Executive Address

I ran on three words, “Spark the Flame”. Words that have become more than just words for me; they have become a way of life. The funny thing about a flame, both metaphorically and realistically speaking, is that it takes only one person, object or thing to cause the spark. But it takes a certain type of environment to sustain it and make it brighter. To sustain a fame, you need three things that are essential for its growth, without one of the elements, the flame dies. You need fuel, heat and oxygen; all three just as equally important as the next.

Fuel, the first of the three, comes from you, the student body, the people we serve. Despite what type of student you are—whether you are a dual enrollment student, traditional student, graduate student or even a non-traditional student, your voice matters! We are here as your representatives and our first job is to listen to your problems. Our goal is to make sure that this year, you are in the perfect environment to learn and that nothing impedes the primary reason you attend Georgia State University, to gain knowledge and find your passion.

We, the Student Government representatives of Georgia State University are listening to you and expanding your voice. We have heard your cries for better efficiency with transportation and the need for more and are working actively to alleviate these problems. We have heard your frustrations concerning your difficulties with financial aid and are working to streamline the process. We have heard your issues regarding advertisement and are working to make sure you end up taking the right classes. We have heard your need to make sure you gain experience with your degree through internships and so we are working on creating a program called Panther SPA (Student Pathway Assistance), which will help you do just that from freshman year. We have heard your need for something which unites us all and are working on creating a University-wide tradition. We have heard your cries for more advocacy and we are working on raising awareness and creating solutions for sex trafficking, sexual assault, and for people and students who are homeless. We have heard you.

However, there are many people that we do not hear. Many cries disappear because they feel that there is no one to listen. The struggles of the single parent who has to skip class because there is no one to look after their child. The complaints of the student worker who has not yet been paid by the university so they can no longer afford to feed themselves. The concerns of the international student that has a country facing civil unrest and has nowhere else to go. The cries of those who feel so overwhelmed by school and life that the stress is slowly killing them. The worries of those who just entered college but feel so alone because they need a friend to talk to. You are not alone and you have a voice. Fuel our flame so that we may continue to fuel you!

Heat, the second of the three, comes from your Student Government representatives that were elected into office. From our chemistry classes back in high school, we know that heat is energy, and energy is caused by movement. We, Student Government representatives, create energy by doing our jobs, in terms of talking to our department heads and deans and advocating actively for the student voice. This comes by making changes that can actively be seen by the student body. Student Government has for a long time been seen as being tasked as helping the University reach its long-term goals while keeping the students in mind. This year, not only will we do that, but in addition, we will come up with short-term solutions that can help our students now. WE ARE TIRED OF WORDS, IT IS NOW TIME FOR ACTION. IT IS TIME FOR US TO PRODUCE HEAT.

Oxygen, the last of the three, comes from the small victories that we sustain. The victories can range from University policy changes to the smiles we put on the faces of students. Oxygen, as we all know, is something we need to breath; however, an added benefit of oxygen is that it can be life-saving, stress reducing, and can also aid in the production of energy. It works the same with a flame, oxygen, both the small and big victories, have to be sustained in order for a flame to grow stronger and better.

Each one of the three elements are essential for a spark to change into a flame that lasts forever. Once this process occurs the flame provides a sense of comfort and protection for those who are afraid. The flame provides a light for those who are lost in the darkness. The flame provides a heat that you can’t help but get affected by and feel its energy. However, if the flame loses even one of the three elements, it dies. I know that I can not do this by myself, I need my family, I need my Executive Vice Presidents, I need my SGA representatives, I need our advisors, but most of all I NEED YOU.


Franklin Patterson
University-Wide President
89th Administration


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