Scarlet & Brown Stories

Hagi Bradley

June 14, 2021 St. Lawrence University Season 1 Episode 1
Hagi Bradley
Scarlet & Brown Stories
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Scarlet & Brown Stories
Hagi Bradley
Jun 14, 2021 Season 1 Episode 1
St. Lawrence University

Welcome to the first episode of Scarlet and Brown Stories! This month we kick things off with Vice President and Dean of Student Life, Hagi Bradley.  Hagi shares his journey to St. Lawrence and how he found his forever home in our little corner of the world. Between sharing his experiences guiding the campus through the COVID-19 pandemic, Hagi shares his hopes for St. Lawrence, and his love for North Country Waterfalls and all things Yoda.

Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to the first episode of Scarlet and Brown Stories! This month we kick things off with Vice President and Dean of Student Life, Hagi Bradley.  Hagi shares his journey to St. Lawrence and how he found his forever home in our little corner of the world. Between sharing his experiences guiding the campus through the COVID-19 pandemic, Hagi shares his hopes for St. Lawrence, and his love for North Country Waterfalls and all things Yoda.


AMELIA: Welcome everyone to the very first episode of the new Laurentian podcast, Scarlet & Brown Stories. My name is Amelia Jantzi, and I am the assistant director of Laurentian Engagement working mainly with our affinity groups. And I am delighted to be joined by my cohost BETH.

BETH: Hi, I'm Beth Dixon, class of 2010, as well as masters in 2018. I'm an executive director of the New York City Internships and Laurentian Engagement associate. And I'm very excited to be working with Amelia on this new podcast adventure with our various Laurentian community members.

AMELIA: Yes, we are so excited about this opportunity to share stories of what St. Lawrence means to so many members of our community, to staff and faculty, to students, to alumni. As we dig into this journey to try to figure out what is St. Lawrence, what at St. Lawrence has heart does that mean? And to see how it plays out in so many different lives and what a better time to kick off such an exploration than during the Laurentian celebration, and we hope that you have a fantastic time connecting with your classmates and fellow Laurentians in your milestone, virtual gatherings, in your lectures, in so many of the opportunities coming your way.

BETH: Yes.

AMELIA: [crosstalk] if you want to tell us a little bit about what our listeners will hear over the next little while?

BETH: Absolutely. I think this is a wonderful time. What we wanted to do is kick off our first interview with somebody that we know is newer to the community, but has had a wealth of experience over the past couple of years. So we're going to be interviewing for our first podcast Hagi Bradley, who was our new... Although maybe I should say newer, since she's been here almost for two full years, vice-president in Dean of student life, Hagi Bradley. Hagi comes through us from Earlham College and joined us in the summer of 2019. And of course, coming into summer of 2019 meant he got half of a normal year before the coronavirus pandemic hit. So I'm really interested to hear a little bit more about what he has to say about his experience thus far, why he likes the North Country, what attracted him to come to St. Lawrence and hear a little bit more about that St. Lawrence feeling and experience from his perspective.

AMELIA: Definitely. I think we'll hear a little bit about Hagi's personality. Maybe his love of Yoda and perhaps some of his favorite parts of the North Country. I hear he's a big waterfalls fan, so be sure to be listening for that.

BETH: Well, he certainly came to the right place for waterfalls. We'll say that much.

AMELIA: Definitely. Well Beth what do you say, should we jump right in?

BETH: Absolutely. So without further ado, here's our interview with vice president and Dean of student life Hagi Bradley. 


BETH: We are so excited to introduce our first guest for the Scarlet & Brown Stories Podcast. We are going to be chatting with our vice president and Dean of student life Hagi Bradley also known for quite a few things on campus Amelia. He's known for, his pre COVID Hagi hugs. He's known for his love of Yoda and all things Yoda, all things good in the force, as well as walking his dog Boudreaux around campus and allowing some students to do that sometimes too. Please welcome to our podcast HAGI. Hagi how are you doing today?

HAGI: I'm doing great. Thank you for having me today. I'm excited to be here. And all those things you said are very, very, very, very accurate. Yes.

BETH: [crosstalk] when you're on like Zoom calls and such, it always says like, "Dean Yoda."

HAGI: Yes it does. And students will call me that. And it's interesting. I love it. I've gotten over the years a number of Yoda gifts. I get all kinds of things left in my office. I still have parents from many years ago that send me Yoda things all the time. I just got some Yoda cookies earlier week-

BETH: Yoda cookies?

