Humans of the Hilltop: Molly Paterson

As a mid-sized, private school, Bradley University offers many opportunities for students to get involved. Molly Paterson, the new secretary of the assembly on Student Senate, said she has seen the benefits student involvement provides.

Paterson, a senior management and leadership major, has been on Student Senate for the past year. She was previously the vice president of student affairs, which allowed her to encapsulate a higher level of school spirit through events, such as Rise of the Red. After serving in the position, Paterson said she was inspired to try other leadership positions.

[Vice president of student affairs] is more of a school spirit [type of] position, and I knew that I wanted to get into a policy [type] of role, Paterson said.

At the beginning of this semester, Paterson served as chief of staff on current Student Body President Dave Jensens cabinet. However, in mid-September, Student Senates secretary of assembly executive position became open.

She has such a passion for Student Senate and making a change on campus, Jensen, said. [Molly is] a go-getter, she is much more of a get-it-done [person] rather than put it on a to-do list [person].

During her time as chief of staff, Paterson oversaw updates on the passing of the Smoke-Free Campus Act. The act was passed by Student Senate last year and has now moved onto University Senate consideration. Paterson said she would like to see both pieces of legislation through until the end of her term in addition to performing the secretary roles of the assembly as well.

I want to continue to work on the Smoke Free Campus Act and see that through University Senate, Paterson said. Also, I would like to get recycling on all of the quads and all around campus.

As secretary, Paterson will focus on the responsibility of communication, both internally to Student Senate and externally to the Bradley community.

I would like to keep everyone within Student Senate informed through emails [and] minutes, Paterson said. I would also like to keep everyone outside of Senate as informed as the senators. Transparency is a big thing, and the [General Assembly] is an open meeting anyone is welcome to attend.

Jensen said he has full faith in Patersons qualifications for the position, as well as her ability to perform what is expected of her.

Its never a question of, Is Molly going to get this done? Absolutely, [she will]. Its never a thought in anyones mind, Jensen said. I think that she is really inspirational to young leaders on campus. She goes for something, and she gets it.

Among other things, Paterson said the ability to interact with the campus community is one of the most rewarding aspects of serving on Student Senate.

Getting face-to-face with the [university] administration is the coolest opportunity that Student Senate gives you, Paterson said. And [seeing as well as] that youre actually making changes and seeing that theyre listening to you.

Paterson said getting involved on campus can be scary, but she suggested students step out of their comfort zone.

The biggest thing is to put yourself out there, Paterson said. I didnt know anything about [Student] Senate when I joined as a second semester sophomore.

Petersons story goes to show that anyone can get involved at Bradley all it takes is effort.