What are you doing to help others? It’s a question that has long been at the forefront of Danny Bonsangue’s mind. Where others see challenges, Bonsangue, a political science and environmental studies major and member of the Class of 2021, sees opportunities – to connect with others, to think creatively and to make a difference in the world. And while he has known for some time that he wants to pursue a career in public service – perhaps even elected office – the current global pandemic has certainly reinforced that desire.
“This crisis has definitely prompted me to think about how important strong leadership is, especially in difficult times,” he says. “But beyond that, it’s shown me how critical it is for each of us to prioritize giving back and making ourselves useful to others.”
Bonsangue brings that caring ethos to his role as president of Le Moyne’s Student Government Association (SGA). Since joining the SGA three years ago, he and his colleagues have reached out to others on campus and across the Greater Syracuse area in myriad ways. They established a program that allows Le Moyne students to donate some of their dining hall meals to others who need them, organized a clothing drive with Catholic Charities, and are working to create a lounge where the College’s commuter students can study or simply relax between classes. Bonsangue takes seriously his responsibility not only to be the voice of the students, but to think critically about what can be done to make their College experience even better. And in addressing the issues that face his classmates, he is expressing his own values. It is, he says “one of the most significant things I have done in my life.”
Like millions of other Americans, Bonsangue is now spending much of his time at home in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., practicing social distancing while finishing his coursework. The time away from campus has given him an even greater appreciation for what it means to be a part of the Le Moyne community. He has heard countless stories of faculty members reaching out to students, just to make sure they are OK, and of students reaching out to one another for the same reason. Bonsangue has discovered that it is in times of hardship and crisis that you truly see the character of a place, and here is what has seen in Le Moyne: That it is a place where people look out for one another, where no one is forgotten.
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” he says.