HAGI: ... yeah. She sent me Yoda cookies, gluten-free Yoda cookies that a mom sent me. And so-

BETH: [crosstalk] nice.

HAGI: ... yeah, I get all kinds of stuff and it's just really great because I do love Yoda and he's just so wise and uses his powers for good.

BETH: Just like you have been doing on campus since you arrived almost two years ago now?

HAGI: Almost two years ago, it'll be two years in July, yes.

BETH: I really feel like it's just been so quick. I think part of that probably is because of COVID. We didn't lose a year as you were well aware we did not lose that year, but I know that you and your staff have been working very, very hard over the past year to try to make the St. Lawrence experience the best it can be in and out of the classroom for students returning to campus. But before we get a little bit into that portion of our conversation with you, I wanted just to hear a little bit about your background in higher education and what inspired you to continue working with students throughout your career?

HAGI: Well, I grew up in Louisiana and graduated high school in Louisiana, went to school to a small liberal arts college in Jackson, Mississippi, and I just loved my experience there. I was very involved, I just loved it. And I was supposed to go to law school and something just didn't feel right. So there was a job opening that just happened to come open in admissions, and I went and applied. I had been working with admissions for all four of my years doing tours, and housing students and just being on panels and I loved it. And so I was fortunate enough to get that job. And I worked there for two years and I absolutely knew that I loved working with students and I love their college experience and exposing them to that. So then I went on to LSU and I worked in Res Life and I did that for a year.

HAGI: And during that year, the Greeks had a number of problems in Greek life. So they tapped me to come in and make those changes. And I started working with those leaders of those organizations, building trust, building relationships, and really showing them how doing things the better way and doing things the right way could make them a stronger organization. And it was great. I did end up leaving for a year and going to Bowling Green State University and helping them to make some cultural changes.

HAGI: And while I was there, LSU called me up and said, "You started something and didn't finish. So we would like for you to come back." So I went back and within a year we were the top award winning Greek community in the Southeast and all of the Southeast. So we made a number of culture changes, and I really liked it.

HAGI: And then I went into... While the first time I was there, I got my master's in political science. And then the second time decided to go full time into a PhD program in sociology. And so I did that. And then I ended up teaching for a number of years. I loved it, loved teaching, but I really did want to get back to helping develop students outside the classroom and really helping show that there is learning that goes on outside the classroom. So I went back into student affairs, went to one of the Purdue campuses and worked there for a number of years, making some changes there and creating some new things. And then I went to Sewanee: University Of The South, and I was there for five years, working with their Greek community to make a number of changes.

BETH: You were deemed Dean of fun at Sewanee, right?

HAGI: Yes, I was the Dean of fun. That is what the students called me. And I loved it and I embraced it. It was wonderful for me because now while we were making changes and doing positive things and really telling them things that they couldn't do, they still saw that I cared about them and that, yes, I wanted them to have fun. I just wanted them to do it safe. And for me, those are two of the biggest things. I love students having fun. I want them to have fun as much as they can, but I also want them to be safe. I always want students to be safe. I want them to learn. I want them to develop and grow so that when they leave college, they can look back on their experiences and say, "Oh my gosh, I had such a great time. That was an amazing time. I learned so much. I grew so much." And to me that is so important. And I embraced that tittle.

BETH: I feel like you still might have that title at St. Lawrence. Even in COVID times I know that the experience hasn't been exactly the same of what people have been hoping for, for their St. Lawrence experience. But I think that people, and especially the students really look to you as this fun leader on campus, somebody that they can really connect with and who's accessible. And I think that that is something that has really shown through since you've joined our campus community.

HAGI: Well, thank you. Those are two of the most important things to me in this role, because you are the Dean of students, and that means you have to be accessible for students. You have to be available and you also have to be able to identify with them. So you have to keep up with things that are going on in society, things that are going on in young people's lives, and you have to talk to them, you have to be willing to listen. When they say, "Nobody seems to care about me, when I'm talking about X, Y, Z." That hurts. That hurts for them. And I don't want to be seen as a person that is not listening to them and it's not caring about. So to me those are two of the most important things.

HAGI: That's why when a student calls or a student texts me or a student emails me, I try to give back to them and the student wants to meet, I want to meet with them and I want to have that time, and I want to listen to them and hear what their concerns are and address those concerns. Not just blow them off. And to me, that's so important in my role. And I believe that's what's helped me over the years be so successful.

