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International Students of Lewis & Clark (ISLC)

Lame Ungwang 

Candidacy for President

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Major:
Economics & International Affairs

Academic Year:
Junior

Nationality:
Botswana

Countries Lived in:
Botswana, Swaziland, and USA

ISLC Board positions previously held:
Student at Large (2011), Co Vice-President (2012)


1.      Why are you interested in this position, and what assets could you bring to the ISLC Board and students in our community?:
I am standing for election to the ISLC executive board as President because it is an opportunity to serve the international student community of which I am a part of, and I feel I have a lot to contribute having served on the board for the past 2 years.
        During my time at LC, I have been involved in numerous activities and held several occupations. Most recently, I served as Co-VP of the ISLC government, and a Peer-mentor for STE. Both of these jobs have greatly contributed towards my desire to serve as ISLC president. The level of responsibility assigned to me was significant, which was both an opportunity and a challenge. I was working as part of dynamic team, and regularly interacting with a variety of different people and offices around campus. I was sharing my own experiences with mentees so as to help them navigate and succeed as first years, all the while learning from others and my own mistakes.
        The role of ISLC President would enable me to fully apply these lessons so as to help international students – providing safe forums to interact with each other, with faculty, and the with wider LC student community.

2.      If selected, what are your goals for ISLC? What would you like to see done? :
If elected to the position of President, I would like to enhance ISLC programs that were of great success in the past several years such as the Bubble Tea social, which attracted a notable number of students, and traditional cultural celebrations that continue to be some of the ISLC’s most popular initiatives.
I would also like to build on some of the ISLC’s more recent initiatives, such as Peace Day, and the International Alumni meet & greet (in collaboration with Student Alumni Association). An international student - who wanted a platform for students to share and express their opinions about contemporary and sometimes controversial issues unique to their countries with domestic students and faculty - suggested peace day. I would like the ISLC to become much more accessible in this manner, where more students express their ownership of the board and use the ISLC to implement events they want.

3.      Have you had any leadership experience organizing activities or events? If so, please explain briefly, what it was. Do you have any activities or events that you are interested in doing?:
I served as a peer-mentor for STE, a Reunion Assistant for the Alumni Gatehouse, and I was an AES program assistant last summer. In all these capacities, I was tasked with creating and/or planning events (for mentees, alumni, and AES students respectively) – creating a space where they felt safe to show cast themselves and interact with each other and the wider community they were in. I have also served on the ISLC Board for the past 2 years, helping to organize all the various programs we put on throughout each year. Some of these include Peace day, Africa Night, Diwali, Flag Day, Bubble tea meet, and of course the International Fair. As vice-President, I organized the International Fair (along with my co-Chair) in its entirety; reaching out and working with the different Regional/Country chairs and offices on campus to ensure a successful turnout and event.
        As president, I will work to:
•       Enhance ISLC’s traditional programs and newer but well-received events
•       Respond to the demand of an international “Life after LC” program, which would encompass the International Alumni Meet and Greet, among other things.
•       I would also hope to find ways to better share specific opportunities we can and take advantage of, and ways we can share in and uniquely contribute to the LC community.
Moreover, I will work to ensure these efforts are guided by strong international student input through a variety of methods.

Candidate statement.:
My name is Lame Ungwang; I am a rising senior from Botswana, and have lived in Swaziland attending the UWC of Southern Africa. I have held various leadership and mentorship roles over the years. This past year I had the privilege of serving on the executive board as co-Vice President, and served as the Student at Large Chairperson prior to that. I would love to continue taking an active role by serving as your next ISLC President!
My previous experience with the board has exposed me to what works well, and what we as the ISLC may need to improve on. I believe we have a relatively large and dynamic international population here at Lewis & Clark, and there is thus a plethora of ways in which we can contribute to enriching our LC community. The ISLC board is a crucial component to that end, and as President, I hope to better understand and respond to the needs of our community, recognizing that these needs sometimes differ greatly from incoming freshmen to near-graduation seniors. Therefore, we should rehabilitate an environment where all internationals feel they have strong ownership of the board. In acknowledging that the ISLC deals with a lot of the same issues as our peer institutions (the TCK board and the ASLC for instance), I would continue in our efforts to forge stronger ties with them. As an old African proverb notes, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.”