Activist Spotlight: Larissa Szilagyi
Larissa Szilagyi is an activist at Pace who is passionate about social justice issues, especially regarding gender equality and sexual assault legislation. She is an active member of the #PaceUEndRape campaign, and the founder of Pace’s Women’s Political Caucus. Read on to learn more about Larissa!
Graduating Year: 2018
Majors: Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies
Minor: Queer Studies
Aspired Career: Run for public office and /or policy writing
1. How did you first become involved here at Pace?
I first got involved with activism at Pace through the #PaceUEndRape campaign. A few weeks before I moved to campus, #PaceUEndRape’s twitter account tweeted at me. I was intrigued by this movement because I spent the entire summer working on sexual assault policies with my State Senator so I contacted the student who led the campaign. During Convocation, I went to the Communitarian Fair where I finally spoke with the committee members of #PaceUEndRape about my interests of getting more involved. This initial contact started my journey of getting involved in the Pace community. My work with #PaceUEndRape gave me the confidence in college to start the Women’s Political Caucus and work with administrators on sexual assault policies.
2. What motivates you to be civically engaged?
Injustices motivate me to be civically engaged. Not everyone can have a voice. While not everyone has a voice, it is also difficult to speak for the subaltern because those who are vocal and leaders may not frame their challenges correctly. I’m motivated to be civically engaged because I want to make a difference in my community. I do not like standing by while injustices dominate a society which is why I believe fighting to fix injustices while allowing the subaltern to have their own voice is my motivation to stay civically engaged.
3. What is it like to be a freshman that is so involved already?
As a Freshman, I believe being extremely involved is the best possible way to create a community within your life. At the same time, I cannot believe all the opportunities I was afforded at Pace at such a young age. The best question I get on a daily is, “how old are you again?”
4. What advice would you give a student who wants to become civically engaged, but doesn’t know where to start?
For those who want to start being civically engaged but do not know where to begin, choose an organization. Whether the organization is inside or outside of school, dedicate yourself to one mission. Its hard to constantly be running around campus advocating for a million topics. If there’s an issue on campus, create a campaign. If there’s no organization that represents your interests on campus, create the organization. Don’t be afraid to create something that you’re passionate about because that’s the best way to start being civically engaged.