Almost everyone knows Daniel Roman at Monmouth University. In five minutes of sitting in front of the Student Center, he was stopped by four people—a personal friend, a fellow member of the Political Science Club, and two resident students from Elmwood Hall, where Daniel is an RA. His popularity is undeniable; after all, he has been part of countless clubs, teams, and organizations on campus. In fact, as a junior, his résumé is already pretty full. But for someone with genuine aspirations to enter public office, his résumé is not finished by any means.
"I love law, and my goal is to go into politics," Daniel said. If he hopes to win a local or even national election someday, he already has some experience. Not only is he president of Monmouth's Pre-Law Club, but in 2013, he was elected to the executive board of the Young Democrats of America (YDA) College Caucus. YDA is the largest youth-led, national, partisan political organization in the U.S. Daniel is serving a two-year term as its vice chair of political affairs.
"It's humbling to have a national position," Daniel said. As part of his role, he organizes college Democrats across the country and lobbies on college issues, such as student loan debt and tuition.
He has also been heavily involved on the state and local end of politics. In 2013, Daniel worked as a "Buono Fellow" for State Senator Barbara Buono's campaign for New Jersey governor, and he also landed internships with New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell and the Passaic County Democratic Committee. These experiences fueled his desire for politics, as well as his motivation to enter the political arena: "The people and the atmosphere got me hooked."
Another thing has him hooked: debate. As co-captain of the Monmouth University Debate Hawks, Daniel has seen his team grow into a national champion; in 2013, the Debate Hawks won the Western Novice Debate Championship in Sacramento, California. "That is a great memory—winning with my teammates," he said. "We are like a family."
Daniel, himself, has grown as a debater. In his second year as captain, he and his partner broke into the esteemed upper division, after competing as novice, or JV, debaters. With one year left before he graduates, he has plenty of time to earn even more accolades and accomplishments. Just a few more things to add to his résumé.
Faculty Member Influence
"I talk to [Professor] Joe Patten every day; I can go to him about everything. He always asks how I'm doing, and that makes a world of difference. It's great to know that the faculty cares about me personally—my dreams, my hobbies, my goals. Dr. Patten is a great inspiration, and he's the reason I've been involved in so much here at Monmouth."
How Monmouth helped me achieve my goals
"Monmouth gave me the confidence to go after everything. Everyone here is so encouraging. I was successful at my first debate tournament and showed that I could do it. Because the faculty cares so much, it's like THEY'RE achieving goals when YOU achieve them."
Organizations that helped me as a student
"I'm an RA in Elmwood Hall. I love meeting new people and making friendships. It's made me enjoy the MU experience more. I've also developed a bond with other RAs. And the leadership training has been helpful; crisis management was a big part of that. It's taught me responsibility and helped me mature."
Collaborations that I've been involved with
"I wrote for The Outlook for a few years. I also had a political radio show. There's just so much creative freedom here. The people who work here are down to earth and give you opportunities to succeed."
Why I'm proud of Monmouth
"We're making incredible strides with everything. Just with debate, people now know MU because of our tournament wins. I'm proud to have a role in the community we've built here."
My favorite Monmouth memory
"The debate tournament in California. Our team won the whole thing; it was the culmination of a lot of time and a lot of hard work."