Whew. The election is over. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a combination of surprised and disappointed, but for the time being, I must do what past runners-up have done and live with the results as they are. So where do we go from here? Will I pick up my ball and go home? Will I go into hiding? Will I denigrate others with lies and misinformation? Will I be a thorn in SBA’s side?
Please. Students, what you see is what you get. I will be the same RJM that I’ve always been, no matter who you are or where you come from. I would be remiss if I didn’t, from the bottom of my heart, thank each and every one of you that supported my campaign for SBA President. It’s a powerful feeling when someone looks at you and tells you they plan on voting for you, no matter what for. That gave me hope. That gave me strength. It made me want to be a better version of the man I am today. Even now, as I write this, I feel like I have a duty to do right by you. I will wear that mantle proudly. It doesn’t end here.
Students, when I promised to advocate on your behalf, I wasn’t kidding. I wasn’t just saying that to get elected. I meant it. I’m going to keep working. I’m going to continue to make myself as available as I can to all of you. I’m going to continue to be that person I hope you can turn to for a listening ear, an academic resource, and/or a friendly presence. I’m going to keep working to improve this campus and provide opportunities for the student body. I’m going to continue to be as authentic, straightforward, approachable, and trustworthy as I possibly can. I’m going to continue to put you first.
But what about us? What can we all do to improve our own conditions? We continue to work hard. We carry ourselves with dignity. We respect ourselves and others. We tell the truth. We represent ourselves and our future brands in the best way possible. We rise above petty disputes between colleagues. We celebrate the achievements of others and draw inspiration—not contempt—from them. We never forget where we came from or where we want to be. We exercise humility. We treat everyone—not just people we like or need something from—the way we want to be treated.
You know, The Golden Rule.
It will be my honor to serve as President of the Public Interest Law Society for the 2017-2018 school year, and I can’t wait to get to work with the most dedicated student organization I have ever had the pleasure of working with. We will continue to use our platform to bring volunteer, pro bono, scholarship, and community service opportunities to the student body, and much more will come later on. As a former White House Intern, I’ll continue to tap into the WH Alumni Network to open up our campus to networking and employment opportunities for both current students and alumni. There’s no sense in hoarding opportunity. Ambition is a dinner best served with a full table, so don’t hesitate to join PILS! We want you!
We are about seven (or so) weeks away from final exams. 1Ls, I’ve witnessed the work most of you have been doing. I am encouraged by your dedication. Keep it up. Don’t let up. Don’t stop. Don’t quit. Don’t settle for second best. Study hard. But remember—this isn’t everything. Do not allow yourselves to be consumed by this work. Maintain your sanity. Maintain your humanity. Maintain your relationships. Take mental health breaks from time to time. Remember why you decided to be a lawyer. Hold on to that passion. Hold on to that desire. Who gon’ stop you, huh?
Look, 1Ls. I’ll always be here for you guys. You are the future of this school. When my time finally comes to graduate next May, I look forward to knowing we’re leaving this campus in good hands. Remember, it starts with you.
Ricky J. Marc
President-elect, Public Interest Law Society