Madam President Makes a Difference in the Community

During her freshman year, Ireland Lesley became involved with the Student Government Association (SGA) but never knew she would one day become president. 


“When I found out I won president. This is like, two and a half weeks of insane get out the vote. The craziness of the election, and then prior to that, like two months of just nonstop like work,

but when we won, we won by the margin, like that was so rewarding,” said Lesley. 

Photo courtesy of Ireland Lesley


What really drew Lesley to do SGA was the idea of helping people and advocating for them. So she has been trying hard to make sure of that during her experience. 


“It’s also been very interesting; I had to learn a lot about this university and the way it works, and all sorts of stuff that I really just didn’t know before. I’m really excited because I have a really great team,” said Lesley. 


A part of the great team is Vice President, Doron Tadmor. 


 “Ireland is someone who doesn’t back down from a challenge, she isn’t afraid to speak up when others won’t, she always has her boots on the ground to engage students and get new ideas, and she always follows through with her promises. She is one of the most dedicated people I have met,” said Tadmor. 

Photo courtesy of Ireland Lesley

One of the issues, Lesley and her team are working toward improving at UMD is communication between the administrators and SGA and communication between SGA and the students. 


“I’m just trying to make sure that everyone gets the right information so that everyone can be making better decisions and be more informed... we feel like we’re the last ones to know something. This is incredibly frustrating,” said Lesley. 


Having never been the face of anything, Lesley’s experience as SGA president has been one to remember. 


“I think it’s definitely; it’s pushed me out of my comfort zone a lot. It’s made me more confident myself. It’s made me like, definitely learn how to speak my mind a little bit more. And so I think it’s honestly been a really good learning experience for me as well,” said Lesley. 


Some advice for the next president, Lesley suggests: “Definitely surround yourself with like, people you admire and people you want to work with. I think that’s been like my saving grace. They’ve been incredibly hardworking, always willing to go the extra mile. And that’s like, in the best thing that I could ask for.” 

Photo courtesy of Ireland Lesley