Robinson, Blais reflect on year in office
Rachel O'Grady | Friday, May 19, 2017
Editor’s Note: A version of this story was published April 3.
Though outgoing student body president Corey Robinson’s time in office has come to an end, he and outgoing vice president Becca Blais used their term to begin a number of enduring initiatives — ones that would not have been possible without the duo’s focus on teamwork, Robinson said.
“Without the team, none of this would have happened at all,” he said. “We couldn’t have done half of the things we did without the team. When you have extraordinary people who are passionate and highly capable, you get a great, extraordinary product. That’s what I’m proudest of.”
Blais said she was consistently impressed with the commitment every team member showcased in the past year.
“We have this incredible team in here that is so dedicated to other people and making their goals reality,” Blais said. “It’s been really cool to see that in motion and the momentum that’s building for that.”
One of their major successes this year was changing the way student government worked at Notre Dame, Blais said.
“Student government is just different now, and I love that,” Blais said. “I get reached out to by a different student at least several times a week. Somebody will be like, ‘I’m really passionate about this. I really want to change this,’ and they really see student government as an avenue to make change, which is monumental.”
Blais said she and her team understood the importance of contributing to sexual assault awareness on campus.
“I think three, four years ago, [sexual assault] was definitely a discussed issue on campus,” Blais said. “But compared to now, I think you could walk up to any student on campus and ask them what the three biggest issues facing students are, and one of them would be sexual assault. To have people cognizant of that, and not only recognizing it but moving into the steps of making a change, and getting involved … the progress has been really cool.”
Robinson said he was proud of his involvement in increasing conversations about diversity.
“I mean that in the big sense of the word diversity,” Robinson said. “We started off in the summer with getting to work on talking about police brutality, then moved into race relations, then we talked about undocumented students … it’s diversity in a lot of different aspects, and it was a constant conversation for a year, and, personally, that’s what I’m proud of.”
Reflecting on the year, Robinson said the team “left it all on the field.”
“Like I said to the team, I’m just so proud of everything they’ve done, and I’m so thankful for being able to serve alongside them this year,” Robinson said. “We gave it everything we’ve got, and to be honest, when you’ve given it all that you’ve got, and you did something that was really worthwhile and matters, you can’t go wrong with that.”
His only regret, Robinson said, is that he and Blais do not have more time in office.
“I walk away feeling like I did everything I possibly could have, but of course there’s things I wish we would have done more of,” Robinson said. “I wish we could have gone to more club meetings, gone to the students, gotten more people involved in the process. I just wish we had more time.”
Robinson said he hopes the legacy he leaves assures students that their voices are powerful.
“You don’t have to wait until you graduate to make a difference,” Robinson said. “That can be in anything. You don’t have to wait. You can act now. There are resources now. If you have a will and a passion, there is a way.”
The most important lesson Robinson learned, he said, was being able to “live what you say.”
“I think trying to live that example, being intentional about what you do, is really important,” Robinson said. “It all comes down to one thing for me, and that’s integrity.”