Who Run the World (Girls)

 Two Fridays ago, one of our political student organizations hosted the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. Technically as an employee of a public institution, I have to be careful in not favoring one political affiliation over another. However, its election season, and I’m trying to serve as an example to my students. When I was younger, of course I didn’t care about politics – but that was because I didn’t understand my role in the world of government. But here I was, bright-eyed on a Friday morning, on my feet for 3 hours on our arena floor, waiting for the FLOTUS to give her big speech about voting and education. 

Yes, I said 3 hours! I was like a 12 year-old at a Backstreet Boys concert. I was giggly, excited, nervous, keeping my eye out for dudes in suits and earpieces, waving around my cardboard sign, screaming “Wooo!” at the top of my lungs. Let’s face it: Michelle Obama is a rockstar! She’s a working woman, yet remains a dedicated and supportive parent and wife. She is a woman of color doing great things for education, health, and families of all backgrounds. She talks with you, not at you…and may I add that when she does talk, she does it sincerely. I look up to her because she keeps her grace and poise even though she is constantly in the media’s eye. She is tugged here and there for her responsibilities, but still finds time to relax and enjoy her loved ones. Not only do I find Michelle Obama to be a super First Lady, but I find her to be a Super Woman.  

OK, so elections, voting, girl power…how does this all relate? Less than 100 years, I wouldn’t have been able to vote as a woman, and much less as a woman of color. And here’s a public figure in politics…a woman…an African American woman…and she’s telling me to vote! She’s the First Lady of the United States. Do you understand the awesomeness of this moment in history and in my life? By the way, this isn’t the first time Michelle Obama has been at UNI. She gave the Spring 2011 Commencement address at UNI, as well. This time, I was about 25 feet away from her! I stood there as she talked about how we need to invest more funds in education and how education would be the key to a stronger middle-class. It’s the same thing my parents would say to me as I held my college application wondering how I’d pay for tuition--Education is the key. Michelle Obama is talking to my students and my community about the importance of education because she went through a similar experience, just like me. 

I like to encourage my students to read up on history, so they can appreciate what they have today. History is so important. And although voting is your right as an American citizen today, don’t forget that it used to be a privilege to be able to vote. One that many people fought for, shed tears and blood for, and ultimately some even died for you to have the right to do so. As young people, we take things for granted and believe that our voice doesn’t matter. Don’t underestimate the power of numbers, and don’t underestimate the power of YOU.

With all the hoopla surrounding elections, even I got inspired to run for President someday. You know that saying that goes “Behind every great man, stands a great woman”? Well, I believe Michelle Obama is the face of her husband’s campaign. I love the affection they show towards each other, demonstrating their true partnership in life and not just in politics. After the event, I participated in early voting on my campus and cast my ballot! I’m so excited to do my civic duty.

Go out to the polls and vote this year, no matter which political party you belong to. Take the time to understand the different aspect of each political party through debates and platforms. Make a difference today by standing up for what you believe in. And to my fellow ladies in particular…our time is coming. We will be seeing a female President soon, I have no doubt. Hillary & Michelle for 2016? I can dream, right? J

…And for that my song of the week is: Run the World (Girls)! http://youtu.be/VBmMU_iwe6U

Tabatha Cruz

Student Affairs - the First Years

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