If Rudy Giuliani Was a Student Leader
And the Advice I’d Give Him
Trill or Not Trill?

I’ve worked with nearly every type of student leader there is. I’ve hired Resident  Assistants and trained Orientation Leaders. I’ve advised class officers and club presidents. I’ve seen some amazing ones and also believe there have been a few that have been rough around the edges or simply didn’t fit the role at the time. Instead of being combatant, teaching has been the preferable way of handling things. Every time I see former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani trotted out in front of us, to speak as an expert of some sorts, I think of those struggling student leaders.

But this isn’t about me this about the advice I’d give Rudy Giuliani if he were a student leader.

Don’t offend audiences
In a position of leadership, you’ll always have your  objective and mission statement.  These will not always go along with everyones goals or preferences. Naturally someone will be offended.  It’s important to always support your constituents but you must do so without out rightly insulting others. It’s a tumultuous time in America right now and Giuliani’s media appearances aren’t  doing anything to squelch the tension. Instead, his statements of calling Black Lives Matters an inherently racist group are offensive. It’s one thing to have negative sentiments towards a group but to out and out attack them will lead to no solutions. Come with concrete evidence instead of taking shots. Come with answers instead of emotional name calling. If you don’t like the actions of others you better be prepared to critique yourself.

Confidence vs arrogance 
It’s important to speak with conviction. An essential part of leadership is confidence in yourself. That becomes very dangerous though, when you cross the line into the land of arrogance. Allowing personal beliefs to blind you from the truth doesn’t help situations. Giuliani’s arrogance shows face as he traveled from news station to news station spewing the same divisive message. He was brash and argumentative at times with the interviewers and commentators. Giuliani refused to listen to alternative sides of the story and that’s where confidence leaves the room and arrogance says hello. You can’t be right because I am. Take a step back and realize how far you’ve gone.

Make sure you do your research.
As a student leader, it can be easy to go out there and just say things emotionally. I’ve seen it happen when a heated issue is brought up. I’ve seen it happen when you try to act a bit smarter than you actually are (we’ve all been there). Well, for those moments and for Rudy’s moments, there’s this thing called the internet and research.

Giuliani has consistently shared the message that black people don’t care about other black people. In reference to Black Lives Matter he asked, “Where are they then? Where they when a young black child is killed?” Research would show that those questions could easily be answered. Rudy may not think so but people are consistently protesting.

Black on black on crime is often talked about, but research shows that crime is usually segregated in general. If black on black crime is a thing, so is white on white crime and any other race. According to the FBI’s 2014 Uniform Crime Reports, close to 90 percent of African-American homicides were committed by other African Americans, while the majority (82 percent) of white American homicide victims were killed by other white people. People mostly commit crimes against people who look like themselves. Like your professors, would say about term papers, back up your information.

Yell less 
Rudy Giuliani has been doing a lot of yelling lately. From news channels to Convention speeches. It’s one thing to be charged up and it’s another thing to to be screaming. If you have a mic it will elevate your voice for you. It becomes distracting and will eventually tune you out or simply react to your volume and not the message. Even in your most passionate state, one must calmly project. Quit all the yelling, Rudy.

Humility solves more. Hurts less.
As your getting emotionally charged up as stated earlier and gassed about your opinion, it’s important to remember a rule that was taught to me. You might think you’re special but you’re special with a lowercase “S.” Giuliani’s tone two weeks ago was brash and as we said earlier, arrogant and offensive. As a student leader, it’s important to take a step back and take a breath. Even after you might have said some outlandish things, go back and don’t be afraid to restate your thoughts in a more calm and cohesive manner. Missteps happen but it’s how you move forward from there that matter most. I personally am not the hugest fan of the former NYC mayor, but his tone in this interview speaks quite differently than his previous appearances and RNC speech.




MrJeffDess is a writer, professor, public speaker and emcee of Haitian descent. He is an author of 4 books of poetry, including his latest, Deconstructing Ratchet. With over ten years of performing and student affairs experience under his belt MrJeffDess continues to strive towards helping students reach their highest potential. For booking information, contact MrJeffDess at mrjeffdess@gmail.com