Freshman Engaged in Politics for Positive Impact
Jacob Vitali ’20 of Billerica, Mass., didn’t wait until he went to college to start working on his resume. Just prior to his freshman year last summer, he served an internship at the Massachusetts House of Representatives, working in the office of State Rep. Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica).
“I’m drawn to a combination of the bold personalities and the strength that running for office takes on so many levels,” Vitali explained. “You must have a thick skin and be willing to hear criticism of yourself, even if it seems completely unfair. You also must be able to motivate people to get out and vote, something which can’t be done unless you have an inspiring message that people relate to.”
Politics and the impact of decisions made by government officials are important, Vitali said, because of the ways they may help others and have a positive effect on the world.
“Too often, I’ve heard people around my age say that politics don’t matter. I couldn’t disagree more. So much of the change we seek is possible if we organize, advocate and, most importantly, vote.”
Previously, Vitali spent all four years in high school as a class representative for its student government organization. “I worked to loosen the dress code restrictions, address potential weaknesses in bullying policies, and increase capital from annual events like prom and semi-formal.”
At MCLA, he continues to serve. He joined the Student Government Association (SGA), and is the representative for the Class of 2020. Vitali also works on the Student Affairs and Public Relations committees. Last semester, he served on the Curriculum Committee.
“I’m very passionate about SGA because I get to make an impact on students’ lives and collaborate with leaders of all kinds. Sometimes dealing with college policies and different paperwork can be a challenge, but it’s incredibly rewarding when you look and see the impact your work is having.”
In addition, he works as an office assistant for Admissions, and hosts his own weekly, 2-hour radio program on the campus’s station, WJJW, where he combines his interests in politics, music and comedy.
What’s next? Vitali may form a comedy club on campus. He also hopes to become more politically engaged, and to use his radio show to speak out on topics that concern him.
“I think the biggest impact of my college experience will be the connections that I make,” he said.
“My professors are incredibly insightful people who have a lot of experience outside the classroom … [and] there are so many students on campus with distinct ideas, and visions to network with and bounce ideas off of. College is full of unique people: engaging with everyone can lead to new inspiration and new opportunities.”