Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Leadership lived: Transfer student chooses UIS to learn about state government


Nathan Piper transferred to the University of Illinois Springfield his junior year to pursue a bachelor’s degree in political science. Now, as a graduate political science major, he’s serving in several leadership roles on campus.

Piper is the traditions co-coordinator for the Student Activities Committee. In that role, he helps to plan Springfest and Homecoming. During Springfest, students face off in a variety of fun competitions, such as a scavenger hunt and tug-of-war.

“We put in a lot of work,” said Piper. “We’re in the office two or three days a week for two or three hours a day. We’re planning constantly.”

He was also recently re-elected to his second term as Senate President of the state-wide Model Illinois Government student organization and elected secretary of the UIS College Democrats.

“I’ve loved the experience with Model Illinois Government. It’s taught me how politics works in the State of Illinois,” said Piper.

“My first year I was a state senator from the North end of Chicago and I simulated and role played for that position.”

Piper says he choose UIS because of the many opportunities to get involved in politics.

“I would love to work in state government,” he said. “I came here because I’m in the state capitol. State government is my passion.”

Whether it’s planning a Springfest activity or helping run Model Illinois Government, Piper says he’s learned many lessons thanks to his involvement.

“Leadership is about getting involved,” he said. “It’s about doing what you love. That’s what leadership is about. Finding your passion and jumping in.”

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