Lustig follows in path of former SA presidents with 1-term presidency
Though Dylan Lustig’s presidency is distinctive from his predecessors’, he will follow Student Association leaders before him in one traditional aspect: being a single-term president.
Lustig officially announced he will not be running for a second term as SA president at the organization’s weekly meeting this Monday. Though Lustig never stated he would run for a second term, the concept was discussed heavily during last November’s presidential race.
Usually, SA presidential candidates are juniors and therefore hold the title through the first semester of their senior year, and then cannot run again. Because Lustig ran as a sophomore and is only now a junior, he technically has the ability to run for a second term.
The role of the student government president comes with the intimidating responsibility of fulfilling the student body’s expectations, which leads to an immense time commitment. This combination equals a stressful job on top of a full-time college student’s course load.
This pressure, however, must be anticipated by a candidate looking to take on the role as president. But for Lustig, who gladly took on the challenge, the demands of the presidency are not the factors shying him away from another term.
Instead, the international relations and economics major has opted out of the race to fulfill another goal: to travel Europe while studying abroad in Strasbourg, France, in order to trace the path of his great uncle, a decorated World War II veteran who left Lustig a book detailing his travels.
Early last November, I conducted one of my first of many interviews with Lustig. At that time, the election was quickly approaching and I was writing a profile of Lustig as an SA candidate. When I asked Lustig who inspired him to run for office, he told me how his great uncle’s “living in the moment” philosophy encouraged him to make a bid for the presidency.
Now, one year later, Lustig has decided to apply his great uncle’s philosophy to his life yet again while also honoring his hero, who sadly died within the past year.
Holding the position of highest-ranking student political figure at Syracuse University, and therefore serving the students of this campus, is an admirable feat. But college is a time for fluidity of goals and ideas, a time for experimentation and a time during which the option to try something new is presented each and every day.
Lustig deserves appreciation for taking on the challenge of SA president, but also for stepping away to fulfill another set of goals. He is also leaving at a time when enthusiastic candidates await to fill the position and hope for a second consecutive year of record-breaking voter turnout.
In his time left as president, Lustig is excited to see his major campaign initiative, a day of campus-wide community service that has turned into a weeklong event, take shape this November. He also is continuing work with Keep the Change Syracuse, but Lustig said the initiative may be complete by the time he graduates from SU, not within the next several months.
Running for a second term as SA president is unprecedented as it is usually unfeasible. Though Lustig had the option and turned it down, he did so in deciding to take the next step in his personal college career.
But SA is also on the brink of a new chapter, and it is up to this year’s presidential candidates to guide it there.
Rachael Barillari is a junior political science and Middle Eastern studies major. Her column appears weekly. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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