Why You Should Apply for the 2011-2012 STAND Managing Committee (MC)
Name: MacKenzie Hamilton
School: Smith College Class of 2013
Position: Northeast Outreach Coordinator
How and why did you get involved in STAND?
I got involved in STAND my sophomore year of high school. A friend from a neighboring school and I decided to go to my high school’s Battle of the Bands, which was held by a newly formed group called STAND. In between acts, members of STAND would speak about the atrocities occurring in Darfur, Sudan. That was my call to action.
Why did you apply to be on the STAND MC?
Having been inspired by the 2008 National Student Conference, and upon my return from a summer human rights delegation to Rwanda, I joined the 2009 Pledge2Protect Conference team, serving as the Lobby Day Coordinator. Wanting to stay involved after the conference, but not quite sure how I fit into the larger structure of STAND, I applied to be an Outreach Coordinator, and served as the New Hampshire and Vermont State Outreach Coordinator, and am now the Northeast Outreach Coordinator. As someone who loves talking to people, being an Outreach Coordinator has really helped me to get to know the movement’s most inspiring student leaders and work with them on various projects. The grassroots is so important to this movement, and having conversations about conflict areas, advocacy opportunities, and events have been some of the most memorable parts of being an OC.
What were you hoping to accomplish in your position?
I really wanted to get to know more people in the region. I had been very much inspired by my Outreach Coordinator in high school, and had gotten to know some incredible activists through regional and national conferences as well as Boston-area events and rallies. My Outreach Coordinator was the one to encourage me to go to Rwanda in the summer of 2009, and I wanted to give back to STAND what she helped give to me; opportunities and friendship.
What was the most fun experience you’ve had as an MC member?
The most fun experiences have been my interactions with the STAND MC and my chapters. STANDCamp was one of my favorite memories. Heading to DC without knowing anyone and leaving with so many incredible and lifelong friendships and connections was amazing. Building campfires, roasting marshmallows, and swimming in a 2 foot creek while gaining the tools to help end a prevent genocide and mass atrocities? And for free? Legit can’t get much better than that.
How has being on the MC changed you? How has it prepared you for your next step in life?
Being on the MC has made me a much more critical thinker. It has provided me with a lot of training and teambuilding skills that will help me in leadership structures for the rest of my life. It’s shown me how to work with very different people in a productive way—both on the MC and core chapter level, which is definitely a skill that would have been difficult to obtain elsewhere.
Why should someone apply to be on the STAND MC?
Not only does it provide you with great skills, it also allows you to work on a team with some of the most dynamic, inspiring, and motivated students in the world. It allows you to develop yourself as a leader and an individual, and meet awesome folks. Throughout my time on the MC, I’ve met people like Carl Wilkens, John Prendergast, and Bec Hamilton. I wouldn’t give this slightly hectic yet rewarding experience up for anything.