Thelomawhat? - Your Student Government
Thelomathesian is Greek for “to want to learn”. I think that this perfectly describes my experience on the Executive Board of the Thelomathesian Society - better known as Thelmo - our student government. As the vice president of university relations, I am the liaison between the faculty, administration, and the students. This is my second semester in my year-long position, but it is my fifth semester in Thelmo (every semester I’ve been on campus).
When I think about Thelmo, I think about the best experience of my undergraduate career. I have learned more from Thelmo than I have ever expected! Thelmo taught me about how SLU works; from my first Wednesday night meeting, I knew what was going on. I could go back to my dorm and share with my friends the goings-on of campus, a unique experience for a first year.
As cheesy as it may be, Thelmo encouraged me to reach higher and pursue my dreams. This is one of the most valuable skills I have learned at SLU and something that I will continue to use throughout my entire life. Another skill I have gained, and one that I wish I had mastered years ago, is Thelmo taught me how to lose graciously. I ran for a different executive board position the spring of my first year. I lost. This was devastating to my first-year self. That leads us to the next thing Thelmo has taught me, and that is to get up and try again. I ran another campaign the following fall, and this time it was successful! This new position is more than I could have ever hoped for, and the entire experience became a life lesson, and a valuable one at that.
This experience has taught me so much that I was not expecting to learn about: corporations, networking, and bettering the campus. I learned how to be on a search committee, lead a focus group, chair a committee and conduct interviews. I have written waivers, created contracts, and run a storage program. I developed strong working relationships with Senior Staff and have monthly meetings with President Fox! I even learned how to interact with our Board of Trustees, some of the most intelligent people I have ever met, and have been given the opportunity to present to them! When I think about these skills, they are transferrable to almost every job I could imagine having, and will also make me a more valuable candidate when applying for competitive internships and job openings.
Not only have I learned so much, I’ve made my best friends with my fellow Executive Board members. We spend every day together working hard, but also supporting one another and having fun. These people are what have made my time in Thelmo so valuable, and I can call them life-long friends.
Thelmo does more than distribute money. We work every day to make campus a better place, both for current students and for future students. A lot that we do happens behind the scenes, but it’s a constant effort to make SLU the most magical place it can be.
As I sat down to write this, I realized that I have a hard time putting into words how valuable and unique this experience has been for me, and that I would not trade it for anything in the world (not even all the sleep I've missed because of this job). My Thelmo experience has been magical, and I hope that every student on this campus is able to find their place just like I found mine.