Lundy breaks down barriers.
Posted July 2004
Photo by Stephanie Gross.
In her first year at U.Va., when Daisy Lundy participated in a phonathon to raise support for the College of Arts & Sciences, she viewed it as a learning experience.
“The alumni are a rich resource that are often untapped,” she said. “I looked at it as an opportunity to learn from people.”
Between then and now, many people have had the opportunity to learn from Daisy Lundy — from her diligence and perseverance. In the past year, she served a term as Student Council president that began on a sour note, with a racial incident that made headlines.
She was able to put that difficult start behind her and focus on getting the job done. Under her direction, last year’s Student Council made its mark by re-establishing funding for Madison House, forming an ad hoc committee to work on dance programming and creating the Kaleidoscope Center for Cultural Fluency, among other initiatives.
In typically self-effacing fashion, Lundy redirects the spotlight from herself to her peers. “Student Council has been effective,” she said. “I’ve just facilitated the process.”
The council created a new program called The Mix, gathering students who wouldn’t normally intermingle and teaming them up to work on service projects. “It’s about making a connection with people who are different than you, and it’s about building community within the University,” Lundy said.
The Mix and the Kaleidoscope Center are two programs aimed at dissolving barriers between students of different races and backgrounds, in line with a broader attempt by the University to encourage diversity and foster a spirit of inclusiveness.
Has the University’s attempt succeeded? “It’s well intentioned,” Lundy said. “But it’s unfortunate that it takes something so drastic” as the racial incident that preceded her election. “I think it’s good that they’re responsive,” she added. “I’d like to see more preventive maintenance.”
As a success story Lundy points to Access UVa, the University’s new financial aid plan designed to make a U.Va. education affordable for everyone. “Access UVa will be huge in breaking down socio-economic barriers,” she said.
Breaking down barriers is on Lundy’s personal agenda for the foreseeable future. After transferring to the McIntire School of Commerce during her third year, she now plans to enroll in the Curry School and receive a graduate degree in educational policy while simultaneously completing her commerce degree.
“No one’s ever done it before,” she said. But the prospect of working hard doesn’t faze Lundy. “I don’t mind carrying the extra load.”
Eventually Lundy plans to go to law school, then perhaps practice law for a few years. Ultimately, though, she wants to get back to the business of barrier breaking. “I want to work for a non-profit foundation that works to provide opportunities for kids who are challenged from a socio-economic standpoint.”
As her term as council president came to a close, Lundy had the option of seeking a second term, to be served during her fourth year. But she opted not to run. “I never went into this seeking a two-year term,” she said, pointing out that her work as council president sometimes ran to 45 hours per week.
Next year, she’ll still be working to improve student life at U.Va., but she’ll be doing it in more of a supporting role. “I prefer to be a behind-the-scenes person,” she said. “I want to take the lessons I’ve learned and pass them on to younger students.”