The role of president for the Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC) is not easy, but Malcolm Davis, a senior from Greenville, South Carolina, has welcomed the challenge with open arms.
The presidential baton was passed to Davis, a government and music double major, in March. The position gives him a seat at Board of Trustees meetings, where he acts as a bridge between the university administrators and the student body, giving a voice to student concerns and ideas.
He greeted incoming students as part of the President’s Welcome during Welcome Week.
“As a nationally recognized liberal arts college, Lawrence is committed to fostering excellence and integrity across all spaces and activities, from the banks of Bjorklunden to the historic classrooms of Main Hall,” he told the students gathered in front of Main Hall. “As Lawrentians, we shine bright through all our work by acting with integrity and excellence in and out of the classroom.”
LUCC plays an important role in Lawrence's shared governance and oversight on campus. Its decision-making helps to shape campus life for students by working with elected class representatives and committee members. Davis oversees LUCC work, including its meetings, oversight of student organizations, and other student-related activities. It operates with a six-figure budget.
Davis has always been active on campus and involved with LUCC. He served on the Committee of Diversity Affairs and organized activities in the Diversity and Intercultural Center (D&IC).
“I knew that with all the work that I had under my belt, I had the experience and knowledge to lead LUCC, and I also wanted to continue to serve the Lawrence community,” Davis said.
One of his goals coming into his leadership position is to improve the systems of communication for the student body. He wants to make the information about LUCC more accessible so that Lawrence students feel welcomed to be more involved in the decisions that shape campus life. Except for executive sessions, all LUCC meetings are open to the public; students are encouraged to attend, Davis said.
Davis and his Cabinet members are also working toward creating a monthly newsletter that would contain information about upcoming LUCC events and topics, redesigning their page on the Lawrence website, staying up to date with their social media accounts, and reorganizing some internal regulations to provide a smoother system of operation.
“I feel like that's just like a really good place where we can utilize getting information out to the student body,” he said. “And with just simple things like—this is your class representative, this is what they look like, and this is how you could get in contact with them.”
And while taking over the reins has been mostly enjoyable work, Davis admits that a challenge has been to balance his responsibilities with his school work and personal life. The best way to get through everything, he said, is to be intentional with scheduling boundaries, setting aside blocks of time for LUCC tasks, homework, and personal breaks.
Davis told the incoming students at the President’s Welcome that there will be both joy and struggle in the challenges ahead. Embrace it and grow from it, he said.
“I thought I had it figured out when I came to Lawrence, but there were times I struggled to find my way, and I made mistakes along the way,” he said. “Through it all, I leaned on the support of professors, friends, mentors, and family to build me up. These experiences of mine, whether I’m crushing it or simply struggling, have developed me into the person I am right now, sharing my light with you.”
Class Year: 2023
Major(s): Government, Music
Hometown: Greenville, South Carolina
Activities: President of Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC)