I’m supporting Andre Bisasor for HESA President. I’d like to explain my reasoning and some exasperation at some of the other candidate statements.
In my humble opinion, HES students are supposed to be selecting someone for their executive experience. By that, I mean that the job primarily requires those who have the skills to set goals and achieve them. Sometimes that means doing the work yourself. At other times, it means motivating others to do the work.
It isn’t about dreaming up ideas. Lots of people can do that. It isn’t hard to come up with ideas.
It isn’t about having some sort of background. Lots of people come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
One thing I think has been steadfastly lacking in past HESA administrations is the level of professionalism and attention to detail. I think we really had something with Carlos. More than any other administration, he reached out to students and committed himself to opening up HESA to a wider audience.
He sent out regular emails about the workings of the administration.
He posted here very frequently.
He took steps to make the results of the meetings a matter of the public record. The HESA website contained links to minutes of (almost) every meeting.
These were good things. A lot of it was dry reading but it as important because people who weren’t on campus or couldn’t make meetings could at least follow along as things happened. We don’t have a group that endeavors to cover our political meetings or write articles in the Crimson about new developments so it’s at least mildly novel that he took steps to do these things without any outside pressure.
But that all stopped when Carlos left. Whatever transparency we had was lost. The HESA website fell into disuse and the postings trailed off.
I believe that a lack of executive experience is the reason that this happened. Without any background in “making things happen” we got a lot of half-hearted efforts from the current administration. Some events were poorly attended because invitations came too late. Other opportunities to increase the profile and influence of HES were missed.
But working quietly in the background was Andre Bisasor. He put together the HESLS and re-launched an entire conference. He turned an entirely defunct organization around. That’s a remarkable feat.
He wasn’t paid for his efforts. He wasn’t directed to do this by the current HESA administration. He saw an opportunity to get something done and then went out and did it.
He didn’t ask to be recognized for a job he hadn’t already completed. That speaks volumes about his character.
I’m afraid that the other candidates are simply missing the point. They either believe that they are owed the position or are trying to imply that their on-the-job accomplishments make them a natural fit for president.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
It’s far too easy to become discouraged as HESA president. It’s an all volunteer ogranization and sometimes, people don’t feel like it’s important for them to work at it. Grandiose plans are great, but if there isn’t someone there to actually translate those ideas into actions, nothing happens. It actually hurts us to have too-ambitious goals.
That’s why I’m so critical of the other candidates and supportive of Andre Bisasor. I’m tired of candidate statements that reflect not a single iota of activity at Harvard. Nothing. Not forming a club. Not attending the HESA meetings. Not even showing up to the debates.
I think that Andre is different. He worked with Carlos and has seen at least one effective administration up close. If he can use that example, we can see great things from HESA in the coming years by building on what has already been accomplished.
We don’t need economic development activities. We don’t need more parties. We need simple, effective leadership that concentrates our efforts on measurable and meaningful activities that benefit the school as a whole as well as individual students. Events like the Negotiation and Leadership conference are exactly the sort of thing I’m talking about.
In my four years at HES, no other event has made me feel more connected to the school and to the university. I got a chance to meet members of many different schools at Harvard. It was a great networking opportunity and a chance to meet other HES students.
If we can get even one more of those events under our belt as an organization under the HESA banner, we will be doing splendidly.