BETH: That and all the Yodas.

HAGI: Well, yeah. All the Yoda, of course. I mean, the Yoda is standing in the window with a sign it says, "Watching over you, I am." Come on now, Yoda's got to be watching over us all, so, yeah.

BETH: Of course. So, I remember when you interviewed for the position and came to campus and we had open sessions for faculty and staff, what really grabbed my attention is that you said, "I have the same feeling on St. Lawrence's campus for interviewing for this role that I did going to my undergraduate school and touring." What is that feeling to you, and maybe one about St. Lawrence brought about that feeling? Do you still feel it now?

HAGI: I do still feel it now, even after COVID and lock down and everything we've been through, I do still feel it. When I came to campus much like when I went to my undergraduate campus and I started touring and I started meeting people, I felt it. I knew that that's where I belong. I was like, "Oh my God, these people have been waiting for me, and now I'm here. And I just need them to offer me this job so I can really be here." One of the tests that I gave all the schools that I interviewed at was, "I'm going to speak to everyone that I pass along the way. If they speak back, then I know that that's a community that I want to be a part of." And when I came here and I applied that test and everyone spoke back and everyone responded, everyone smiled and people held doors open, I knew that this was where I belong.

HAGI: And now that I'm here, I feel it even more. I love the area. I love the location. I love being this close to the Adirondacks. I'm really sad that the Canadian border is closed right now. Ottawa is my jam. I love Ottawa. I'll be like, "Oh, I want dinner at my favorite restaurant. I'm going to go to Ottawa this evening and get dinner and then come home back." I love that.

BETH: Yeah, what's your favorite restaurant though?

HAGI: It's called the Wandering chicken in Ottawa. And it is awesome because they have a lot of gluten-free stuff with my celiacs, it's great. I was able to eat poutine.

BETH: Ooh.

HAGI: ... up there, and it was delicious and they make delicious drinks. They have ribs and chicken, and like they just had all this comfort food that I identify with being from Louisiana, like, "Oh my gosh, this is a part of Louisiana right here in Ottawa." And so I pop up there all the time and I just love going in any given workday week and just pop up there and get something to eat and come home back. And I love it.

BETH: I love when we hear about leaders on campus really taking advantage of the area that we're in, not just sitting at home or not only doing things that are on campus, because I think that's a big part of attending St. Lawrence, is this idea that you get to explore the North Country. You get to go to Canada, you get to... If you want to pop over Vermont and go visit Burlington, it's easy.

HAGI: Correct. When my mom came to visit last year, we popped over to Burlington. But then we also went to the Ben & Jerry's to the plant and got to take a tour. And I mean, it was just so fascinating and she came in the fall. So she got to see all the leaves. And this year I want to go see people make maple syrup, that just fascinates me. And it's just so exciting. And I got to go pick apples. And these are things that this area offers and this summer with COVID, I can go to my music festivals, which I had mapped out my music festivals back in December. So I was kind of sad when COVID hit. So I decided, I like waterfalls. I love waterfall. And when I interviewed, I actually asked Bill Fox, I said, "I have a weird question, are there waterfalls?"

HAGI: And he was like, "Yeah, there are quite a few waterfalls." And I was like, "Okay, excellent." I'm sure he thought this is weird, but I just love the peace that it brings me when I hear the water falling. And so this summer I got to go hike 34 waterfall and just sit and look at them and just take them all in. And it's so amazing to me. That's something that this area offers that I never gotten to have in any of the other places I've lived. And this is my seventh school working year. And I never got to have waterfalls that I could just go and try then hit up three or four or five in a day. I understand there are 2000 waterfalls in New York, so I've got plenty more to go hit up. So that's just exciting. And my nephew moved in with me two months ago and he loves it up here too. He said, he really enjoys it, he didn't know what to expect and he's happy to be here.

BETH: Well, both of you and your nephew have come from areas that don't necessarily have the winters that we have had. How have you found adjusting to going out and doing things, a pretty let's see chilly time of year when there's maybe not the nicest time to go see waterfalls because they might be frozen?

HAGI: Yeah, chilly is a cute word, is straight up cold and we call it that. We go ahead and accept. It's cold not chilly. It's cold.

BETH: And we call it that. We go ahead and accept it's cold. Not chilly. It's cold.

BETH: Just call it how it is.

HAGI: Just call it what it is. But like everyone else, we layer up.

