When Christine Wight Huddleson ’91 was elected student body president on Feb. 20, 1990, the news made the Los Angeles Times. “New Era for College,” read the Times headline. Wight Huddleson was the first woman to hold the leadership position at CMC. And yet her candidacy wasn’t about gender. It was about helping to shape the student experience.
Wight Huddleson, who majored in economics and is now a managing director at Deloitte Consulting in the San Francisco Bay Area, refined her CMC leadership skills first as dorm president and then dorm affairs council chair before becoming ASCMC president.
“Having served in student government for a couple of years, I was inspired by the freedom students had to shape our experience and organize our own activities,” she said recently, about her motivation for running for the top student government position.
While gender wasn’t even a topic during her campaign, Wight Huddleson sees the significance of her election. “One benefit to being the first female president was the chance to help to overcome some of the lingering stereotypes about CMC as a male-dominated campus,” she said.
Along with faculty and curriculum decisions, some of the hot topics during Wight Huddleson’s tenure included campus safety, alcohol policies and a proposed expansion in enrollment from 850 to 1,000 students. To keep the student body up-to-date on how these changes might affect diversity, academics, financial aid, and other aspects of the CMC experience, Wight Huddleson and her team organized planning forums and conducted opinion surveys.
“I really wanted our voices to be heard, and I appreciated the chance to provide this input to CMC leadership as growth plans evolved,” she said.
Thirty years on, Wight Huddleson still speaks enthusiastically of the “amazing mix of men and women” who constituted the ASCMC board under her leadership. What she remembers most is “a culture of fun, a common commitment to serving our fellow students, and mutual respect for each of our very different styles and personalities—all without taking ourselves too seriously.”