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Emma Daly: American University’s Gift to the Women of Florida State

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

In a room on the third floor of the Student Union is where I found her, hard at work. Taking time out of her Homecoming prep, Ms. Daly delved into her passion-driven journey to power with Her Campus.

Originally a transfer student from American University, Emma Daly, the director of the Women’s Student Union (WSU), has made more than a name for herself here at Florida State. Being the director, it comes as no surprise that she has always “been big with activism.” She even “founded a campaign, [her] senior year of high school to work on education reform for women in lower-income areas,” in her hometown of Boston, MA. 

Her advocacy for women followed her to Washington, D.C., where she attended American University. What was known as the Women’s Initiative there caught her attention immediately, and her drive caught theirs. Daly was one of the seven, of 200 total women, chosen for a first-year fellowship program which further allowed her to join the E-Board so early on. As a member, her Pads on the Quad event spoke for itself, with it gathering “over 1,000 period products [and] educat[ing] over 1,000 American University students on the effects of period poverty.” Pads on the Quad, in addition to all of the other events held by Daly, were also the only events to be held by a freshman. Acknowledging the willingness and vigor shown by Daly in her two years of being there, the Women’s Initiative offered Daly the director position. This did not come as a shock due to how hard she had worked. However, Daly ended up having to decline this offer because the northerner was making her way down south to Florida State.

Wasting no time, Emma made herself known to the Women’s Student Union, hoping to fill any open position they had. The position just so happened to be Political Action Coordinator, but after interviewing for it, she was instead offered the position of Assistant Director by Sarai Palacio (last year’s director). Taking the position happily, she was then taken under the wing of Palacio, whom she accredited numerously. Describing Palacio as a “silent leader,” Daly drew inspiration from her work as the director.

Palacio even told her to “stand her ground and continue her passion projects,” which resonated with Daly because Palacio believed in her and what she wanted to do. Palacio, in addition to Katie Simon and Alli Denison, acted as mentors for Daly. With Palacio setting out the stones, Daly became Director for the ‘22-’23 school year, Simon and Denison acting as a support system and a creative team whom she could bounce ideas off of.

This support and guidance did not stop at WSU. Daly also receives encouragement from her sisters in Sigma Delta Tau. She accredits her sisters for soothing her nerves when she feels overwhelmed with her position and offering her a sense of home, which she feels is heavily promoted in Panhellenic life. 

The overall support, safety, and specifically that ‘at home’ feeling, Daly feels she hopes to offer to the women on this campus and throughout the community. Just as she was believed in and pushed to improve by her director, she hopes to do the same for those throughout WSU and continue the legacy of the directors before her. Daly aspires to make the presence of WSU more known, in terms of events being held and the overall catering to more diverse intersectionalities within the organization. She aims toward women, non-binary people and trans women being able to seek haven within WSU. Just as she was able to make her way and find her people, Daly hopes to create that space for others.

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Kyla is a second year, Editing, Writing, and Media major at Florida State University. She is also a first time Staff Writer for Her Campus. Kyla is a proud Blarab (Black-Arab) who enjoys all things Food, Fragrance, Astrology/Spirituality, Hello Kitty, Music, Nature, and Pink. She also takes interest in issues pertaining to race, sexuality, gender, and the environment. However, when she's not voicing her opinions or writing, you can find the Taurus woman on PerfumeTikTok looking for another bottle to add to her wishlist!