colgate community in general. In her final year of power, Madison has set her sights high on reaching each member of the graduating class and has made it her goal to slow down and truly appreciate the campus that she has tried to transform and that has consequently changed her.
“Out of all the years that I have been Class President, I am most excited for this upcoming year! I have worked really hard all summer to come up with a strong list of engaging events to celebrate our class and I don’t think that they will disappoint. Some of the events that are planned for this semester include: Senior Happy Hour deals at La Iguana two Thursdays a month, working with Career Services to facilitate discussions about finding apartments after college and dealing with landlords, organizing a class trip to the Saranac Brewery and my personal favorite, which is the wine tasting class at the Colgate Inn.”
As it becomes increasingly evident that our time at Colgate is short and with only two more semesters to appreciate the campus and community that has shaped many of us into the individuals we have become today, Madison is prepared to finish out her term with as much enthusiasm and commitment as before. Get excited Class of 2018 for what could possibly be the most engaging, stimulating and entertaining year of your college experience led by the President who has been there through it all!