Campus Community / People of SU

Authentic Leadership

Written by Allison Nitch

March 24, 2022

Photo of Marrakech Maxwell, student body president.

Image credit: Jaidev Vella

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Get to know Student Body President Marrakech Maxwell, '22.

With a passion for advocacy and community building, Marrakech Maxwell, ’22, is a natural in her role as Student Body President at Seattle University. Here, the Public Affairs and Environmental Studies major shares her perspectives as a leader on campus and what it meant to her being an integral part of the inauguration of President Eduardo Peñalver.

Q: What inspired you to become involved with Seattle University Student Government? How did your experiences in previous SGSU roles prepare you for your current position as President?

Maxwell: When I came to SU as a freshman, I knew I wanted to get involved with student advocacy work as it has always been a passion of mine, along with getting involved with the university as a whole. Since then, I’ve held three positions in SGSU [before becoming president]: First-year representative, executive vice president and chair of external affairs. Each of these positions helped prepare me for the role of president in a variety of ways. I have learned to represent and advocate student perspectives in places where I have been the only student to make sure the student experience is incorporated in the decisions that will impact them. I also had the opportunity to manage, supervise and train other team members on leadership skills, professional development and conflict management/resolution. All these positions I’ve held in the past have allowed me to understand firsthand the responsibilities and expectations of each role and the investment it takes. 

Q: You delivered the closing blessing at President Peñalver’s inauguration. What was it like to be part of such a momentous occasion and speak onstage at Benaroya Hall? 

Maxwell: It was an incredible honor to be part of something so momentous and historic. My administration asking me, as a student, to be a part of the history of Seattle University was incredible. Words can’t quite put together the feelings I had that day, the support and love that I felt from my community and how spectacular it was to be able to welcome President Peñalver into our lives and our community at SU. 
 
Q: What do you do to de-stress? How do you unplug? 

Maxwell: I like to get outside whenever I have the opportunity. Getting out of the city and out of the world I’m in every day allows me an opportunity to step back and reassess the importance of things. When I can revel in the beauty of nature and remember that even if things are hard and intense, I’m in the very first part of my life; future opportunities and changes that may be coming my way are endless. Being in nature allows me to take a moment to breathe and just be.

Q: From a whole person perspective, what are some key things you learned at SU?

Maxwell: One of the major lessons I’ve learned is that we are not alone. As we face our struggles in the world, all we need to do is make sure we lean on our community and reach out for support when we need it. I’ve had my own moments where I have felt as though everything is too much and that I could not handle the weight. But in those moments, I’ve been seen by my community and supported by them. 

Q: What song or musical artist best describes you?

Maxwell: I love folk as a genre because it can fluctuate between moody and sensitive to fun and danceable, which captures how I feel very well. I also love a good swing dance!

Q: What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Maxwell: I just asked my friends in our group text and I was honored to get compassionate, engaging and hard-working.

Q: What’s your dream job? 

Maxwell: I know that I want to work somewhere that pushes me further in learning either about myself or the world, or ideally both. My dream job includes the opportunity to do advocacy work and build community.

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