Passing the Torch By Suddarsun Shivakumar

—–As we pass the halfway point of the semester, I can’t help but look back at my time as the president of the LDP as I prepare to pass on the torch to the next president, Breanna. As I transition out of the LDP, I plan to mentor the new president of LDP to pass on the lessons I’ve learned over my three years. Over the year, we have grown as a team tremendously and I have made numerous mistakes from which I have learned and grown. I would like the new president to learn from my mistakes so that she does not repeat the same errors. I remember how lost I was when I was started as president; Dr. DeRuntz guided me down the right path, but I still did not get the valuable perspective of a peer who had been in my shoes. I know how much that would have benefited me, and I want to set Breanna up for success.
    One of the most important lessons I had to learn was how to make decisions quickly and efficiently. Everyone on the team looked to me when a decision had to be made. This meant that I had to know the team before I could decide our best course of action and delegate tasks accordingly. Another important challenge I had to tackle was to understand when to be stern and when to give someone another chance. This was never an easy decision, but with guidance from my mentors, I found a way to use the “carrot” and the “stick” effectively. These integrated directly with making hard decisions. I soon learned how to use this effectively to help others in my team improve themselves. By passing these lessons on to Breanna, I will achieve my goal to help the next president of LDP be better than I was. I look forward to coming back to the LDP tailgate next year and seeing a team that is excited and enthusiastic in improving the community around them– a team that learns from each other and holds each other accountable. Most importantly, I see team members who strive to improve the student organization they are part of and the reason for such a great team will be because of the culture set by the amazing leadership of the senior members and the president. Even though I am certainly not happy about leaving such a great team, I am content knowing  that I will be handing over the responsibility of being the president to someone who is destined for success.