The Student Government Association was one of the first organizations I was interested in joining at Georgia State University. I knew exactly what I wanted to do coming into State. I wanted to make change. I wanted to change what I didn’t do in the past, what I saw my first year at State, and change my perception of what I am capable of. However, I stopped myself from joining because I thought I wasn’t fit for the job. I joined every other organization on campus except the one I truly wanted to become a part of. I finally pushed myself out of my comfort zone and joined SGA as a senator. I quickly realized the extent of the role and I was okay with that. I was okay with attending meetings, the occasional committee gathering and night outs. I was in my comfort zone. Come spring, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone once again and ran for president. Now, I’m in a position I never imagined I would be in. I was always the one behind the scenes letting someone else fulfill their dream. Today, I am living my dream which is representing each and every campus and leading a team of so many possibilities.
As Student Government officers, we have the sole responsibility to represent our student body to the best of our ability. This is not an easy job and can get frustrating at times, but it’s absolutely worth it. Knowing you tried your hardest than doing nothing at all to represent your constituents is an inspiration to others, and it can also create future leaders. You know you’re doing the right thing when you feel slightly uncomfortable–and leaving our comfort zones to help our students succeed will always be what comes first.
The Student Government Association at Georgia State University has been around for ninety consecutive years. Georgia State University has developed tremendously through those years and so has SGA. We have our first Latina president and the diversity in our senate continues to grow each continuing year, so it is necessary we continue representing our campuses fully.
So what exactly is the legacy the 90th administration wants to leave? Do we want to be remembered as the administration who actively fought for inclusion? Who actively fought for students who are facing homelessness or food insecurities? Who actively fought for the accountability of the Financial Aid Office? Or for increasing food options at our cafes so all students can enjoy their time on campus? The choices are endless but we cannot do this as our own individual units. We need to work hand-in-hand to come together as one and make change happen at Georgia State University. After consolidation, Georgia State University became stronger. We have increased our active leaders–our go-getters, the game changers who want to effectively and proactively do more for their school. We need to unite and use the forces and voices of our 53,000+ students to accomplish our goals. We need to proactively reach our students before a problem arises. We will constantly be seeking out events, student gatherings, and opportunities to find and listen to the voices of those we represent rather than waiting for students to come to us.
“Whenever you feel uncomfortable, instead of retreating back into your old comfort zone, pat yourself on the back and say, “I must be growing,” and continue moving forward.” – T. Harv Eker
I am here today because students saw the potential in me and voted for a positive change in the university. Our officers are here today because your campuses saw the potential in them and also saw positive change occurring on your campuses. As we begin this administration, we cannot forget the reason that we all ran. We are here for our students because of our students. We are their voice for the greater good of all of Georgia State University. A university is nothing without their students and we need to make sure we fight for and give it our all to accomplish the needs of our campuses. Now is our time to take action. Now is the time to create a state of change.