- Score voting used for some kind of student organization:
On the night of December 29, 2008, I was in a Zen state.
My former teammate and one of the greatest people I have been blessed
to know, Tiffany Curtiss, was elected Member Committee President of
AIESEC United States in the first free and fair MCP elections in
I haven't cried in a long time, but I came pretty damn close as Missy
poured the water on her head and everyone cheered for Tiffany. What
was clear to me, though, is that as much as we were cheering for her,
we were cheering for the process, for student ownership, for having a
voice. For having come so far just shy of six months after the July 4
The only thought that had space in my head after the bucket fell was
back to the weekend of May 12-14, 2006, when I was told "you have no
future in AIESEC US" by the top leadership after trying to bring
people together and think for themselves. Instead of doing whatever
college students do on the weekend, Tiffany and my AIESEC mentor and
former LCP of AIESEC LC Cornell, Arthur Maas, spent the entire weekend
on the phone with the key players in New York, and when they were
talking about "next steps," Tiffany was talking about right and wrong.
Tiffany, of course, was right, and despite being right, her hours and
hours on the phone that weekend got me back into AIESEC US. How
incredibly appropriate, how it fits in with the music of the Universe.
How justice was served and how progress was lifted up!
I turned off my video camera and I walked up to my room, alone. I
could barely even shut the door before the immensity of what had just
happened washed over me like a tidal wave. I gripped the table and I
put my head against the wall. I closed my eyes and let the reality of
it flow through every bit of my being. How years and even months ago,
this moment was an unthinkable fairy tale - regardless of the winner
of the election. I felt like I have not felt in an incredibly long
time, and to the powers that put the breath in my lungs, I let forth
in an exhale, "thank you."
Words cannot express the pride I feel that Tiffany was elected MCP.
And finally, mere hours before my term as LCP ended, I was able to
participate as a proxy for Milwaukee (Amira taking the seat for GT) in
our legislation, where we established our first compendium in twelve
years - and I am proud that I was a key part of writing it. I skipped
sessions and I stayed up late to work on the constitution and
accountability with Jason, and I personally spent the entire day after
the election tweaking and perfecting the range voting process, which
was one of the final motions we passed - by acclamation. Though it
was hard work and it kept me from hanging out nearly as much as I
wanted to with the people who matter to me and friends I haven't met
yet, I realized at the end of the conference how much more valuable it
was that we spent our time on things that mattered. We did work
together, we built the foundations of a new AIESEC US together. That
was far better than anything else I've experienced at a US conference
before, and I hope for the future members that it only grows and does
While banging the table to close legislation, we heard loud sounds
from above - and through the skylights we saw the fireworks heralding
a new year. We did it! And the fireworks let everyone know it.
Poetry upon poetry, the formal New Years Eve dinner that night took
place in the exact same room as the plenary of the last Winter
Conference in St. Louis. My LCP term ended in the exact same room in
which it began. A year ago in that room, as we finished singing "Auld
Lang Syne," I thought to myself: "This is either the year AIESEC US
will save itself, or the year in which it will be lost forever."
I could never have pictured us in that same room one year later,
triumphant. The truth is stranger than fiction.
A sincere thanks to all of the people who are a part of the fabric
that has been my AIESEC Experience thus far. There are many of you to
name, and rest assured you will hear it from me soon. But other than
Tiffany, the person I must thank most of all is Missy Shields,
outgoing MCP and former LCP of AIESEC at Georgia Tech. Without her
AIESEC US would not be here today, and I would not be the person I am,
plain and simple. She deserves adulation for years and years, and she
will be a golden legend for as long as the word "AIESEC" spurs the
heartbeats of people looking for a better future.
To you both: because you have changed me, you have changed the world.
Hold me to that.