By Sophia Harris
What made you want to get involved in SGA?
I'm a commuter student. During my first year here, I really was not involved at all. I showed up to class, went home, went to work, and that was pretty much my day. The EXP Office advertised being an orientation leader, and I was a peer mentor in high school, which is kind of like the same thing. So, I decided to get into that. From that, I was opened up to a whole world of possibilities here at FSU. I met Dara Barros, who is the current president, and we kind of got on to the topic of what my major is, and what I want to do after college. I sell wedding dresses outside of here, and I've really fallen in love with that whole world. And I want to plan weddings or something like that after I graduate. She was looking for a person to hold the position of outreach and events coordinator. That combined all the things I was interested in at the time, so I decided to take that opportunity. I have not been disappointed.
What is your favorite part about being on SGA?
SGA in its entirety has really made me fall in love with FSU. We've created such a welcoming and collaborative environment where I feel right at home. … All of the eBoard positions - the eBoard people - were super nice to me as soon as I entered and I've been able to extend that to new students.
Why do you want to be SGA president?
I have really fallen in love with SGA and FSU in its entirety. Entering my position, I really thought I would just plan events and that would be it, but I found that being a part of SGA is so much more than just that. It's really being a voice for students - it's letting them be heard by the administration. I will be a white woman in a position of power. [In enrollment,] we are 10% away from being a minority-serving institution. I think it's really important for me to use my power to really advocate for students and I hope that they trust me enough to where I can represent marginalized students on campus enough and in different spaces.
What is your greatest accomplishment during your time on SGA so far?
I think all the work that I've done I've put forth 100% of my effort. I think the biggest thing that we've collectively tried to do with SGA is really making student government a resource for students. We have created the President's Council where all the presidents are able to meet once a month to go over different topics and different ways that SGA can support students with different issues that they have run into. But overall, I think my greatest accomplishment is really making SGA fun again. I scrolled down on our social media page and saw what SGA was doing pre-pandemic. There were a lot of senators, and a lot of people in eBoard positions - just a lot of interest and fun. They had theme meetings. I have noticed since the pandemic SGA hasn't really been that fun. I wanted to cultivate what was happening pre-pandemic to post-pandemic. I've had theme meetings, and I've had a whole bunch of different event ideas. I have really been trying to collaborate with as many organizations on campus as I could.
What are your goals for the upcoming year as president?
I think my biggest goal is to diversify SGA. Being in a position of power, and also being a white woman, we don't really have a lot of marginalized students represented in our student government. I want everyone in the student body to be able to relate to at least one person, even if that's just part of their story. I think it's super, super important to me. I also want to further support affinity groups. I plan on going to every meeting that they have, just hearing their voices, making sure that they're heard and they're respected as equally as any other organization is. I wanted to have more communication between all orgs, admins, and students. I really want to act as that bridge between the student body and the administration, faculty, and staff. I really want to mend that gap. I think we're really fortunate enough to go to a university where the admins really do listen to us and they really do advocate for us in spaces where we can't necessarily advocate for ourselves. But [I want to] make sure that they're seen as people. I think, oftentimes the student body kind of looks at them as like, “Oh, well, they're higher up. They're the dean of the students or they're in the EXP Office,” but they're people on a normal level. So just making sure that we connect to everyone on a human level.