The College of Liberal Arts is no stranger to student body presidents—in the past 20 years, only two presidents of the University of Texas Student Government weren’t students in the college. Studying the liberal arts has a way of shaping leaders.
UTSG’s 2014-15 president is Kornel “Kori” Rady, a government and corporate communication major from Houston, Texas. In the following Q&A, Kori talks about his policy agenda, campaign hardships and the “liberal arts factor.”
What made you want to run for UTSG president?
I saw that I could make positive change on campus and the yearning I felt to give back to the University that gave me so much motivated me.
What was the campaign process like?
It was strenuous to say the least. I have not ever had a more grueling two weeks of my life. I got two or three hours of sleep every night, and I’ve never been more challenged. The campaign was definitely a great learning process and something that led to me truly understand what my friends and I are capable of.
Watch: “Inside the Campaign,” a short documentary about the Rady/Strickland campaign and the results of the election.
How did you first get involved in student government?
I ran for first-year representative on a whim during my freshman year. I was never involved in SG in high school and I saw an opportunity to get involved and took it.
Why should other students get involved?
Because it’s the best way to give back to the University. The platform SG gives students to make tangible change is incredible and unique, and being involved in something like that on campus is special.
What’s the best way to get involved?
There are plenty of ways and no one way that is better than another. If students are interested in running for an elected position, that’s a very exciting and unique process. There are also appointed positions where people can apply for a variety of positions.
What’s on your policy agenda for this year?
We have accomplished a lot so far: establishing the Safe Ride program, extending Thanksgiving break and launching Longhorn advocates, which is a program where we selected 31 students to partner with 31 alumni and 31 Texas senators. The Texas Exes have partnered with us on this and are helping set up programming.
What are you most proud of from your time at UT Austin so far?
The creation of a Safe Ride program that has given thousands of students free rides home after nights out in the entertainment district.
Watch: A Rady/Strickland campaign ad featuring Safe Ride and other policy recommendations.
What are your professional ambitions after graduation?
I am planning on going to law school.
Do you think your studies in liberal arts have helped you get where you are today?
I definitely think my focus in liberal arts aided me in my ability to examine a vast array of topics. The wide-ranging topics I learned about through liberal arts helped develop my thought processing and problem-solving skills.