Stutzman begins planning next year in wake of landslide

by David Klein | 5/22/01 5:00am

Author Robert G. Ingersoll once wrote, "The greatest test of courage on Earth is to bear defeat without losing heart." Student Body President-elect Molly Stutzman '02 has clearly passed that test.

Despite her defeat last year to Chance Hill '01 in the election for Student Assembly vice-president, Stutzman continued to dedicate herself to the Assembly.

One year later, her tireless involvement with the governing body has earned Stutzman the distinction of student body president, after a landslide victory in last week's elections.

"[The loss] gave me time to think about moving the Student Assembly forward," said Stutzman, who fell to Hill by just 33 votes.

Stutzman said she didn't look back after her defeat. Instead, she became chair of the Assembly's Student Life Committee in the spring, after assuming the role of vice-chair of the SLC earlier in the year.

As vice-chair, Stutzman had the opportunity to work on a student response to the controversial Student Life Initiative, a time which she later described as "very busy."

Those who have worked closely with Stutzman during that time are still confident in her talents and enthusiasm.

"Molly makes a huge commitment to [the Assembly]," current Student Assembly President Jorge Miranda '01 said. "She only does something if she ... puts all of her effort to it."

And while Stutzman said that she has and will continue to put her effort into the Assembly, she has also carved a niche for herself in several other areas of the College. Stutzman is currently a member of the Green Key society, an undergraduate advisor, secretary of Alpha Xi Delta sorority and '02 Class Council vice-president.

Miranda said he is not surprised by her ability to be accepted throughout the community.

"She's a lot more considerate than I would consider possible," he said. "She's a very caring person."

Stutzman also manages to find time for her studies, and is pursuing a major in History.

Although she doesn't plan on going into politics, Stutzman is considering attending law school after she graduates next spring.

Despite Stutzman's various commitments, she is able to make time for her friends and enjoy the various social options Dartmouth has to offer. According to Stutzman, it was the College's "strong sense of community," that brought her to Hanover from her hometown of Wilmette, Ill., a Chicago suburb.

"[Molly's] a lot of fun to be around," Chair of the Elections Planning and Advisory Committee and former Assembly Vice-President Margaret Kuecker '01 said. "She puts everyone at ease."

Those that have worked with Stutzman also expressed confidence in her leadership abilities.

"[Molly] knows what works and what doesn't," Kuecker said. "She'll bring a sense of continuity."

"She has a wonderful capacity to listen to people," added Miranda. "A lot of people respect her and enjoy working with her. She'll be a strong advocate for students."

Stutzman said she hopes to strengthen her leadership abilities by fostering a stronger relationship between the Assembly and the rest of the student body.

"I want to be as open as possible," she said. "I want to know what [the student body] is thinking."

While the Assembly has earned its critics, including former student body presidential hopeful Michael Sevi '02, Stutzman hopes to use this feedback to improve the Assembly.

"I don't think the SA is perfect," Stutzman admitted. "I want to look at what's good and what's not so good about the SA and address the some of these concerns."