How to become SGA President – Jude Haddad’s 7 steps to success

Bachelor’s student, Jude Haddad, had her sights set on the Student Government Association (SGA) President role right from her first semester at Glion. As she entered semester six in September 2020 she became eligible to apply for the position and successfully fulfilled her ambition. In a recent interview, Jude shared her journey to Presidency, describing a playbook for success founded on seven crucial pillars, starting with a leadership essential.

 

1. Bring hunger and a clear vision

Before you even think about starting the process of running for President, you need the desire to take on the responsibilities, and a clear vision to guide you. “The first time I heard about the SGA was in semester one. I wanted the President’s role from the start because I was in the SGA in high school and loved it. My goal is to improve student life for everyone, help people shape themselves, gain skills and become better individuals so they can graduate from Glion with even more confidence.”

 

2. Build the right team to deliver the vision

As a leader, when you have a clear vision, it’s easier to bring people together who align to it and will work to achieve it. But you still have to be guided by the right selection criteria, as Jude explains. “When I started building my team, I was choosing friends instead of people who could help us achieve our goals<. I realized this wasn’t the right approach, so I reached out to people that I’m not that close to, but who do a good job in Glion, in group work and committees.

 

“I told them from the start, I don’t want them to look at me as above them, I want us all to be equal”

 

“I focused on skills, choosing people who were most appropriate for the positions, people I knew would work hard, who have a similar vision to me. I chose humble people who want to help the community before helping themselves.”

 

 

Finding the right people is one thing, ensuring they gel and feel motivated is another, but Jude had a strategy to help everyone feel they were bringing value. “The challenge was making sure the team was cohesive, making sure everyone was happy with their position. I told them from the start, I don’t want them to look at me as above them, I want us all to be equal and I want them to be satisfied with their position and doing things they love.”

 

3. Values, commitments and responsibilities

Understanding what your team has to do to achieve the vision is crucial, not just in terms of setting clear goals, but also to help voters see the value to them in electing you. Combine this with a solid value structure to ensure you achieve goals the right way, and your bid for President is on a solid foundation.

Values

  1. Humility

“Our first value is humility. Because I believe that we are such privileged people to be studying at Glion and we should use the skills that we gain here to help others.

  1. Diversity

“Secondly, diversity, because we have so many nationalities at the university and we have to represent them all. Our team of 20 comprises 19 nationalities, inclusion was really important to be representative of the student body.”

 

Commitments

  1. Listen to students

“Our first commitment is to create a mechanism to gather immediate student feedback , empowering students to effect change through their ideas and concerns.”

  1. Assist student life

“For example, with the website we created, we’re going to add an apartment rental section and an internship forum so students can share their experiences. A big goal is to promote art around the school, showcasing paintings, music and more.”

  1. Help students develop their skills

Whatever students’ hobbies are, whatever they’d like to learn, a goal of ours is to ask professionals to come and hold masterclasses. For example, if people want to learn how to do ice sculpting, we’ll bring in an ice sculptor to teach them.”

 

Responsibilities

As well as clarity on what the goals are, Jude also identified how each member of the team is going to help in achieving them. “We have 10 executives and 10 steps of the plan, each executive chooses what they would like to be responsible for and is in charge of that step. With accountability assigned, we’re all going to work together to achieve these goals.”

 

4. Run a structured campaign

If you’re going to win hearts and minds, you’re going to need a considered campaign that engages, informs and persuades voters. Jude shared the three steps she used to secure the role of SGA President.

  1. Determine what type of campaign you want to do. “As in the platform, content and visual identity etc.”
  1. Plan it. “Create a plan by yourself of what you want to do as a president, then involve your team. For me, in the first meeting I didn’t say anything about what I had written regarding my ideas. I asked my team members what they wanted to see in an SGA president, I heard their ideas and then I told them what I planned. Collaboration is key at the beginning of the campaign.

 

“Honestly, the most important thing in a campaign is to have the constant support from your team. Try to talk to them as much as you can.”

 

  1. Deliver it. “This can be the most stressful part, deciding on the theme, how you want to portray your campaign and your team. In our case, the challenge was choosing an appropriate format for Instagram that was creative and fresh, while maintaining professionalism.

Honestly, the most important thing in a campaign is to have the constant support from your team. Try to talk to them as much as you can.”

 

5. Understand the election process

Passion, collaboration and creativity are all important when running for SGA President, but they have to be effective within the defined election framework. Jude explained the three-stage process.

Campaign week

“The campaign week is about making sure that people hear about your plan, making sure it’s being spread around and trying to get as much engagement as you can from the students.”

The debate

“The debate happens around two days before voting. Each candidate gets ten minutes to share their plans, their team and anything they’d like the students to know. For example, I presented our budget plan, vision, mission, and the nationalities in our team because I found it was information students wanted to know.

Voting

“The day before voting, Student Affairs will inform everyone that voting is going to happen the next day. Students receive a link in their email enabling them to vote.”

 

6. Embrace a learning mindset

If you want to win a campaign for SGA President, you need to approach the experience with an open mind. For Jude, becoming President wasn’t simply an opportunity to showcase her leadership abilities, it was overwhelmingly a chance to learn, grow and improve her professional skillset.

People management is the first thing I wanted to develop, to be a leader that people can talk to, who’s supportive and helps people excel. I also hope to develop a lot more confidence, because sometimes I’m not so sure of the things I do, or I need other people’s approval to take the next step.”

 

7. Have gratitude

Study any inspiring leader in hospitality and beyond, and you’ll find gratitude is one of the pillars of their success. Taking the time to be thankful for the opportunities that present themselves, and the people who share your vision, is a superpower that Jude brought to her campaign.

Coming to Glion completely changed my life, it taught me who I am through the people I’ve met, because everyone here is different. It’s been an amazing opportunity for me to become president, I’m really proud of my entire team and so thankful for the support. I’m ready to have an amazing semester, creating legacies and helping people become the best version of themselves.”

Do you share Jude’s vision for Glion students and want to get involved? Find out more about what the SGA is and the work it does.