Op-ed: Why I soar with Sarah

I first got to know Sarah when we were partners for an oral presentation in Spanish 21 our first year at Tufts. Sitting next to her at the high top tables in Tisch, I vividly remember thinking, “dang, this girl can get stuff DONE.” Since that day, Sarah has become one of my closest friends. 

From creating clubs, to drafting important Senate resolutions, to standing up for others, it has been a privilege to see time and again how Sarah uses her superhuman work ethic to make tangible, positive change at Tufts. 

Improving the communities around her is a genuine passion of Sarah’s. As a philosophy and political science double major and colonialism studies minor, it isn’t enough for Sarah to just talk and philosophize about the world’s problems. She is constantly challenging herself to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of inequality that operate at Tufts and in the world so she can do her part in dismantling them. If you’ve had the opportunity to get to know Sarah, you know she’s a woman of action and not just talk. When professors of hers have said or written things that were insensitive to students of marginalized identities, she has had the courage to not let it slide. Instead, Sarah has used these instances as a catalyst for discussion in the classroom to create opportunities where everybody has a chance to reflect and grow. From leading training discussions for the Tufts Wilderness Orientation to pushing our friends to consider other viewpoints in casual conversation, I have seen firsthand Sarah’s ability to create meaningful dialogue surrounding privilege, identity and inclusion. 

Sarah’s dedication to uplifting marginalized voices is only one of the reasons I’m voting for her this week. She has also tirelessly advocated for increased student influence on the Tufts administration’s decision-making process. Tufts students have incredibly deep personal and financial investments in their education, and Sarah has been disappointed in the lack of transparency in resource allocation at Tufts. To address this, she organized and created the first Budget and Transparency Town Hall that was more than just a response to a debt or housing crisis. This is now a regular practice and allows Tufts students access to the information about how their tuition money is being used. In addition, there is a growing fissure between the actions of the Tufts administration and the concerns of the student body. In response, Sarah has authored Senate resolutions that call for increased student influence as well as oversight over the Board of Trustees. Sarah’s platform also calls for more Senate outreach, including tabling, in order to make senators more accessible and create a stronger connection between students and the decision-making process at Tufts.

Sarah’s ability to turn ideas into actions isn’t confined to her work with Senate. She has the exceptional ability to imagine creative solutions out of difficult situations. Days after she was cut from the Tufts Varsity Swim Team, I was sitting with her in Carmichael Dining Hall and she said, “Let’s start a club swim team. We know at least 50 people who would want to join.” This was true, but I still thought she was being unrealistically ambitious. Starting a club sport from the ground up is a huge logistical and bureaucratic undertaking, but knowing Sarah, I never doubted her ability to make it a reality. With her leadership and determination, she was able to create a new community at Tufts where dozens of students have come together to share in their passion for swimming. Although we are still working on becoming officially recognized by Tufts, I know that the groundwork she has laid for this club will allow it to be realized one day, impacting the lives of generations of Jumbo swimmers. As Tufts works on coming back from this global calamity, Sarah’s unique way of looking at obstacles as opportunities will be exactly what we need in a leader to make it through this difficult time.

Something I love about Sarah is that she has always made it her priority to connect people from all corners of campus. Her passion for inclusivity and uplifting others goes a long way when life is business as usual, but now, at a time when many of us are feeling particularly isolated and apart, I can’t think of a better person to bring us together. Resourceful and down-to-earth, yet never taking herself too seriously, Sarah is the kind of person that you would want to be by your side through any circumstance. I know that Tufts will benefit immensely and become a better place under her level-headed leadership, just as I have become a better person thanks to her friendship.