Class of 2015 presidents full of enthusiasm
Roommates Whitfield and Deckert are the Class of 2015 presidents.
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Justin Deckert ’15 and Joseph Whitfield ’15 became the Class of 2015 presidents two weeks ago, after winning the Student Government Association (SGA) first-year presidential election in a run-off vote.
Deckert and Whitfield ran for office because of their desire to serve as active members of the Class of 2015. The two first-years, who are also roommates, are enthusiastic about their new appointment. “Student government is something I enjoy and means a lot to me,” Deckert said. “Keeping everyone involved together makes me feel like a part of something greater than myself.” Whitfield added, “I like people, and I figured this is one way I could serve them, especially since Colby is big on community service. It’s a great opportunity to be at the forefront of helping to make decisions and institute actual change.”
Whitfield hails from Helena, Ark. and first found out about the College because the principal, cross country coach and physics teacher at his high school were all alumni. “When I visited last year, everyone was really welcoming and friendly–it was pivotal to my decision,” he said. In high school, Whitfield ran track and cross country, was on the basketball and soccer teams and was a school ambassador, acting as a representative for his high school and giving school tours.
The College’s friendly student body and “awesome” food drew Deckert, of Mansfield, Mass., to the Hill. Deckert served on his high school’s student council, ran track and co-founded a campaign called “By Students for Students” that educated middle school children on the importance of education and the consequences of dropping out. As for academics, both Deckert and Whitfield are undecided as to their majors. Deckert is leaning toward government, and currently Whitfield claims that he’s “a jack of all trades.”
Already full of ideas for new initiatives, Deckert and Whitfield have set some goals for their presidency. “One goal is definitely to help develop the class’ identity,” Deckert said. Others include intensifying school spirit and unity, embracing community and increasing cultural awareness. “As class president, I’d like to help increase cultural competency by making people more aware of different cultures,” Whitfield said. Along with the two class dinners, Deckert and Whitfield hope to put on an Eco-Fair, which would spread knowledge on how to live a greener life.
Aside from their involvement in SGA, Deckert and Whitfield are active in a number of other campus groups. Deckert is a member of the Track & Field team and hopes to become involved with the Colby Democrats, the Salsa Club, Students for Education Reform (SFER) and the Goldfarb Center Student Advisory Board. Whitfield is a member of Students Organized for Black and Hispanic Unity (SOBHU), Gentlemen of Quality, the Hip-Hop Alliance, Campus Conversations on Race (CCOR) and iPlay Soccer.
The presidents encourage their classmates to reach out. “Everyone in the class should feel they can approach us at any time, whether it be with questions, ideas or concerns,” Deckert said. “We’ll be working on communication as a major platform. Help us be better; we’re here for you.”