You Can Be an Ally - Bobby Olejarczyk (’23)
“You Can Be an Ally” — Bobby Olejarczyk (’23, Major in Economics and Finance)
With his already lengthy and still growing resumé; his knack for forging strong, professional relationships; and his effervescent personality, it is hard to believe that Bobby Olejarczyk is only a sophomore. Bobby grew up and attended high school in Branford, CT, a small town nearly two hours south of Bentley and it was not until he arrived on campus that he realized he would be surrounded by people from such varying walks of life so close to his hometown. Much of what Bobby participated in in high school is what he is now pursuing at Bentley, including his passion for the performing arts, as well as politics in the form of Student Government — now just with the added element of business. But perhaps what he has pursued most passionately over the course of his time at Bentley thus far is his commitment to ensuring the campus is as inclusive as possible.
“I am very proud to see the impact I have had on having the student voice heard — only being a sophomore.”
Since Bobby arrived at Bentley, he knew he wanted to continue his involvement in Student Government. Now, as a sophomore, he serves on the Sophomore Class Cabinet as Treasurer and also serves as the Executive Vice President (EVP) for the entire Student Government Association (SGA). As EVP for SGA, his responsibilities are wide-ranging but most importantly, he says “fundamentally, I am a voice for all students.” With this semester seeing an increased presence by administration to ensure students are adhering to newly implemented health and safety guidelines, Bobby feels that his position as mediator between students and administrators is more essential than ever before. And while the majority of his time as EVP is spent tending to administrative tasks, he says that “at the heart of my job is talking to people, hearing their concerns and being able to implement change myself asking those who can.”
“I enjoy being able to communicate with people on an interpersonal level and be there as an everyday face for people."
One of the goals Bobby set for himself prior to his arrival on campus was to meet as many people as he possibly could. He says, “being a people person, I wanted to get to know as many people as possible,” adding, “but this goal is still a work in progress.” In becoming a Resident Assistant (RA), he has only moved himself closer to this goal. As an RA, Bobby says “I am passionate about creating inclusive environments for students to feel as at-home as possible and makes sure residents have someone to come to.” Bobby is well aware of how instrumental an RA can be in the life of a student, especially a freshman who may be struggling in a class or may be having trouble finding their place on campus.
“Being on the Racial Justice Task Force has shown me where [Bentley] can go in the future and coming together for it has really enriched my experience.”
In the tragic wake of the racially motivated killings that plagued the first half of this year, Bentley has been committed to implementing serious change to address any concerns of systemic racism in the Bentley community — most notably with the formation of the Racial Justice Task Force. Bobby felt that the creation of the task force was his call to arms and to ensure he could make a positive difference on campus. He serves as the Co-lead of communications and is tasked with communicating with students, learning how they may be affected by racism, and then providing the university with ways of combatting and addressing these concerns as well as systemic barriers. Bobby knows that with Bentley being a predominantly white campus, it is up to more than just those being affected to speak out and advocate for change, saying “being a white male myself, I wanted to be involved again in the change” adding again “I want to be a voice for students."
Having come from a small town, Bobby wants to be able to create that “small town feel” for himself here at Bentley. Not only has be achieved this “feel,” but he has turned this goal into action. Being an RA and serving on Student Government has not only allowed him to make decisions for the betterment of Bentley’s campus and ensure cohesive living environments for students but it has allowed him to meet and foster relationships with a vast array of students and faculty. The Racial Justice Task force has also allowed him to build strong bonds with students while also allowing him to take steps to build a stronger, more inclusive campus. Simply put, Bobby says “fostering inclusive environment is huge for me” adding “I just like being a resource to other people.”