Add campus politics to Mason Foley’s repertoire of learning
To say management major Mason Foley has taken full advantage of the educational opportunities Clemson University affords its students is an understatement.
His most recent foray into experiential learning came in March when the Nashville junior successfully ventured into campus politics. Mason and running mate Logan Young of Greenville were elected president and vice president, respectively, of the Clemson Undergraduate Student Government (CUSG).
“I guess you could say my plate is quite full right now,” Mason said of his new role, which makes him the student voice to campus administration and the Board of Trustees. “It’s definitely going to be a lifestyle change. I don’t know how much time it will consume at this point, but with all of my other activities, it will force me to be really smart about time management.”
Leading a 500-plus member campus government organization is only the tip of the iceberg for Mason’s extracurricular learning opportunities.
He’s a campus tour guide, participates in Clemson’s Model United Nations and the Wall Street South Investment Club, serves on the Arthur M. Spiro Institute Student Advisory Board, is a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, studied in Florence, Italy, served as a UPIC intern with a local dentist, and interned at Disney World through the Disney College Program.
“One thought I always share with my tour groups is how much I’ve learned at Clemson outside of the classroom,” Mason said. “It’s one of the things I love about this place. It’s exposed me to so many opportunities to learn about leadership, building relationships and improving my soft skills, just to name a few. Some of these qualities are better learned through first-hand experience than in a classroom.”
The road to a successful election campaign was a long one but, again, lessons were learned along the way.
“We had a great team that helped pave the way for our election victory. And now that we’re in office, a lot of work is in front of us,” Mason said. “Logan and I have a cabinet of 22 people, who we interviewed and hand-picked. And each cabinet member has committees under them with anywhere between 10 and 50 people. Learning how to lead, delegate and manage time are just a few of the benefits I’m gaining from the experience.”
Beyond satisfying his desire to serve, Mason says face time with people high in the university’s hierarchy is also a career building opportunity.
“I’m giving back to the university while learning life skills that you can’t get in a classroom,” he said. “For instance, I’m putting myself out there in front of President (James) Clements, important alumni and the Board of Trustees. Learning how to handle myself with people at that level will pay off for me down the road.”
The election victory hasn’t changed Mason’s mind on a career in business. Though he hasn’t decided what direction his College of Business degree will take him, Mason has left the door open to politics, should the opportunity present itself.
“I ran for president because I saw a disconnect between student government and the student body and I think I can bridge that gap. Though, my intention isn’t to go into politics as a career, if I saw a need for improvement, I could go in that direction,” he said.
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