Written by Bradley Bommarito
Last month, students in the RC Honors Program came together as part of the annual General Assembly to elect new leaders and new directions for the program.
Junior Nathan Price was elected president, sophomore Gaston Ocampo was elected vice president, junior Megan Blackwell was elected secretary/treasurer, sophomore Ben Vester and freshman Walker Phillips were elected coffee shop coordinators, freshman Carly Schepacarter was elected calendar coordinator, freshman Liesl Greider was elected community service coordinator, freshman Olivia Long was elected communications coordinator, freshman Donovan Hill was elected social committee coordinator, and freshman Ava McCartin was elected historian/ alumni outreach coordinator.
“I’m pleased to see that our newly elected Honors students uphold a longstanding tradition of active student involvement from year one through year four,” said Dr. Chad Morris, director of the RC Honors Program. “In this way we ensure that program traditions are handed from one class to the next, and that our culture of community support remains strong. I’m especially delighted that so many freshmen demonstrated their strong commitment to the college and to the program by running for Honors office this year,”
Several members of the newly elected executive board said they are excited to bring new ideas and perspectives to the Honors Program.
“As a freshman serving as the calendar coordinator on the Honors Executive Board, I’m very excited to be able contribute to the planning and decision making that goes into keeping our program well rounded,” said Schepacarter. “It’s humbling to be able to give back in this way and work toward making the honors community stronger and more accessible to all members of the program— we welcome everyone to contribute and influence how their college career is going to go equally to the board members. For my position, I’m hoping to work with my fellow executive members and organize a master monthly calendar for student use, and thus ensure that the program remains informed and excited about when events will take place.”
Many of these ideas involve making the program more transparent and accessible to all students, not just those in the program.
“I would like to continue working on opening up the program to the entire campus community,” said Ocampo. “Together with the past itinerancy of Exec, we have been working to make the Program act as an organization on campus, putting up events and activities from which the entire community can benefit from. On the other hand, I am very honored to once again serve in the Executive Board of the program which is so close to my heart and has made my years in college a fantastic and challenging experience.”
The new Board is already coming up with ideas to get the entire RC community involved in the Honors Program.
“I hope to combat apathy here on campus and expect to bring in more people to coffee shop than just honors freshman. I want to revolutionize coffee shop and make it something that older students and non-honors students choose to attend,” said Phillips.
For those who are looking for new community service opportunities on and off campus, the Honors Program is working on expanding current options and making them more accessible to students.
“I decided to run for the community service coordinator because I am passionate about community service and I think it’s important that it remains an integral part of the Honors Program. Through my new position I hope to make community service opportunities accessible so that we can all find easy ways to go help our community. I am honored to represent our wonderful program and to be able to serve the Honors Program and the greater RC community through this position,” said Greider.
These Honors students are excited to dive into their new positions to enact real change within the Program and the collegiate community collectively.
“Honors Exec can almost play as much of a role in the honors community as it wants, if it is motivated and wants to be involved. This Honors Exec definitely wants to be involved in the RC community as a whole, and I hope and expect this current Exec to be a presence here at Roanoke College,” said Phillips.
The new executive board hopes to alter perceptions of the Program and make its role more centralized and inclusive.
“We envision the Honors Program to be the nucleus of intellectual discovery and discussion at Roanoke College that inspires not just members of the program, but the entire student body to fulfill the true meaning of a liberal arts education,” said Vester.