Whether she is lacing up her running shoes, tabling for the Feminist Collective or problem solving while working in the UMaine IT Support Center, examples of Taylor Cray’s passion for people can be found across campus.
Cray is a second-year political science and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies student minoring in legal studies. Cray frequently finds herself taking on the world’s problems. She arrived at the University of Maine undeclared, only knowing she wanted to work towards bettering the lives of other people.
“I got this incredible itch,” Cray said. “I needed to be doing something. I was drawn to political science because I am fed up with the way things work. Every time I see injustice in the world I want to have a positive impact. If you are improving individual people’s lives you are improving the world.”
In high school, Cray was a three-season athlete and involved in a number of extracurricular activities. When she arrived at UMaine, she wasn’t really sure what she wanted to get involved in.
“When I joined FemC [Feminist Collective] I was very nervous because everyone in the group is so intensely fiery and passionate,” Cray said. “I kept going back and started becoming friends with the amazing group of women. I couldn’t love that group of people more if I tried.”
She attributes a lot of her happiness at UMaine to the connections she made by joining the Feminist Collective. She feels their work has taught her to use her voice in proactive and productive ways.
“Female friendship is one of the most amazing things of the planet,” Cray said. “I found it first on my sports teams in high school. The stronger the women around you are, the stronger you are. I remember calling my friend from home and telling her I had found my Maranacook Girls Nordic Ski Team at UMaine. My group of supportive women. They don’t always go by the same name, but they are everywhere. I don’t know where I would be without them.”
She now acts as the co-chair of the Feminist Collective and hopes to continue working toward making every student feels safer and happier on campus. Recently, Cray has been funneling this desire into a new endeavor, running for UMaine Student Government President.
“I feel I would be a good fit for president because I have leadership experience. I am willing and know how to work with people, but I also have a lot of fire to get things done and I am willing to work and listen to people,” Cray said. “It’s not about being the person in charge, its about being a person students can approach with their ideas and concerns. No one person knows everything and there isn’t one way to get things done. You need someone who is skilled at bringing ideas together.”
Cray hopes that in her remaining time at UMaine she will be able to make as big of a positive impact on campus as possible, whether she is elected president or not.