Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Leadership lived: Political science major advocates for students on and off campus

As the elected external vice president of the Student Government Association at the University of Illinois Springfield, Daniel Rude is a voice for students both on and off campus. He’s responsible for reaching out to the Springfield community on behalf of UIS students.

“I think it’s absolutely critical for the student government to be the student’s voice because here on campus the whole reason that our university exists is student-based,” he said. “We’re all here to get an education and be well-rounded and engaged members of society.”

On campus, Rude also serves at the traditions coordinator for the Student Activities Committee (SAC) where he plans two of the biggest events on campus – homecoming and Springfest. He also serves as a representative on the Illinois Board of Higher Education’s Student Advocacy Committee and is a member of UIS Student Advocacy Coalition.

“By advocating for my peers, I can create connections and make sure administrators are hearing the needs of our students here on campus,” he said.

Rude also gives back by serving as a Gender and Sexuality Student Services Office mentor on campus. He works as a UIS Admissions student ambassador where he gives tours to prospective students and helps coordinate events and meetings in UIS Student Union.

“I decided to come to UIS because I really wanted a small school feel, but I really wanted to be part of the U of I System,” he said. “I think that UIS offers a unique ability to be in the U of I, but also get those close relationships on campus with professors and other members of the community.”

Following graduation from UIS, the senior political science major from Round Lake, Illinois says he would like to work at the Illinois State Capitol or in Washington, D.C. doing political advocacy.

“I’ve always been very interested in politics,” he said. “Throughout my entire life starting in elementary school and up until now, I’ve served on student government in some capacity.”

Rude says he’s learned many lessons about leadership at UIS and attending the university has opened his mind to realities he never thought were possible.

“I really love UIS,” he said. “I’m very passionate about a lot of things that we have going on here. I think it’s very important for people to get invested in activates and groups because it broadens their horizons and I think that’s one of the great opportunities here at UIS.”

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