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Austin Community College student Leader Megan Rue is just getting started.
Almost every student that comes to Austin Community College attends with big plans for their futures in mind. As a transient higher education institution, it’s difficult to establish the same sense of school spirit as bigger four-year universities such as The University of Texas or Texas State. With all the outside commitments that many ACC students possess, it can be difficult to get involved and take part in student organizations.
Nevertheless, ACC students that do take on the challenge are just as dedicated as other college students. For those who follow campus activities one name will pop up often. That name is Megan Rue.
This self-described traditional college student, raised in Austin, has immersed herself in the ACC community, as well as the local community in almost every way that an individual can. Her service and dedication exemplifies student leadership in every aspect.
Rue is currently pursuing three separate majors at ACC, (Government, History, and English), although she will only be awarded one associate degree. So far Rue has settled on government for her degree, and she plans on using her additional studies to influence social change and continue her activism once she graduates. Rue’s leadership and student involvement is something to behold. She has supported non-profits, volunteered at Center for Student Political Studies (CSPS) events (of which she is now President) and advocated or equal rights at Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) events as an officer. The list goes on.
“Honestly, I started out with the motivation to build my resume. Looking back I can honestly say I didn’t see the change in me until it had already happened,” she said. “My student organization involvement turned into something bigger and I think that just happens when you connect with a cause or the people in an organization.”
Rue attributes her ability to manage being a full time student along with working and being involved in so many organizations to a simple solution.
“Lists! I make lists.” Rue said while laughing and elaborated that the lists always started of in her head. “You have to set goals. The truth is I make these mental lists that evolve into the hand written list version.”
She said she writes down 10-15 duties that she wants to accomplish, and then cuts that list in half to determine the focus of her day.
“I also have a job that supports my activism and higher education.” Rue is a barrista and her manager is a college professor. “She allows me to do homework during downtime and she understands that my priority is my higher education.”
On September 18, Rue officiated in her latest role as the new CSPS president, at ACC’s Constitution Debate Day Celebration held at the Palmer Events Center. As she took the stage a hush came over the crowd. Although she came across shy, she effortlessly gained the attention of the auditorium full of about 400 people.
“Susan B. Anthony said, ‘It was we the people, not we the white, male citizens, nor we the male citizens, but we the whole people who formed the union,’” Rue said.
She gave accounts of the amazing and daring feats that women had performed independently and alongside men during the American Revolution.
“It is when I read these stories of courage and sacrifice and cleverness and resourcefulness, that I realize that I am written in the Constitution. I, just like every other citizen am integral to the operational success of our country.”
Rue urged the crowd to register to vote and become active in the democratic process. She thanked the crowd for their attentiveness and participation in the festivities then left the stage.
Among a sea of round tables with students, families, teachers and facilitators (including Judges and attorneys) debating the controversial issues Constitution Day conjures up, Megan never stopped for a break to admire the event she helped organize. She never sat down. She was constantly conferring with her mentors and making sure that every aspect was in order so that each attendee had what they needed to enjoy event.
“This was a two-day operation and Megan was there as part of the set up crew and recruited volunteers to help Center for Public Policy and Political Studies (CPPPS) get the event organized, ”CPPPS Director Peck Young said. “Megan’s great to work with, she’s very efficient, very competent and organized. As you saw from the speech she’s extremely articulate.”
Rue said passion is needed in order to dedicate time to extracurricular activities and that students should look for causes that speak to them to make involvement more meaningful and enjoyable.
“So much of what I do doesn’t feel like work,” she said.
Accent will be on the lookout for more student leaders like Megan Rue. Email us at editor@austincc. edu and let us know if there is an ACC leader we should spotlight in our next issue.