BETH: One of the things that I wondered is are you at Bill Short level of comfort in the cold? So for those that don't know, bill short, who is our director of HEOP here on campus does not put on a coat over his short sleeve shirt until it's at least below zero. So have you reached that level of polar bear?

HAGI: I don't think anyone can really reach Bill Short's level of polar bear. I will look out the window from my office sometimes and be like, "That poor man needs a jacket, a coat, a long sleeve, something." So, no, I am not at that level, but I will wear lighter jackets now and long sleeves. As long as I have a long sleeves and a lighter jacket, I'm good to go.

BETH: Perfect. So one of the things that you mentioned is some of the stuff that you're able to do here at St. Lawrence that you haven't been able to experience at other universities and campuses. So I'm curious, what are some of the other things that you've experienced here? I mean, obviously besides COVID we know that that didn't happen at any of your other universities, but what are some of the things that you've been able to either take advantage of or have a different experience with now that you're here at St. Lawrence?

HAGI: It's just all been really great, even having COVID and working with our students, we didn't know what to expect, but to see our students make it and to see our students beat COVID, that meant so much to me, that was very powerful to me. And being able just to reach out to them and do check-ins and do mental health check-ins and talk about mental health openly with them, that has also been very wonderful because the comments that I've gotten back from students have been just so heartfelt. And for them to say, "Thank you for being so honest and saying COVID is difficult on you too, and it's affecting your mental health, then we all need to do things to ensure that our mental health stays well during COVID." For me to be that vulnerable for our students, it really impacted them.

HAGI: And it was powerful. And for me to even be able to give Hagi hugs at commencement this year. So many of them when they got to me at the end of the line, they were like, "Can I give you a Hagi hag now? Can I please get one?" And I'm like, "Yes." And to be able to give those was great. But to see things that students do here, like being able to go to Titus last year before COVID hit was great. And being able to see Rail Jam, I loved Rail Jam and watching students go out there and do those tricks and enjoy those things and really being a part of this community and being accepted as a part of this community has been phenomenal. Being a role model for our students of color, but also for all of our students is really what I set out to do.

HAGI: And my methods seem to be really working well here, focusing a lot of attention on mental health and mental well-being. That's very important to me. And being able to hire a counselor of color to bring here, that's been working with students who are international students of color, and she has LGBTQ plus experience, has been phenomenal. Having Tara Tent be our director of counseling. That's been great because she wants to move things forward as well. We are looking to partner with The Jed Foundation starting in August and what The Jed Foundation is, is the largest and best known organization out there, or dealing with young people and their mental health, their mental wellbeing and suicide prevention. We're going to do a four year partnership with them to where they work with us to make cultural changes, but also to write an entire strategic plan for how we deal with our mental wellbeing.

HAGI: We're about to announce and post a position for a director of wellness and wellness education so that somebody can work with our students and pull together all of the great things that we do on this campus so that students are aware of all the things that go on, on campus and can do some educational programs and some fun things with students to really educate them on all the things that they need to know at this point in their life as they are growing up to be adults out there in the world. All of that to me, it just gives me chills as I talk about it, because all of that is for the student, it's for the betterment of the students and it's for that development of the student. And it comes from me listening to the students say, "These are the things that we need, and these are the things that we need to be focusing on. These are the things that we're missing."

HAGI: And so really being able to spend that time with our students and listen to them and even in the dining hall and just sit at a table and talk to them about issues and walk through campus and be able to stop and talk to them, it's amazing. And even when they were playing ultimate Frisbee and I would walk past and they pause the ultimate Frisbee game and say, "All right, everybody say hey to Hagi." And I'm like, "I love y'all so much. It's so wonderful." And it just feels good. And I know that we have a lot more work to do. And I'm here for that. I've told many people, "This is my last move." I've moved seven schools. And I finally found my home. I found the place that I belong and I found the place that I want to be until I retire. As long as St. Lawrence and the students will have me, then plan on being here for the community.

BETH: I think that's fantastic. And one of the things that really strikes me is not only the work that you've done, but how you've listened to students say, "These are the things that we need." One of which was really looking at those who have marginalized identities and having representation in the counseling center, and honestly representation across campus through faculty and staff and other services is really important as well. And given that the problems that our society has had for a long time, but that have come to light especially over the past year, last year with George Floyd, with COVID, with all of these different things that we have had to experience, the St. Lawrence experience itself obviously adjusts and changes as well. So from your perspective, what is something that you wish SLU alumni knew about what it's like to be a student in 2021?

