Twenty Bard students participated in a day-long training session on Saturday as part of a national Elect Her training effort to encourage women to run for public office starting with Student Government.  Sponsored by the Center for Civic Engagement, Student Government, and Election@Bard, the training focused on communication skills including speech writing, public speaking, and other networking skills.

Elect Her facilitator and first year Ava Mazzye ‘20 led the group through a networking activity that included elected officials.  Micki Strawinski, Dutchess County Legislative and TLS Assistant Director, Deirdre d’Albertis, Rhinebeck School Board and Bard Literature Professor, Deirdre Burns, Rhinebeck School Board, Gina Fox, Rhinebeck Village Trustee, Elizabeth Spinzia ‘84, Rhinebeck Town Supervisor and Emily Majer ‘94, Tivoli Deputy Mayor helped students hone their networking skills and then spoke on a panel where they shared stories, discussed challenges and celebrated accomplishments. Students collectively worked on creating issue-based ‘elevator speeches” with a focus on a call to action.

Student government joined the group later in the day with Eva-Marie Quinones, Fiscal Committee Chair, Sophia Logan, Socially Responsible Investing Committee, Harper Zacharias, Secretary of Press, Mark Williams Jr., Chair of the Educational Policy Committee and Hasani Gunn, Chair of the Peer Review Board and Co-Chair of the Constitutional Court , providing an overview of government structures and discussed various challenges and opportunities. The panelists praised the diversity of the current makeup of Bard’s Student Government, spoke about the importance of Bard community engagement, and encouraged Bard Students to run regardless of gender, race or ethnicity.

The training is being followed up with a reception in early April for a networking reception connecting local women with students.  For more information about opportunities like Elect Her, contact student fellow Ava Mazzye at am8903@bard.edu.

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