Presidents’ Day is vital holiday for political science department, student government

Presidents' Day not only celebrates our nation's leaders, but our identities. Kassidy Tsikitas | Photo Editor

By Piper Rutherford | Staff Writer

Every year, Baylor celebrates Presidents’ Day with a trivia contest hosted by the political science department. Professors and students go head-to-head in a competition that tests their presidential knowledge.

Political science research intern Kris Kothari said via email that, as someone who is passionate about government, Presidents’ Day is one of his favorite holidays of the year.

“As history shows, presidents are not just important political leaders,” Kothari said. “They also have an outsized influence on popular culture and national identity.”

Kothari said about 35 students and department faculty were in attendance. They formed teams and answered trivia questions related to presidential hobbies, campaign slogans and family histories.

“We hope that events such as these not only foster community outside of the classroom, but that these events can also lead students to think more critically about government and politics as a whole,” Kothari said.

Similarly, The Woodlands senior and Student Body President Nick Madincea said Presidents’ Day is crucial to the United States’ national identity.

“From my smaller experience, in comparison to being the president of a country, I know it is a challenging job to have so many people looking to you as the face of an entire government,” Madincea said. “Your No. 1 priority is to advocate for all of the people you represent, including those who do not all agree on different matters.”

Madincea, who began his presidential term in April 2023, said one way he has served the Baylor community is by serving as a student voice for the Strategic Planning Group.

“It was a joy to speak in front of President Livingstone and other high-ranking faculty and staff members, while they were considering how to allocate the money raised from the Give Light campaign in the coming years,” Madincea said. “This honor is something that I do not take lightly.”

Madincea said other projects he has gotten to be a part of include welcoming Indy and Belle to campus in the bear habitat and attending the ribbon ceremony for the opening of the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center.

“Looking back on this past year, one of my favorite memories was homecoming celebrations, where I got to interact with other students at the parade,” Madincea said. “Even though it was a rainy weekend, it was special to get to connect more with the students I serve.”

Madincea’s presidential term will end in two months, and he shared some words of wisdom for those contemplating running for the office.

“It is important that you have a heart in service that is inspired by Christ and guided by faith,” Madincea said. “If you have those two components, everything else will flow from that.”