HAGI: It's very different from when they were here. Our society has changed. Our world has changed, and we have to adapt and change with that. And in the past they may not have seen that response, or they may not have seen the person in my role so visibly, but for me, I have to be because I cannot do this job if I am not. And I said that during my interview, I said, "If you're looking for somebody who's going to come in heavy handed, kicking students out and this and that, then I'm not the person, but if you want somebody that's going to get to know your students and really respond to their needs and respond to the things that they are feeling and the things that they are experiencing, then I am the one for your job." Because George Floyd and all of these things this summer, COVID, they impacted me heavily.

HAGI: There were days I just I was like, "I don't know if I can make it." And I know that students feel the same way. And looking up and studying things of how we can improve our situations is something that we have to do. We have to constantly be learning and we have to constantly be open to learning and learning new things. Last night, I got to go to a wonderful webinar where some trans students presented and talked about their experiences. That was great for me because I got to learn. And for me to be able to learn more from them and their experiences and I plan reaching out to all of them today and say, "I want to talk to you. I want to know more about your experience. I want you to tell me more so that we can ensure that we're meeting your needs and keeping you safe, and that you're having a fun time as well. And that you're not constantly battling against these pressures and evils that are going on in society. How can we best address these issues?"

HAGI: And it's going to take us time. It's not something that we can just snap our finger and make changes, but over time we can make changes and we can do that together. And I invite all students of any type because I want to know all students experience, and I want to know how we can best meet their needs. And yeah, sometimes there are things that stand in the way that we can't necessarily just make those changes like students want. And I try to explain that to students and I try to be open and honest with them and let them know, "This is the reason we can't do this in that way." And then they're like, "Oh, I didn't realize that." And I think that honesty and that openness with students and with others in our community will help us to move past some of these things and to be able to deal with them head on. But we at St. Lawrence are going to work to go ahead and resolve.

BETH: I know that what you have said in the past too is that honesty and transparency is so important. So it's really great to hear you reiterate that here. It's important for alumni students, faculty staff, everybody to know that there is a transparent message on campus, and that if you have questions that you have somebody that you can talk to who's willing to be as open as they can about situations, so our students are really lucky to have you.

HAGI: Thank you.

AMELIA: I want to jump in off of something that Beth said sort of bringing up that this is a great message for not just our students, but for our alumni as well. And since we do have alumni listening, I'm really curious about how you see alumni helping and supporting work and making sure that the voices and the lives of all students are heard and meaningful?

HAGI: Oh my gosh. That is a amazing question. And I think alumni can play such an important role in all of this, mentoring or coming back to talk to students about what life is like after college and being open and honest with students saying, "It's really difficult when you have to pay all these bills and you're looking at your check and you're looking at the bills and you're going, all right, well, I guess that's all I'm doing this month is paying bills. I don't get to go out and have all this fun." And sometimes you have to do things in work that you don't necessarily enjoy or want to do. And alarms can really come back and deliver that message. And they don't have to physically be here. They can come back through their words even, talking to the magazine, talking to the newspaper, talking to us about these things, but they can also be mentors for our young people.

HAGI: And they can help guide our young people and show them that once they get out, "Here's some possibilities that you can go into." Those are always very important. And I encourage alum to reach out to my office to find ways to help. We kicked off... During COVID actually we celebrated first-generation student day this year on November 8th, I think it was. And we gave them a free t-shirt that said, "I'm first." And just to see their faces light up when they got those t-shirts. And then we gave them cords for graduation. And I had a student come to me after graduation, and he was a first gen and his whole entire family was watching, and he came to me and he just cried, and he just hugged me, and he said, "Thank you, because I wouldn't have been at this ceremony if it wasn't for you."

HAGI: And that was just so powerful. And as we are kicking off this first generation programming, we're going to need alums, and we're going to need alums across the board of older alums, to younger alums and people of color and women. And we're going to need alums to help us with this. We just got named by NASPA as a first gen forward institution. And that means that we are going to be assigned a school that does a lot of first gen programming as our mentor. And so we're going to kick up our programming a whole lot more for first-generation students. That's very exciting, not only for us, but for those students that are first gen who are now getting their needs met and are being heard. That's huge for us. And I'm very excited about that. And then of course, another way is to donate because these things do cost money and we don't necessarily have it right now, but through donations, and one of the things I love, love, love about Tom Pynchon in Advancement is that he reaches out to me and he says, "Hagi, what are some things you need? And how can we help? How can we work with alums to get these donations, to do these things, wellness, wellness programming, to have this other counselor, to have this partnership with JED.?"

