As president of the Denison Campus Governance Association, Ana Morales ’14 of Lawrence, Mass., serves as president of the student body. Her work involves representing her peers in DCGA and Campus Affairs Council sessions and as a liaison with the administration. It’s a busy job, no doubt about it, but it’s one that she’s clearly excited about.
What do you hope to accomplish this year?
By the time I graduate, I want this campus to be a place where students are more invested and involved in campus issues—not just because it’s something to do, but because they feel convinced that they need to know what is going on, and that they do have the ability to take action. I want all students to feel like they are part of DCGA. We’ve been working intentionally to make it more inclusive.
How has this been going? Do you have any examples?
It’s been going really well. For example, we’ve been working on the Student Reserve Fund project, and the finance committee of DCGA has kept the process very open. The public relations committee has done a great job of getting student feedback on the Forum on Diversity. It all helps to show DCGA as a campus governance body that is proactive instead of reactive.
“It is humbling and exciting to be a part of a community with so many people to look up to and be inspired by.”
How has being a Posse Scholar influenced your philosophy as president?
Posse has greatly influenced my philosophy. I’m here because of Posse. I am a first-generation immigrant from Lawrence, Mass., and if this scholarship didn’t exist, I wouldn’t have applied to Denison. The skills I learned with Posse have informed the way I lead. For example, I favor personal interaction over email. I check in with people. We meet for lunch or coffee. Being a Posse Scholar has helped me to be a more hands-on, interactive leader.
What’s the hardest part of being student body president?
Time management is the most challenging part, along with finding time to reflect on my experience, because I am very intentional about that. I also have to make sure I’m doing my schoolwork. Managing it all is the hardest thing I have ever done. I remember being a first-year student and hearing [former DCGA president] Harry Brisson ’11 give his speech at the Induction Ceremony and thinking: “I don’t even know if I am going to make it through college.” So I have to make sure that I am not just going through the motions but that I am stepping up to the plate.
Do you do anything just for yourself?
I take a day off every week. I stay in and watch movies I haven’t seen. I catch up on reading, and I try to go to church or a Bible discussion every week. I like to journal, and sometimes I just like to sleep. Plus, I like to dance. I do it academically for my dance major but also over the weekends with my friends.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what book would you like to have?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I think it’s almost my personal Bible. If I could have more than one, I’d also have Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.
Post Denison, what’s your dream job?
I really want to be the mayor of my beautiful city, Lawrence, Mass. I feel like that is something that I hold dear to my heart, and I hope to accomplish it someday. And who knows, maybe I can be a U.S. senator.
Are there people on campus who inspire you?
There are a lot; too many to name them all. Mark Orten, Denison’s chaplain, has helped me to be reflective about my college experience and has offered me spiritual guidance, which I think we all need sometimes, even if we don’t know it. Professor Dosinda Garcia-Alvite has supported me in so many ways. She is someone I want to be like when I grow up. I have good relationships with a lot of faculty and staff. Erik Farley, Gill Miller, Andy Law. The list is just really long, and I wish I could name them all. I’m grateful for the mentorship I’ve received here. It is humbling and exciting to be a part of a community with so many people to look up to and be inspired by.