A man with a plan

From the campaign trail to the SGA suite, QU’s newest class president aims to make the Class of 2023’s voice heard

By on September 18, 2019

Between the newly-gained independence, the waves of unfamiliar faces and the unexplored terrain set before you, adjusting to living at college can be an overwhelming experience for many. Within the first few weeks after move-in day most freshmen create micro-communities within their residence halls the more everyone gets to know one another.

By the time Student Government elections rolled around this past Monday, Sept. 9, freshman Carmine Grippo had converted the third floor of Irma into his campaign headquarters.

“I just wanted to meet people and talk to people,” Grippo said. “Before I even decided to run for president, that was my goal. My thought process was even if I lost I still met people and got to make a ton of friends around campus.”

Mike Clement

Grippo, an undeclared business major from Middletown, Connecticut, said he comes from a pedigree of leadership and hard work. Since elementary school, Grippo has always stepped up and been the voice of his class. He also grew up helping out at his family’s gas station, which in return taught him how to be an effective communicator.

“I can talk to any type of person,” Grippo said. “One of the most important parts of being an effective leader is to be diverse in how you talk to people. Administrators, older people, younger people, it doesn’t matter what your background is, I can always communicate with you. I love all people. I love humans.”

With the combination of communication and charisma, Grippo set out to knock on as many freshman dorm room doors as possible to get a better sense of who his classmates are and how he could effectively serve them as class president. It paid dividends — last Monday the class of 2023 elected Grippo to be its president by a margin of 82 votes. He even received the most votes for class senate, but he cannot hold two SGA positions at once.

“My strategy was just to be a friend to fellow freshmen,” Grippo said. “My floor in Irma was very supportive of my campaign and helped get the word out. As soon as we got the OK from SGA to start campaigning, I went home the next day to make stickers [and] posters to distribute around campus. The girls on my floor even helped me make a huge sign to hang up in my window.”

Grippo’s primary goal as class president is to install printers in common rooms in every freshman residence hall. He also wants to sit down with the rest of the SGA cabinet to attempt to lower the price of snacks at the dining halls, especially ice cream.

“I absolutely love ice cream,” Grippo said. “I bought a pint of Ben & Jerry’s on campus when I first moved in. My family owns a gas station at home, so I know for a fact that ice cream does not cost nearly as much as we are being charged for here. It’s not even realistic, and to do that to a kid just because they have a meal plan that their parents are paying for is not fair at all. Most freshmen cannot have cars on campus, so we blindly have to buy $8 ice cream. That needs to be fixed.”

Outside of the political realm, Grippo is a fitness fanatic. He takes pride in working out as often as he can fit into his schedule, and even sees it as a therapeutic outlet. Grippo is also a member of the investment club on campus.

Above all, Grippo said wants to serve his new community by unifying the class of 2023 and make every voice of his constituents be heard.

“As a freshman, I refuse to let my class fall behind and be silent at the decision-making table,” Grippo concluded. “I want to be that voice. I’m not afraid of other kids just because they’ve been here longer. I’m not going to be a quiet freshman president. If I see a problem on campus I won’t hesitate to speak up about it.”

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