The Acronym met with the newly elected Student Council President Marguerite “Maggie” DiMarco (‘24) to ask a few questions. Here is what she had to say in an interview with Max Chen and Will Guo.
What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
Maggie: I have discovered that my public speaking and communication skills have been strong points. I enjoy communicating with others and talking to my peers whether that be through clubs or within StudCo. I can sometimes be too idealistic though, missing logistics and failing to see the intricacies necessary to reach the big picture goals. I am constantly working on my weaknesses, but Student Council works so well because we are able to counter each other’s weaknesses with strengths.
Why did you want to be Student Council President?
Maggie: My IMSA experience has allowed me to change and grow, so it’s important for me to help lead projects and initiatives so others can have the chance to grow in the ways they need to as I did.
What role do you see Student Council playing in the lives of IMSA students?
Maggie: I see Student Council as a tool to help improve the overall fundamentals of the IMSA experience. I hope to help you communicate and have the trust that administration will hear you. We set that base so clubs can thrive and you can have that transformative experience.
One of the biggest issues that students currently face is a lack of communication between the student body and the administration. How do you plan to address this next year?
Maggie: It is clear we need to reevaluate the ways we communicate. We put a lot of work into mediums such as StudSlips and StudMinutes, yet currently, they just aren’t effective. For example, we have StudBoard with all our updated projects, but no one knows that it even exists. Investing in other ways to communicate is also a big priority by not being afraid to change from the status quo. Concerning administration, while it has improved recently, a lot of time is spent on meetings with them. One thing that is critical is communication throughout the summer and creating rapport with them, but these ideas will be worked on and changed as a collective unit in the future.
There is a growing disconnect between students and StudCo, with a number of claims made about StudCo’s inefficiency. What are your plans to resolve this disconnect?
Maggie: In the end, we aren’t perfect. The concerns though are valid, with internal issues and mismanagement, including fund discrepancy. We are really trying to amend that through organization and being able to rethink and adapt, instead of sticking to older ways. For instance, fund requests will be cleaned up next year. We also hope to work with groups such as the Council for Campus Equity (CCE) to help make StudCo more efficient and effective.
Are there any plans from StudCo’s end to integrate out-of-state students into IMSA culture? If there are, what do those entail?
Maggie: In all honesty, it hasn’t been something that StudCo has discussed yet. It’s difficult because IMSA’s mission is Illinois-specific, so how that will change as out-of-state students integrate is uncertain. A big thing that StudCo has talked about is implementing the Big Sibling Program and working with the Parent Association Council (PAC) to potentially build host families similar to downstate students.
What are your biggest future plans and initiatives as president?
Maggie: Several things, including focusing more on academics and giving Independent Studies the accolades they deserve (such as possibly posting on transcripts or presenting at IMSAloquium if it applies). Additionally, more honesty on mastery-based learning. A lot of us students were left in the dark, so it’s important to know what the future plans are and how we can keep equity at the forefront. I also hope to expand student freedoms, improve res. life programming, and even beautifying the campus with a potential mural in Lexington or improving the state of Stunion. It all goes back to the theme of establishing trust.
If you could describe your goals for your presidency in three words, what would they be and why?
Maggie: Trust, Organization, and Outcome. Building trust between us as the student council is important for us to coexist and work together. IMSA is also a busy, messy place but bringing organization and improving that from previous years can help us work more effectively. Not everything comes to an outcome either, but bringing ideas to something meaningful and affecting student lives that will actually be helpful is a goal that I hope to achieve.
Is there anything else you would like to let readers know about you?
Maggie: I’d like to collaborate with CAB more in the future. In the past it’s been important that both have their own autonomy, but lowering the resentment between the two organizations can translate positively to the student body. I’m really excited for lots of fun things with CAB in the future!