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Meet the College House Leaders: Alexandra Kranidis ’13
Alexandra Kranidis ’13, consul of New College House (Photo by Tim Brixius)
By Chris Karlesky
The following story is the second in the 2011-12 series on the student leaders of Franklin & Marshall’s College Houses.
Sitting in the Great Room of New College House (NCH) at Franklin & Marshall College, Alexandra Kranidis ’13 can’t help but be excited about her surroundings. As consul of NCH, Kranidis leads the inaugural government of the newest addition to the College House community. New initiatives, ideas and energy in the building have made this year one to remember for Kranidis and her fellow residents.
But there was once a time when Kranidis would not have envisioned herself at a small liberal arts college, much less a leader in the College House system.
“When I began looking at colleges, I was turned off by small schools,” Kranidis says. “I read the Fiske Guide to Colleges, cover to cover, and found F&M. My visit to F&M sold me. I decided that I didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle [of a larger institution], and I liked the liberal arts style of learning.”
For Kranidis, the decision to attend F&M appears to have paid off. The native of Long Island is working toward a major in public health and a minor in history, and has participated in numerous student organizations over the past two-plus years. She has been the opinion and editorials editor for The College Reporter, a member of the Student Health Advisory Committee, and helped community members with their taxes as part of the College’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.
Before becoming a resident of NCH this academic year, Kranidis lived in Ware College House, where she was operations chair and then vice president. She was also a House Adviser in Ware, a role she continues in NCH. “I still have dual citizenship with Ware, and I feel strong ties there,” she says.
The opening of NCH presented an opportunity for Kranidis and other student leaders to form a new government from scratch. “Strong leaders from other Houses moved to New College House, and we’ve had so many great ideas to consider,” says Kranidis, who speaks fluent Greek. “We took things that worked in other College Houses and blended them into our own. We wanted a government unlike any other.”
Joining Kranidis in the executive leadership of NCH are Robert Diggs ’13 (consul suffectus), Andre Douglas ’15 (scribe) and Kathryn Clark ’15 (quester). The NCH government, which includes 11 senators, is close to finalizing the House constitution—a document that contains rules written by students, for students. Kranidis is also working on another historical document: a scrapbook that she hopes will pass from one consul to the next through the years.
Kranidis is just as busy away from her House government. As a preceptor with Lancaster General Health (LGH) this semester, she is constantly on the move.
“Some days I’ll get up, go to LGH, see a cardiac procedure, then go to class and have meetings after class,” says Kranidis, who was a teaching assistant in the Department of Biology last spring.
Despite her busy schedule at F&M, Kranidis still finds time to make connections with the local community. As a volunteer with VITA last year, she helped a local resident receive a $4,000 tax refund. “I never expected to be involved with VITA because I don’t know much about taxes,” she says. “The woman I helped started crying. It changed her life, and she hugged me. It was emotional.”