This is the speech that I delivered when I ran for the position of president of the Melbourne University Mathematics and Statistics Society (MUMS). I was unsuccessful. I was, instead, elected to the position of Education Officer.
Hello everyone, how are we all today? My name is Daniel Yeow, I’m currently in the 6th year of a 5 year BA/BSc double degree, in my previous term I was third year rep and I am here to tell you why I would make a good MUMS president.
I am a man of many talents. I can move my ears, I can solve a rubik’s cube in under a minute and I can make an inappropriate sexual innuendo out of almost any sentence in almost any situation. But THAT is not why you should vote for me to be the president of MUMS. Sure, these talents are very useful, sure it is true that past presidents of MUMS have generally been very talented individuals, but what is it really that an organisation requires, needs – no demands from its president. It demands leadership.
Like the Alexanders, Caesars and Churchills before me I do not aim to be merely a good leader. I wish to be a great leader, and like all great leaders who have been before, I wish to lead by example. Julius Caesar fought in the front lines of his infantry and I have been inspired to do likewise. I plan to not only talk the talk, but also to walk the walk. I’m a doer, and those of you who know me well, will know that I will not shy away from hard work, when hard work is what’s required.
Sure, I may not be the most capable mathematician running for president, or the MUMS committee for that matter, but my academic record betrays a more important trait, I believe – an indomitable will. A will that will not give up at the first sign of failure (or the second in some cases). I believe that my ‘average’ abilities in mathematics will enable me to better relate to the vast majority of people in MUMS. We can’t all be math Olympiad medallists or academic prize winners after all.
The MUMS committee has, in the past, been accused of being cliquey. There is a perception that we are just a bunch of know-it-alls with our in-jokes in paradox and that we are out of touch with the general population. I wish to change all that. I wish to preside over a MUMS which is more approachable, more user-friendly, all the while without loosing our real aim – to make maths fun for everyone, not just a select talented few.
I’ve been president of Amnesty International, I’ve been president of the Eltham Roller Skating Club and I’ve had a little bit of experience organising the odd event here and there. I will bring my own unique brand of direction and leadership to MUMS. I will marry my experience with my expertise in the field of leadership. I love maths and it is my vision to share that love with everyone.
THAT is what I am all about. I may or may not be the most obvious choice for a MUMS president. I may not have all the academic credentials of a typical MUMS president. What I CAN promise is leadership with a sense of flair and imagination. Now I leave it in your capable hands. I trust you will make the right decision. Thank you.