Being involved in Student Government in college seems daunting, especially when you go to a school of 50,000 kids. It is easy to get intimidated and to talk yourself out of trying to join especially as a freshman, but there really is not a better time to jump in and get your foot in the door with the organization. Early involvement will make it much easier to reach a higher position later on if desired and open up a plethora of opportunities down the road.
Student Government at UF is a gigantic part of the functions of this school and is involved in a vast majority of what goes on here. One of the main things they do are provide and run numerous student services offered, such as Gatorsafe which provides SNAP (a free, on-campus, Uber-like transportation system,) the Bike Repair shop, a computer print lab, and the Gator Career Closet (to rent free business clothes) just to name a few. Another interesting feature they have is a group called the Accent Speakers, who get so many interesting celebrities to come and speak on campus each month, such as R.L. Stine, Carly Fiorina, and Kal Penn that we’ve had this year. Beyond this, pretty much every service event that occurs on campus goes through Student Government for approval, and SG also advocates for the wishes of the student body at all times.
The structure of SG at UF is super cool, since they mimic the actual U.S. government system, with various branches. As a freshman, there’s tons of positions you can apply for to get your foot in the door to move up in the ranks for the following years. For example, there are senate positions available for each area of residence halls on campus that typically freshman run and get elected for. Personally, my favorite feature of Student Government here is the Freshman Leadership Council of which I am apart of. It is a selected group of fifty kids and it is through the executive branch of SG, where we meet weekly to develop leadership and professional skills as well as plan and execute service events throughout the year. There are most likely more opportunities to get involved than you realize at every school, (especially as a freshman,) but older kids and advisors are a great resource to help get exposed to them. If you have an interest or did SG in high school, don’t hesitate and give it a shot in college!