Opinions

Dear Furman: A Letter from the Next SGA President

By: Joseph Fretwell, SGA PRESIDENT ELECT

PHOTO COURTESY OF ALEX BRANNAN

I am humbled, proud, and incredibly excited to have the opportunity to serve as your next student body president through the Student Government Association. I would like to thank all of the people who supported my campaign, voted in the elections, and showed interest in the future of our school. My campaign and the SGA elections would not have been possible without each of you. While I had a blast campaigning, I am ready to get to work.

Before I address some of my goals and plans for SGA, I would like to introduce myself to everyone. My name is Joe Fretwell. I am a Political Science major and Poverty Studies minor from Columbia, S.C. I have served on SGA for nearly two years, first as sophomore class vice president and currently as junior class president. In my time at Furman, I have been lucky enough to meet many people and participate in a variety of activities. Last year, I met Bill Clinton through the Riley Institute, worked in a non-profit in downtown Greenville with the help of Furman Advantage, and spent a month learning and living in San Francisco with the Communications department.

My biggest goal for the upcoming school year is improving communication through SGA. One of the main missions of our organization is to act as a liaison between the student body and the administration. I hope for SGA to become that and more. Students elect officers to SGA because they trust us to represent their best interests before the faculty and the administration. By getting all Furman students more involved in the decision making process, we will be able to continue to be the voice of the students and do a better job relaying student opinions to the faculty and the administration. How can we do this, you ask? We can work to find out what is important to you. We can hold student forums on dining services, form committees on campus diversity, and look into more voting opportunities on issues such as changes in library hours. My goal is to throw open the door—to look for new and different ways to get people more involved in decision making at Furman.

SGA is the one group on campus that is responsible for representing every single Furman student. Regardless of if you are in the Astronomy Club or College Republicans or on the Club Lacrosse team, you are also a member of SGA. That is what I love about the Student Government Association. It is what I have loved most about Furman—that we are given the opportunity to form relationships with people from all sorts of backgrounds and worldviews. We are encouraged—in classrooms and social settings—to listen to each other, learn from each other, and respect each others’ views. Regardless of your interests on campus or your organizational affiliations, your voice matters to us in SGA. Our job is to listen to that voice and then present it to the people who are here specifically to help you get the most out of your Furman experience.

I am thrilled to be able to serve the student body with the group you elected as the next SGA executive council. Daniel Sanders (vice president), Katherine Boda (secretary), Derek Fox (treasurer), and I will make a great team and be able to represent all students to the faculty, administration, and other student organizations. All of us want to make sure that your Furman years are great, and our doors are always open to help with questions, concerns, or suggestions.

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