Kody Moncrief: defending Lister

Kody Moncrief is currently in his fifth year, majoring in Food Science & Technology and Nutrition. During these five years, Kody has also been a busy and active member of the Lister Hall Students Association, as both a Residence Assistant and the Vice President of Schaffer Hall. Through these roles Kody has gone above and beyond to ensure all residents of Lister Hall have their voices represented, have a safe and inclusive environment in which they can live and study, and has been an outstanding mentor to many residents and student leaders.

While this is an accomplishment in itself, Kody’s true ability as a leader was demonstrated in the summer of 2012 when unprecedented changes were introduced to Lister Hall, affecting everything from student policy to staffing structure. Kody, along with the other executives of the LHSA, were faced with the decision of abandoning the LHSA and becoming fully employed by Residence Services, or instead carve out a new path for the student association for the pure benefit of the residents. Kody, undoubtably, choose the second. Throughout the summer he was charged with replacing half of his Floor Coordinator team, organizing exceptional training for the group, wading through the questions from both concerned residents and the media, and upholding the integrity of an organization he so dearly valued.

While all the LHSA executives maintained amazing composure during this time, Kody’s leadership really stood out. Within the first month of the changes came another blow to the organization, and specifically to Kody: he was told that due to an unfortunate minor incident at the beginning of the year, himself, as well as the VP Operations of the LHSA, would be served with eviction notices, and barred from entering the building they had called home for the past several years. The decision was unwarranted, unjust, and controversial, and during the first semester Kody fought for his organization, his FC team, and his position, against a surprisingly arbitrary system that eventually won.

This is where Kody’s inherent poise, drive and passion for student life, community and leadership shined. Throughout months of investigation meetings, media parodies of the incident, and an organization that was in its first year of autonomy, Kody managed a team of student leaders and his own academics with unwavering dedication. In the end, Kody was forced to leave the community he has helped build for the past five years. However, after seeing the support that poured from all corners of campus and within Lister Hall itself, it was clear that the energy, time and commitment he has put into the organization would forever be remembered. Further, Kody joins the ranks of a long line of university students who have raised awareness for their community, the importance of student representation, and the consequences of unchecked power by an organization.

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