Opinions

A Letter From Your New SGA Executive President

By Jess Norum

Hi everyone! My name is Jess Norum. I am a junior Public Health major from northern California, and I am your SGA Executive President for the 2017-2018 school year. I have had the pleasure of serving as your SGA Campus Recreation Coordinator for the past two years. I have worked closely with Owen McFadden to advance programs and amenities in the PAC, and for club and intramural sports. Beyond SGA, I currently serve as the Special Needs Division Head of the Heller Service Corps, where I manage a team of coordinators to cultivate a collaborative environment with the larger special needs community in Greenville. Additionally, I work with the Greenville Area Parkinson Society, fundraising and advocating for the local Parkinson community.

Every day, I am blown away by our vibrant campus and the caliber of my peers. I believe student government should not only represent every voice, but serve as a resource to strengthen a campus-wide sense of belonging. Looking forward, I want to work on something that goes beyond student initiatives, and that is the student voice. There will be an incredible opportunity for SGA to shift the focus, to shift the paradigm and to provide more power and more presence to the students on this campus. It’s time to recognize the importance of breaking down stigmas and encouraging an open dialogue with marginalized communities. I will strive to empower individuals, connect with various populations and advocate for the representation of all groups. We are at a crossroads in this university’s history, where there is such an incredible potential for change. As leaders at Furman, we will have the opportunity to restructure, reallocate and, more than anything else, reframe the relationships between administrators, SGA and the students on this campus.

I believe wholeheartedly that Furman should be an experience we all share. Our four years here in Greenville and the experiences that really make us Paladins should be embraced and celebrated. Above all, I think it is important to acknowledge that I can’t do this alone. It is so crucial for you all, as students of this university, to demand excellence from our administrators and SGA leaders, to demand that your voice be heard and to demand that this university continues to be more than an atmosphere for knowledge, more than factions of individuals, but rather, one Furman. Feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions for the coming year. I am looking forward to working with you all!

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