Welcome to Women in Politics: College Edition, where promising women leaders in student government on college and university campuses across the country will be featured on msnbc.com over the course of the year. Alexis Hunter has been nominated by Vanderbilt University as a leader making a difference not only through key issues on campus, but in bridging the gender gap in politics.
As part of a new series at msnbc, “Women of 2014,” these hand-selected women become part of a larger discussion of women candidates and women’s issues on a national level. “Women of 2014” is a home for all women in politics – notably those in some of the year’s most pivotal races – with newsmaker interviews, profiles, photos, a Twitter trail following more than 35 candidates, and deep dives into the key conversations.
From the Ivy Leagues to the Big Ten to liberal arts colleges and beyond, young women are making a difference across the country – meet them here!
Name: Alexis Hunter
School: Vanderbilt University
Hometown: Stephenville, Texas
Concentration: Public Policy
Dream job: Security and Intelligence Policy Analyst
Class year: 2014
What is your biggest challenge as a leader on campus?
The biggest challenge faced by student leaders on campus is unifying an incredibly diverse student body. One of the amazing things about Vanderbilt is that we have students from across the country and the world, of varying races, religions, etc. All of these students are unique and talented and have different interests that are accommodated by Vanderbilt. The challenge is how to unify everyone under the flag of “Vanderbilt University” instead of focusing on who is in which student organization or major. It’s easy to fall into the mindset of “Well, I’m President of this organization and a student leader in that organization, so bringing my groups interests to the table should be my biggest priority.”
Which female leaders do you draw inspiration from?
The most inspirational female figure I have ever met is my mother. My mother taught me how to become a female leader in today’s society, and how to do so successfully. My mother constantly impressed upon my brother and I that we can do anything we set our minds to and proceeded to prove the adage true by being a successful woman of politics while raising a family. She has followed her passions and never given up her dreams and always pushes me to do the same. I am so honored to call her my best friend and am truly grateful and blessed to have been around such an amazing and inspirational woman my entire life.
What comes to mind first when you think about important moments in history?
I believe the most important moments in history are yet to come. Yes, we have had great triumphs in the past as a nation and across the world, but the most important moment in history will be the day when we can look around us and say, without a shadow of a doubt, that each and every individual on this planet is free from discrimination and prejudice. The most important moment in history will be when race, gender, etc. truly does not matter anymore.
What do you think should be President Obama’s No. 1 priority?
President Obama’s #1 priority should be unifying the country. If you ask someone their political preference, you are likely to hear Republican, Democrat, Tea Party, Libertarian, and a myriad of other answers. You rarely hear someone simply say “I’m an American”. No, I do not always agree with every decision that comes out of the White House, but, I respect those decisions and know they were made with my best interests in mind. President Obama needs to work to stress the importance of interactions and compromise across the aisle in order to ensure the integrity of governmental operations.
What's your favorite show to binge-watch?
It’s a tie between House of Cards and Scandal.
Check out last week’s female leader!
To nominate an exceptional undergraduate female leader in student government please email Anna Brand at Anna.Brand@nbcuni.com