By Mark Kessel / Staff Writer
To some people, magic, like politics, is a practiced way of fooling people, creating and sustaining an illusion before a person’s very eyes. But Conrad Colon, Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA) and avid magician, has a different view.
“As we age and go through life we get more jaded, but the art of magic has the power to break down that wall and have people really believe. Magic takes us all back to that innocence of childhood, when we thought everything and anything is possible, even if only for a second.”
Colon’s earliest memories are of magicians, and has been involved with it his entire life, helping to shape him into the man, and the leader, he is today.
He is the Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Ring 200, is heavily involved in the Somerset County 4H as a leader of the Magician’s Guild, and in addition to his SGA affiliation, he is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and Executive Vice President of The Alliance.
When asked why he always seems to aim for Vice President, Colon laughed. “It’s not about titles, it’s about what you do. What can I do to better others.”
Colon believes student involvement is a two way street. Student leaders can have an open ear, but students must communicate their issues in order to catalyze change. For instance, if a student has a problem with facilities in a certain building, the student needs to let SGA know. “I can then take that back to people in administrative positions and say, ‘Hey, this is how students feel. What can we do about it?’ And that’s how change happens.” It is not effective for SGA to be an isolated body of delegates. As representatives of the student body, it is crucial to be truly speaking for the students.
One of the new programs Colon is helping with is the implementation of charging stations. The idea for the stations came from students who expressed interest in having a central place where they could charge their phones or tablets during the day, when their chargers are at home.
“There are a few around campus, sort of a dry run, but we’re taking on the project and hopefully launching it in full by the end of the semester.”
He also hopes to reinvigorate the Game Room, where pool tables and foosball tables are available but are not in the best shape. A piano sits out of tune and out of use. Some of the chairs lay broken against the wall.
Colon describes the Game Room as his “passion project. I want it to be a positive place for students, a harmonious haven where many clubs could use and coexist in the space.”
Then he reiterates a common SGA theme. “The more students we have involved, the more chance we have to make it happen.” Involvement is paramount if RVCC is to be a rewarding experience for students. More often than not, however, students come to classes and go home, or go to work. Colon believes these students, “the ones who don’t get involved…often don’t enjoy their experience here, where students who do get involved and network with clubs and organizations walk away a lot more positive about school.”
Sometimes when we get older, we lose our inner delight in things and fear taking steps outside of our comfort zone, or the way we would secretly like to. Colon says magic keeps this fear at bay, keeps the child withiin him alive.
“Magic reminds us that there’s still wonder and amazement in the world,” Colon says. What does that mean for him? He pauses a minute, then he smiles, and says, “Big things are coming.”