Women leaders shine in UC student government

April Gable and Taylor Allgood offer a public face for Bearcats

Undergraduate Student Body President April Gable and Vice President Taylor Allgood are continuing a proud tradition of leadership in student government at the University of Cincinnati.

Gable and Allgood occupy top positions in student government and often serve as the public face of a student body that tops 46,000 students. They are a reflection of this year’s class, which is the most diverse in school history.

Allgood, 20, is a third-year student double majoring in political science and international affairs with a double minor in French and women’s, gender and sexuality studies. She is also a Darwin T. Turner Scholar and is pursuing a career as an international human rights lawyer.

Gable, 21, is a fourth-year student working towards a double major in communications and interdisciplinary studies focusing on women’s, gender and sexuality studies and political science with an organizational leadership certificate. She is also a featured baton twirler with the UC Bearcat Bands. 

This Women’s History Month, the two reflect on their year in leadership as their term comes to an end. (Isaac Smitherman and Yulia Martinez will be the next student body president and vice president for 2022-23.)

How does it feel to be trailblazers?

Gable: It is an incredible feeling to not only be able to advocate for fellow women in office but have a seat at the table. We have actively worked to better not only our student body, university and governing body, but ourselves as student leaders. We want to show how to continuously move forward and lift others as we would not be in these positions without the help and support of so many around us and before us. 

Allgood: While it has been a great honor holding this position and representing my fellow students as a young woman of color, it is also disheartening to continuously be “making history” in today’s generation. We as a student body, as a community and as a nation need to keep doing our parts in normalizing and destigmatizing diverse people holding positions of power. If people should remember my time on this campus, I want it to be because of my character and impact as a leader, not because of the identities I simultaneously held while in this role.

April Gable shown on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

April Gable shown on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand

What challenges have you both seen this year, and how have you been able to cope, adapt and thrive?

Gable: This past year has been incredibly difficult due to the challenge of burnout for students faced with tasks of academic responsibilities, career development, extracurricular involvements, employment, mental health and so much more. From all this, students have not had the time to truly be able to recharge and reset throughout each week and that can lead to being less and less engaged. Although, even with this being said, we have fostered great success within our platform, initiatives and yearly programming.

I have relied heavily on my support system, especially my incredible boyfriend Matt Demangeont. Without having people a phone call, text or email away, I can genuinely say this year would have been a lot different. 

Our adviser Nicole Mayo, members of the president’s cabinet, Board of Trustees, staff, faculty, student leaders and many more have been incredibly vital to our success and growth. Whether it was a quick chat over coffee or an email to connect one wheel to another, each individual has made a lasting positive impact on our terms. 

Allgood: One major challenge for me this year was balancing the responsibilities of my role with my academics and personal life. I believe there is and has been a significant disconnect in the understanding of the work that goes into these roles by students which has played a big part in the unintentional stigmatization of discussing mental health while holding an executive position. 

On several occasions throughout this year, I felt like I couldn’t openly admit I was overwhelmed at times due to the power my position holds. If it wasn’t for the support of Mayo, my fellow executive board members, Dean Daniel Cummins and my friends and family, I would not have been able to push through the hard times so confidently and optimistically. They had my back through every step of my term and always made sure I was in the right headspace to lead.

Taylor Allgood shown on the UC campus.

Taylor Allgood shown on the UC campus. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Creative + Brand

What are your plans and hopes for the future? Basically, what’s next for you both?

Gable: That’s a great question! For me, I have one more year at UC and will graduate come April 2023. After this, I hope to attend graduate school to study higher education for a future career in this field — especially student affairs. I hope to continue to be a liaison for the campus community and invest in the next leaders of our world like so many have for me. After serving at universities and earning my PhD. I set my sights to earn the role of a university president or provost. It is incredibly important to have representation in these roles and by serving in that space I hope to inspire the next.  

Allgood: After my final year at UC concludes in spring 2023, I plan to continue to further my education and attend law school and/or graduate school to get a degree in gendered politics and journalism. Although I am still considering possible career paths, I am currently leaning toward exploring a career in the state department doing policy work on either a consular or public diplomacy track.

Featured image at top: Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand