“BAB, A Series” is our attempt to find the best and brightest of Washington & Lee’s “bad ass bitches.” Faculty, staff, and students work together to select women from our campus to step into the spotlight.
We recently sat down with Lucy Wade Shapiro, Student Body President, to discuss her time at Washington and Lee. We felt that she would be a great first interviewee in the “Bad Ass Bitches” series because of her extensive leadership experience – and her incredible dedication to the bettering the W&L community.
We first asked her to describe her take on female leadership at W&L:
Lucy Wade: “I came – just so you know – I came from an all girls high school. I started at this school, St Mary’s, all girls, in fourth grade. So I went from a coed school, to an all girls school, and then back to coed in college. So when I ran freshman year for EC rep, there were 15 of us. I never thought I would win, I just thought I’d put my name out there – actually my sister recommended that I just run to put my name out there, so that people knew who I was, in case I wanted anything in the future. I never thought I would actually win EC – not because I was a woman, but just because there were just so many people running, I didn’t know who I was, no one knew who I was. Whatever.
So. Going through college at W&L, I find that leadership more to me now isn’t “being a leader,” and people looking to you, and people being like, “Oh, that’s the EC president.” It’s more – service. Like now leadership to me is service. And, um, I don’t think a lot of people see that – I don’t know. I don’t think a lot of people really understand that it’s not, “Let me push my agenda, let me push blah-blah-blah” it’s more like, “What do people think W&L needs and let me serve W&L by promoting what those people want – what the student body wants.”
And so – I don’t know if that’s just my definition of it… Or if it’s just because girls – women – are more prone to want to serve rather than to lead. But I think that – ”
Annie Persons: “Well you’re doing both now.”
LW: “Yeah, there’s not a distinction.”
We then asked her to contribute some words of wisdom to future students:
LW: “So one thing that I, um, think that all underclassmen should know is that – W&L is such a great place and there are so many opportunities but you really have to narrow down what you actually want to do. I would highly recommend finding faculty members – or I would think, more specifically, upperclassmen students who are similar to you, who have the same values – and maybe ask them what they chose to pursue at school and get involved by using them – like as your mentor, and having a mentorship kind of thing. And you don’t have to call it that, because that sounds really dramatic, but just like having someone who knows you and looks out for you and helps you get involved in that kind of way.”