HAGI: Every little bit helps. And even if it's $5, that helps towards us being able to successfully do a lot of these programs. We had an alum who donated the money for us to be able to hire that counselor of color. That came from an alumni donation, where she said, "I'm giving this for mental health." Boom. We were able to hire that other counselor. And when COVID first started, we started offering 24 hour phone counseling for our students anywhere in the world that they could call a counselor and that counselor will help deescalate and then send that information along to our counselors so they can follow up. And Thelmo is funding that for us, and that is such a great commitment for our Thelmo to make to mental health and the mental wellbeing of our student population. And alums can do the same thing. It's wonderful for alums to ask, "Hey, where can I be of use? How can I volunteer?" And we can find ways for alums to help, but know that donating does good, and when you donate for these things, it does go to those.

BETH: I think that's a really important message. And I'm thankful that you bring that up because this is, with Thelmo also kicking in their own funds, this is a great example of how alumni current students are kind of working together to fund the needs of what the current students need or in what future students are going to need frankly too. Even when I was a student, I really felt like we were thinking about the next generation of St. Lawrence students and saying, "Yes, it would be great if this was the experience I had now, but I'm thinking like this would be better for generations to come." One of the things I was wondering is if you... Speaking of all this funding, one of the things that we really want to ask people as we wrap up our conversations is if you had $1 million to give to St. Lawrence, and you could put it towards anything, where would you invest it and why?

HAGI: I would invest a lot of it in student life areas. I'm not going to lie, because student life areas need that funding in order to be able to create new programs and meet the needs of the students, to constantly be changing and not fall behind and not be a student life division that is 10, 15 years behind the curve. I would invest a lot of that in those areas because people often forget that there are a lot of hours spent outside the classroom. And if we can invest in those hours in a way that's developmental and learning that we can then assess these things and assess what they're learning and constantly be changing, we would be number one liberal arts college in the world. And students would be breaking down the doors to get here. Often people forget that the student life experience is so very important. There is not a single student on this campus that student life does not touch in one way or another. And so Res Life, the CA should be having more money for programming. John and his staff to have more money for programming. [crosstalk]-

BETH: And that's the student activities, right?

HAGI: ... yes, student activities. They should be able to have more money for programming and they don't have it. Right now we're beholden to waiting on Thelmo because we have to go through Thelmo to get Thelmo to do something instead of us being able to do something. If you could think about events going on all the time and stuff happening all the time and students not running out of things to do and students saying, "Oh my gosh, there are so many activities here that I have to pick which things to do." And mental well-being is just so paid attention to, and they do so much programming on this, yeah, that would be great. And if CAs were doing programs and had funds and do all these things that reach the students directly, I would give a lot of that there.

AMELIA: Sure. Dream of dreams.

HAGI: Yes.

AMELIA: What kind of programming do you want to be able to provide?

HAGI: I want to be able to do a lot of fun programming, non-alcoholic even or have some zip lines on campus. Some-

BETH: Could you imagine getting to your class via zip line?

HAGI: ... Just a zip line.


HAGI: Weee.

BETH: Weee.

HAGI: Oh my gosh.

BETH: From your window in Skyes all the way down to the noble center, just cutting through the Dean-Eaton courtyard.

HAGI: Yes.

AMELIA: Yeah, okay.

HAGI: Now imagine that, and you can just zip line all the way across. And then when you get off, you just go onto your class. Oh my gosh. That would be so much fun.

BETH: That'd be great.

HAGI: No, and it wouldn't have to be like something every day. It could just be something that we would have even every once in a while. And if we-

BETH: I imagine they would freeze in the winter, so probably not every day.

HAGI: ... [crosstalk] Not good in the winter. Your hands would be stuck.You'd be like, "I'm sorry, call my professor and tell him I can't come to class because I'm stuck." Nope-

BETH: [crosstalk] Facilities would need many ladders ready to go to help people get down [crosstalk].

HAGI: ... exactly. But you know, outdoor films. If we could do films on the quiet out there and students could sit out there and we could provide popcorn and nachos and drinks, and we could do that every month at least. And we could bring an ice cream truck on campus and bring different food trucks and have a food festival and do all these festival type things. And I got to see winter fast a little bit during COVID that Thelmo put on, and it was exciting and things like that, if we could do that more regularly, that would be so much fun. And then you combine that with educational things about how to deal with stress, stress management, time management, even mindfulness thinking, all of these pieces and we could integrate all of that together.

