2 Minutes With … is a series of short features to introduce us to the passions and interests of Lawrentians on and off campus. Find more 2 Minutes With … features here.
Story by Awa Badiane ’21
Yes, running a student government — a $400,000 budget and oversight of all clubs, committees, and student-related activities on campus — can be a bit overwhelming. But Maria Poimenidou ’20 has it down to a science.
The Lawrence University biochemistry and economics double major from Thaso, Greece, says it’s all about staying organized and pushing past any fears or doubts.
“Whenever I am afraid of something, I force myself to do it,” she says. “I don’t want any fear I have to keep me from doing amazing things.”
The Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC) plays a huge role in decision making and oversight on campus. It operates as a shared governance council, meeting weekly and helping to shape campus climate. As president, Maria oversees all that activity.
“The role of the president is overseeing all of that and keeping the big picture in mind and seeing how different things can occur through legislation or different events,” Maria says.
Right at home
Maria was part of her student government in high school. When first coming to Lawrence from Greece, Maria became a freshman class representative as a way to make Lawrence “feel more like home.”
Her role in LUCC then evolved from a way to make friends and get involved to finding a way to make positive change on campus.
“I remember going to general council and not knowing what was happening,” Maria says. “Over the years that changed, I started to see things that can be improved.”
Maria stayed on the council as a sophomore class representative, then was elected vice president, then president.
Maria has kept a can-do mindset throughout her LUCC journey. Leading up to her position as president, she ran for various offices a total of five times. She keeps running and stays involved because she is determined to create positive change on campus, she says. It’s only a few months into her presidency, but she’s already increased student engagement and improved the function of LUCC committees by creating a cabinet position that focuses on that.
Be calm, stay organized
As one can imagine, being a student — a double major, no less — and running the LUCC is a full load. We asked Maria for five tips on handling a busy schedule:
1: Do not be afraid to ask for help.
2: Prioritize what is important.
3: Create a schedule, and follow it.
4: Listen to yourself.
5: Take time for you.
Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.