Running for CSG president has certainly been one of the most rewarding experiences of my time at the University. This campaign challenged me to go beyond my realm of leadership and community. The process introduced me to so many different individuals and organizations, each with a unique voice and cause. The dialogues we held helped me understand what campus truly needs, and I sincerely thank all of those who believed in the vision that The Team, Matt Fidel and I created together.

Alas, the margin of victory was five votes. Cooper and Steven worked tirelessly during their campaign and I truly congratulate them. It was a privilege to converse on so many different topics, which often challenged me to think critically about our campus. I am confident that their work ethic and vision will be a driving force for the University. I am looking forward to watching you gentlemen move big rocks.

In spite of losing the CSG election, in reflection, I couldn’t be happier with the journey overall. The Team was built on values, integrity and a vision. 4,036 people shared that vision. We were able to mobilize communities and inspire others. We had the opportunity to learn from each other and building lasting and meaningful relationships. I cherish each moment of this campaign because the experience shared with each and every person is invaluable.

Given the amount of support in our vision, I still hold a desire and responsibility to help create change on this campus. Looking onward and upward, I plan to continue to promote cross-campus collaboration by working closely with many student organizations through #StandByBlue. #StandByBlue has been a powerful agent for highlighting student organizations and diversity on campus. In addition, I plan to expand the Michigan Institute for the Improvement of African American Representation program, which brought 46 underrepresented communities in Kalamazoo to the University for a three-day residential experience. Giving that opportunity to students has certainly been my greatest accomplishment and with the help of the other founders, I look forward to extending that opportunity to more students.

Losing by five votes has taught me that every single voice on this campus matters. It has shown me that each and every narrative and story contributes to this great institution. As a result, I plan to continue to share my voice through poetry to relate and connect with students across campus. Together, each of our voices creates one unified voice, which represents the greatest university in the world. As the leaders and the best, it is on us to listen to each voice, speak out, take action and together, create the campus that we want to see.

Will Royster is an Engineering and LSA junior.

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