Running For Office, Running For Life
By Kate Griffin
Special to GoHolyCross.com
Edward DeLuca and G.Matthew Greco, both seniors on the men's track and field team, spend a lot of time together on and off the track. They have each played a significant role in the Student Government Association (SGA) over the past four years.
Outside of the SGA meetings, DeLuca and Greco are busy on the track. DeLuca is a member of the mid-distance team and enjoys running the 800 meter. Also serving as the captain of the men's cross country team, Greco runs much longer distances and finds his stride in the 5k or 10k, but definitely prefers the 10k. Their friendship has tied them together through all they do.
FRIENDSHIP FROM STUDENT GOVERNMENT
DeLuca is one of the current SGA Co-Presidents as he has been involved in SGA since his freshman year as a member of the senate. He continued on to be Speaker of the Senate his sophomore and junior years. After he won the election for SGA Co-President, the newly elected Speaker of the Senate position went to one of his teammates and a fellow senate member, Greco.
Greco has also been a member of the senate since his freshman year. He always knew he wanted to be involved in Student Government at Holy Cross, particularly the senate. “I chose the senate because regardless of your rank you are able to propose initiatives,” explained Greco. “The senate is more of an open dialogue on multiple issues, where as the cabinet you specialize in your own subject.”
Greco's favorite part about having DeLuca as a teammate is his personality. “DeLuca brings a lot of personality and fun to situations,” said Greco. “In tense situations he can always lighten the mood and make it a more fun environment.”
DeLuca loves that Greco always has new ideas. “He is always popping with ideas, they just flow out of him,” joked DeLuca. “You always know what you are getting with GMatt. He is always direct with you and you do not have to figure him out. That is great for me because I do not have time to pick away at the hints and clues, so I like that he just puts it on the table.”
SPOKESPERSON FOR STUDENTS
DeLuca was not as confident as Greco in his decision to join SGA his freshman year. He wanted to get involved on campus but was not really sure where to start. “I ran for the senate on a whim,” joked DeLuca. “I didn't really feel called to it at first, I thought, lets try this out. The end of my freshman year I got asked to be Speaker of the Senate. My sophomore year I really molded into the role. I saw on a structural level how SGA is the foundation for the student organizations on campus. Being involved in SGA was a way for me to make sure that every student on this campus is able to have this opportunity to have the same experience I have had.”
SGA is DeLuca's way of incorporating service into his life. He decided to run for SGA Co-President to have more exposure to the administration. “I wanted to be able to meet with the administration on a more regular basis,” explained DeLuca. “I wanted to be able to convey student interest and opinion to them in a way that mattered, on a platform that was consistent and representative of the whole student body and being co-president allowed that to happen.”
DeLuca's experience in SGA has been nothing but rewarding for him. Through his role as Co-President, he has gotten exposure to numerous student groups and issues. “Being SGA Co-President has allowed me to be a conduit for student groups to voice their concerns to administration,” said DeLuca. “I have met a lot of different people who have showed me a lot of different sides of Holy Cross that I probably would have never seen had I not been involved in student government.”
ADVOCATING FOR STUDENT-ATHLETES
In addition to Greco's track schedule and work on SGA, he is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). SAAC is made up of two members from each varsity team on campuses nationwide and is an advocacy group for student-athletes. “We are the messengers,” said Greco. “We get to interact first hand with the athletic administrators but we also are working to bring greater awareness to things like mental health or food swipes. In a lot of ways we are kind of like what we do in the senate in that we advocate for our teams and our fellow student-athletes.”
SAAC is an advocacy group, but is also a major community partner. They run numerous campaigns throughout the year to benefit the greater Worcester area. “We are really involved in community engagement from Heel The Sole, to One Shirt One Body, to Little Things (collecting soap from hotels and giving them out), Thanksgiving Basket Drive, Easter Can Drive, we really try to get involved in the community in multiple aspects.”
Greco has had a rewarding experience as a member and president of SAAC. The program has been revitalized over the past two years to include committees and a real chain of command. Greco was nominated and received the most votes for president at the end of last year. Greco enjoys working with each of the different sub-committees as president. “I love to see people get really engaged with these and actually take charge of these committees and make them their own,” said Greco. “I like the idea of having more of an open dialogue with our student-athletes.”
LOOKING ONWARD TO THE FUTURE
Both DeLuca and Greco keep themselves busy with SGA and track and field but still find time to participate in other activities on campus. DeLuca is also involved on the Orientation team and has participated in Holy Cross Spring Break Immersion for two years. Greco is Co-Chair of the Crusader Athletic Fund portion for the Senior Gift and was active in the Admissions office as a senior interviewer in the fall.
Next year, DeLuca is planning on continuing his passion for service for a year. “With graduation around the corner, it has made me realize that I don't know what I am going to do for the rest of my life, and that is ok,” explained DeLuca. “Whether it was here at Holy Cross or SGA, that reassured me that I can do a year of service and I can enjoy it. I will grow from it, learn from it and have time to figure out the rest of my life later.”
One thing DeLuca will take away from his time at Holy Cross is an intentional passion. “From what I have done at Holy Cross, whether it is track or SGA, it is not something I hope to just check off or add to a resume,” explained DeLuca. “It is something I have wanted to do to the fullest and do full speed ahead until I can't do it anymore.”
Greco plans to take away the importance of a voice. “The importance of your voice and that one person can make steps to make your voice heard,” said Greco. “At a place like Holy Cross really teaches you how you go about actually achieving those goals of getting your voice heard and how to turn actions into results.”
DeLuca and Greco are entering their final season as student-athletes at Holy Cross. They both agree that what they have learned at Holy Cross will continue with them in their future careers. “My involvement in athletics in general makes me want to go into business, but I plan to run for congress maybe three to four years out,” explained Greco. “So my involvement in the senate has definitely motivated me to get involved with politics early on.”
“I know I will take an assimilation of caring for yourself and caring for others,” said DeLuca. “Listening to your body, taking time off when you need to, pushing harder when you can really translates into my work ethic for academics and for when I get a job. SGA really reinforces that the work I am doing is representative of more than just myself. It is representative of the people that elected me, the people that look up to me. I think they bring together that my interests are intertwined with the interests of other people.”
Deluca and Greco's work in many organizations have definitely created a long-lasting friendship. Whether it be running on the track or running for an SGA office, DeLuca and Greco embody what it means to be a Crusader.