Veronica Pejril, Director of Faculty Instructional Technology Support, Coordinator of the Music Instructional Technology Center (MITC) and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music here at Depauw, was recently elected to serve on Greencastle City Council.
Pejril holds many responsibilities on campus, from developing e-learning strategies to being an adjunct professor. She said that teaching an introductory music class “draws in a lot of folks who aren’t necessarily music majors … and I think that serves the liberal arts mission” of DePauw as a whole.
As far as her role on the city council, Pejril works to develop ordinances and resolutions, which are “sometimes as mundane as a street closure for a festival,” but she’s also part of “the body that approves the city budget,” Pejril said.
For example, Pejril said that Greencastle’s “firefighters and police officers … are not currently paid on a commensurate scale with some of our peer communities in Indiana,” so the city council is working to determine the appropriate approach for making the salaries and benefits more desirable for Greencastle fire and police.
Pejril also discussed the larger problems that Greencastle faces at this time, including food insecurity, the housing crisis, and “addiction amongst folks, which affects families on a tragic level.” She is prepared to “find ways to address” these issues throughout her term on City Council and is “passionate to see [the Greencastle community] continue to succeed” as a whole.
All of her responsibilities create quite the full schedule; Pejril said that “there’s often serious compromise that has to take place” within her life in order to fulfill her career here at DePauw, her public service responsibilities, her gigs as a local musician, and her personal life as a whole.
Being the first trans person elected to public office in Indiana comes with a sense of responsibility, as well. In regards to the influx of interviews since the election, Pejril said that she is “happy to uplift [the historic nature of the election.” As Pejril put it, “it’s important … that we honor and understand that representation is super important for folks” to see a trans woman in a position of power in the legislative body.
Pejril said, “if I can serve in that capacity, that’s also something that I’m happy to do, but it’s not why I ran. I ran because our community needed a representative.” She said that her job is “really about making good relationships, nurturing them, and listening to folks.”