HAGI: And then co-curricular badging. And we're talking about doing our co-curricular certifications and students could be working towards these certifications and doing all these fun things and really making, learning meaningful things out of what they're doing in their spare time, through their involvement with clubs and organizations. They can say, "This is what I learned." And being able to talk about that job interview. That's what I envision for St. Lawrence. That's where I envision us being. And that's what I would love to see happening. I would love for people to say, "Oh my gosh, we have so many fun things that don't involve alcohol. We have so many fun things that I can do and that I can choose and that I can go to on a regular basis. And I'm learning so much more about how to deal with my own emotions and my own self and my own mind so that when I get out of here, I'm going to be ready for the world." To me, those are my ultimate goals for St. Lawrence and that's what I'm constantly working towards.

AMELIA: Wow. Well, I can't think of a better place to stop then. These are really exciting hopes that you have for the future of St. Lawrence and I'm so excited to see what you do next. I'm sure Beth is too.

BETH: And I'm sure the students are... Most of all, I think that one of the things that from just the little bit that I've been able to glean from them is that they enjoy, that they never know what Dean Bradley has up his sleeve.

HAGI: You never know.

BETH: But thank you so much Hagi for joining.

AMELIA: Yes, thank you.

HAGI: Thank you all, I loved this. This was awesome. I love being a Laurentian and I'm so glad that I got to speak with you all today and share my love for our students and for this place.

BETH: Thank you so much Hagi.

HAGI: All right. Bye-bye.

BETH: Bye-bye. 


BETH: All right. And there you have it. Hagi Bradley.

AMELIA: So fun, so good. It's such a great way to start. I have to say though Beth, my biggest takeaway having come away from that is that next time I should definitely check that my mic is working before we start recording so that I can be present always throughout the interview.

BETH: Not just that. We also want to make sure that we have our guests with headphones in. So we apologize that the audio quality was a little subpar in some points. I know part of this journey is Laurentians learn, right? So we're going to learn how to become more efficient.

AMELIA: Lifelong learners.

BETH: Lifelong learners, more efficient podcasters as we go along when it comes to tech. But we hope everybody enjoyed that interview. I absolutely so appreciate what Hagi brings to the table. And I'm sure I know that the students really enjoy his presence on campus. What were some of the things that you enjoyed hearing his perspective on?

AMELIA: That's a great question. I think I really love how Hagi talked about throughout his experiences before St. Lawrence and while at St. Lawrence that I'm sure has come in so useful during this very stressful time is his priority of making sure that students feel heard and listened to and appreciated.

BETH: [crosstalk].

AMELIA: I think that that is such a special and very Laurentian way to go about things. And I think that he's been such a great person to have at the helm, guiding our student population through this very strange time, unprecedented, we could call it. So that's... Yeah, and he just has such a creative approach and I'm excited to see some of his new initiatives and where they go.

BETH: I totally agree. My biggest takeaway was very similar. I love the way that he empowers students to have a voice. And I think that given the past year and a half during the pandemic, through the different social inequities that we've seen across the country and in the world, I think having a leader like Hagi who empowers her students to have a voice who is growing into this amazing leader for our students to really look to, I think is really wonderful, not only for our students, but for the Laurentian community. And I'm hopeful that this is a new chapter at St. Lawrence. We have a lot of different leadership changes happening with a new president coming in and president Fox has just been amazing. And obviously there's going to be more changes. So to have a leader like Hagi who's been here for a couple of years and has gone through probably one of the biggest trials you could ever have as a new cabinet member, senior staff member, I think that we were pretty lucky at St. Lawrence to have him.

AMELIA: For sure. Well, I think this is a great start and we hope that you will all join us next month for the next edition of Scarlet & Brown Stories. Thanks everybody.

BETH: I'm very excited. See you next time.


BETH: Scarlet & Brown stories is edited and produced by Amanda Brewer, Megan Fry Dozier, Dennis Morreale, Beth Dixon and Amelia Jantzi.

AMELIA: Our music was written by Christopher Watts, inspired by Eugene Wright, Class of 1949.

BETH: Subscribe to Scarlet & Brown Stories on Apple podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

AMELIA: If you have a story you'd like to submit to us, you can email us at