When senior Bailey Cross was a first-year student, she sat in the inaugural Ceremony of Lights in awe of 2016-2017 Eckerd College Organization of Students (ECOS) President, Jack Layden, as he delivered his speech. She
knew right then that she wanted to hold the presidential position as an upperclassman.
On Aug. 9, she welcomed the class of 2023 to Eckerd as this year’s ECOS president.
“It was my desire to be in this position since the day I got here. It drives me to do the best possible work I can for the student body. Because I’ve had so many amazing ECOS mentors, like Jack Layden and Marissa Bradley, I think I want to take pieces of what they taught me and make this position my own, but model all the great things they did,” Cross said.
Cross has had a passion for leadership since she was involved in extracurricular activities and student government in middle school. She was the senior class president for her high school’s student government. There, Cross also played lacrosse and tennis, and was a part of the Art National Honor Society. She still enjoys painting and drawing faces.
A fun fact about Cross is that she has been a vegetarian since she was born, and one of her favorite foods is the Beyond Burger.
In her free time, Cross enjoys going to the beach to watch the sunset with friends and learning how to play the ukulele. The band she is listening to most right now is “Glass Animals.” The Hulu show she is watching is “Nathan for You.”
As ECOS president, she has had a busy start to the year. Cross has been conducting classroom visits to Autumn Term lectures to speak about ECOS and its role on Eckerd’s campus. The organization serves as a resource and an outlet for all students involved in the Eckerd community, especially first-year students.
“I want to create a space in Eckerd where everyone feels comfortable coming to us, feels like we are a resource and feels like they are heard. I really want transparency,“ Cross said.
Taking initiative as president, Cross is planning a Kappa Field Day for when the upperclassmen return to campus. The goal of this event is so first-year students and upperclassmen can interact in a positive environment and feel more comfortable with all students returning to campus.
According to Cross, first-year students should not be nervous about returning upperclassmen.
"I was probably the most nervous as a first-year student to have upperclassmen come back, but I just want them to know that this school is so accepting of other people, that’s what makes it so awesome, and if they do have any issues, I want them to see me and my team as those upperclassmen who will support them. Make this place your own and be yourself,” Cross said.