Cathy Sterling explains how she became involved in Student Government and how her future husband, Gene Messick, helped develop her interest in politics. Interview on November 2, 2010. (2:36)


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"Why me?" has always been a question. 00:00:00.000 - 00:00:03.005
Campus elections, and I certainly, like I said, I lived off campus and I wasn't really involved with that--. 00:00:03.005 - 00:00:10.208
And student government was just a tiny thing on campus. 00:00:10.208 - 00:00:15.512
It was really seen as, as you know well, as you go through the old Technician, 00:00:15.512 - 00:00:19.957
it was one of those things you wanted on your resume as you went forward into government in North Carolina, 00:00:19.957 - 00:00:25.477
so that's why you see a lot of governors were--[Right, were former presidents.]--student body presidents at different campuses 00:00:25.477 - 00:00:31.248
But that was not me, you know. 00:00:31.248 - 00:00:35.126
I honestly cannot tell you why I got involved. 00:00:35.126 - 00:00:39.228
It was just a period of time when people were like, [Grumbling] "We need a change," [Grumbling], like that, and like [Grumbling] "Why don't you do that?" and I'm like, well, okay. 00:00:39.228 - 00:00:49.043
Yeah. And I had started writing letters 00:00:49.043 - 00:00:54.825
to the Technician about the athletic fee, 00:00:54.825 - 00:00:59.789
which really stirred a pot, and that was really--. I was so shocked at how deeply a pot it stirred. 00:00:59.789 - 00:01:08.443
I'm like, whoa, people really care about this. That was maybe what carried me over. 00:01:08.443 - 00:01:15.895
I was also at that time involved with a man who became my husband, Gene Messick, 00:01:15.895 - 00:01:22.172
who was fighting his own battles with the university, very, very intelligent man, 00:01:22.172 - 00:01:26.548
and he really got it, how things worked, but nonetheless 00:01:26.548 - 00:01:31.488
the universities at the time were so powerful, and they may still be, I don't know because I haven't kept up. 00:01:31.488 - 00:01:38.166
But you weren't going to really win any battles with them as a professor--or he wasn't a full professor but he taught in the school of architecture-- 00:01:38.166 - 00:01:48.977
who had been told, we don't want you anymore. You're not going to win it. 00:01:48.977 - 00:01:53.971
But he did everything to appeal it, and I became aware through him, 00:01:53.971 - 00:02:00.254
and he was probably the biggest influence on me in terms of politicizing me to the times, 00:02:00.254 - 00:02:08.655
to the times and the events that were going on, so that kind of combination. 00:02:08.655 - 00:02:13.286
And how, you know, I still--. I have no clue. 00:02:13.286 - 00:02:17.440
I look back, because I've been thinking about that. I don't actually remember but it happened. 00:02:17.440 - 00:02:23.873
Suddenly I was there and then it just moved forward. 00:02:23.873 - 00:02:26.409
It just moved forward on its own. 00:02:26.409 - 00:02:28.828

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