Campus Profile: Beth Wright

I've known about Beth for a long time.  Smart, badass, highly involved, and incredibly self-motivated.  These type of women don't just keep a low profile.  But over the past year or so, through our work in politics, and with Warner, I've gotten to know her so much better.  And the more we hang out and complain, the more I admire her strength, diplomacy, and ability to get shit done... and the more I appreciate her sense of humor and the way she has fun.  So when her name was floated as a campus profile, I snapped up the opportunity to get some of the behind the scenes that goes into making Beth Beth.

Year: Senior

Age: 21

Major: "Economics with a Minor in International Studies in Latin America."

Zodiac Sign: Pisces 

Hometown: "Lewistown, Montana." (She can lasso shit ok?  Like for real.)

Relationship Status: "I have an honors thesis... take a guess."

Campus Activities: "Warner Hall, College Republicans, Center for Political Engagement." (President, President, and Vice Chair, respectively.  #Executive)

Dream job: "President of the United States. Would settle for Secretary of State."

How has being the President of College Republicans shaped your view of political engagement?

It's shown me how far just a little bit of effort can take you. I reached out, I tried to repair relations with other campus organizations, I tried to foster ties to the community outside of Davidson - and in all cases I received incredible responses. Young people are in high demand in politics, and by presenting myself as an eager moderate leader, I was able to go much further than I anticipated. We have so so much more political power than we realize, and people will listen when we speak up. We just have to take the stage. I also learned that nothing in my party will change if I do nothing, if my generation does nothing. Before the election I had mixed feelings about staying involved in politics after graduation. Now I feel quite different. I'm not just one little vote in a box never to be really counted. I can have a big impact at the local level, and there's a path to have a bigger and bigger one if I stick with it. And that goes for all young people who take it upon themselves to become sincerely involved. Also, I've learned that people will always have disagreements, but I don't have to take it personally even if they attempt to make it that way."

What influence has being a part of the Center for Political Engagement had on you?

"I learned perhaps my most difficult lessons in this organization. Most importantly, I listened and learned for a long time... and now I understand that most of us, especially at Davidson, are in politics to try and improve the world around us. We merely disagree on the methods of achieving those goals. I learned that there are positive and negative people on both sides. These past two years I've had to really dig in and find what I believed in because I was forced to actively defend my values and my involvement in a project like this. In doing so, I gained a lot of strength and self confidence in my convictions, but also allowed others to present their ideas and weighed them appropriately. I learned to sit across the table with someone who holds entirely convicting beliefs- and laugh with them, learn with them, debate with them, and most importantly respect them. I have incredible respect for my politically active peers at Davidson, and by allowing myself to be truly challenged by them, we have all grown. The CPE has given me a lot of hope, and I look forward to working with the leadership team in the future, because I fully believe that we will all see each other again on Capitol Hill. 

What is it like being the President of an Eating House?  What lessons have you learned from that?

"Leadership is incredibly difficult, especially when not everyone understands all of the balancing acts that happen behind the scenes. People are incredibly and wonderfully independent, but getting them aligned is difficult especially when risky behaviors get involved. Most of my job is listening and compromising. I've really learned how to do both those things, and I'm better able to judge when to get involved and when to step back. I've also learned how to better lead people with strong personalities who can handle themselves. I'm good at giving direction, and now I'm learning how to really motivate people I work with."

What do you like most about Warner?  What do you most want to change?

"I love the community. I love my big little family and how rewarding it can be to celebrate building up women and our greater community through service. I wish we could further develop that community aspect and have more events outside the typical social scene, and I've tried to push that my whole time in the house."

Favorite Davidson Experience so far: "The Phi Eu Debate was definitely a high point, being a hall counselor was really cool too, Sotomayor's visit was pretty incredible."

Most Embarrassing Moments at Davidson: "Just one? Well, one of my friends recently pointed out to me that whenever I'm startled or stressed I stick my tongue out. Apparently I do it all the time and I never realized it... now I'm really self-conscious about it."

What has been the highlight and the lowlight of your senior year?

"Highlight: My friends and I ignore work on Thursday nights and we get family beers. Those nights have been awesome and they mean so much to me. Lowlight: Events around the election (except the Phi Eu Debate, that was the best) and Milo."

What's one piece of advice you'd give to a first year woman?

Be a boss and don't worry about it. Take up space and be heard, don't be afraid to make mistakes. This is your time to build yourself, so do things that you can't do again. Lead. Go to basketball games. Ditch the paper sometimes and enjoy your people. That's a lot of advice.... but I needed all of that as a first year."

12/10 take her advice, because she clearly is doing something (W)right.