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Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Student Association

  1. Introducing the 2016-2017 Student Senate!

    April 22, 2016

    SVSA-logo-greenAt a university-wide forum last week, the newly-elected members of the Southern Virginia Student Association Senate were announced to gathered students, faculty and staff. If you missed the announcement, you can view the results below! Congratulations to all the new members of the student senate. As a campus community, we’re grateful for all of the service that our students do through the Student Association!

    Academics Senator: Joseph Patino

    Activities Senator: Sarah Foster

    Arts and Athletics Senator: Cheyenne Betts

    Communications Senator: Kaylee Upham

    Finance and Clubs Senator: Quinn Skouson

    Honor Senator: Holly Rhodes

    Service Senator: Tara Brown

    Senior Class President: Cody Rogers

    Senior Class Senator: Sam Mellor

    Junior Class President: Jasmine Libby

    Junior Class Senator: Ammon Hardy

    Sophomore Class President: Keilani Torres

    Sophomore Class Senator: James Gebler

  2. Meet the New Student Executive Council!

    March 29, 2016


    The votes are in and the members of the new Student Association Executive Council have been selected! We’re excited for this group of talented, motivated students to serve our campus community next year. We would also like to extend thanks to all those who ran for the council. The enthusiasm for service on this campus is almost palpable.

    The new Executive Council members are:

    AmmonStudent Association President

    • Name: Ammon Milligan
    • Hometown: Moses Lake, Washington
    • Major: Family & Child Development
    • Minor: Politics



    AK5A7704Vice President of Operations

    • Name: Justin Wiseman
    • Hometown: Fremont, California
    • Majors: Business Management & Leadership and Liberal Arts




    AK5A7687Vice President of Campus Programming

    • Name: Courtney Neus
    • Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona
    • Major: Psychology



    AK5A7713Vice President of Arts and Athletics

    • Name: Matt Anderson
    • Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Major: Art




    AK5A7678Vice President of Academics and Service

    • Name: Keri Jensen
    • Hometown: Chesapeake, Virginia
    • Major: Biology



    AK5A7722Vice President of Clubs and Finance

    • Name: Corey Garff
    • Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • Major: Liberal Arts
    • Minor: Business Management & Leadership


    AK5A7671Vice President Honor

    • Name: Brigham Doxey
    • Hometown: Buena Vista, Virginia
    • Major: Business Management & Leadership
    • Minor: Creative Writing




    • Name: Ethan Pike
    • Hometown: Lompoc, California
    • Majors: Biochemistry and Liberal Arts
    • Minors: Music and Business Management & Leadership

    (Post by Hannah King ’13. Photos by Sarah Foster ’19.)

  3. Q&A: JD Drasbek, Student Association President

    March 23, 2016

    JD-Dresbeck-mHave you voted yet? As we wrap up elections for the Southern Virginia University Student Association (SVUSA), you may have noticed that a whopping eight people have been campaigning to be next year’s student body president. This interview with our current president, JD Drasbek, might help you understand the roles and responsibilities that will be expected of next year’s president.

    Q: Describe your responsibilities as Student Association President

    JD: [The Student Association President is] the voice of the students and represent[s] them, so … [it’s important] to know the students, their concerns, [and] how they’re doing. … You have to stand up for them. … It’s made an easy role to do because our administration is so pro-student empowerment. They increased the budget of Senate by over 600 percent. … I find the most effective way [to know the students] is just meeting with students one on one, talking in the cafeteria and going to activities. It’s a full-time job. “SVU Be Heard” online is a new tool for student feedback that goes directly to the SVUSA.

    Q: What does your schedule look like?

    JD: Two weeks to this date will [mark] one year of meeting once a week with the EC. … Senate [is] every other week. University Council … is every other week, contingent on the president’s schedule. University council is composed of the President’s Council and any other invited members. … In the past, students had not been allowed to [attend] that, so that’s something I really pushed for during my presidency; for students to be allowed on committees that make decisions. And we’ve seen little changes that have made big impacts because of the relationship we have with the administration. And it’s because they’re so student empowered. Every week is my solutions committee meeting. … I also meet with the dean on a regular basis and I discuss things with President Wilcox.

    Q: Why did you decide to run for this position?

    JD: I think it’s twofold: one is because I believe in the university, it helped to shape the man that I am today, and I wanted to help others have that same experience; [second], I saw that the way I was able to have that success was because of the faculty, great friends, and because I was involved inside and outside the classroom. … We found that students who stayed were ones who were involved, so we chose “All In” as the slogan, and the results we have seen so far from that vision of “All In” is over 100 percent fall sporting events attendance up compared to last year, two of the highest attended football events in school history, six new clubs this year compared to one last year, and really I think a whole collective team feeling on campus. … Successful campus life equals happy students; happy students are students that stay. Students that stay tell their friends, and that equals more involvement. … When I first heard about the school, I knew there was something special about it. I knew it was something that could become like a Harvard or a Stanford in the future, and I wanted to be a part of that and a pioneer in it. … The most prized thing [Southern Virginia] gave me was a relationship with the Savior. I had never been as close to the Savior as here. It was a wonderful pre-mission experience. And that’s really why I did run — I want people to have that experience and I know [Southern Virginia’s] a special place, and a place where I can help others have that happen.

    Q: What personal qualities or characteristics do you feel best prepared you for or made you most capable in completing your responsibilities?

    JD: My mission [for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints], hands down. There’s a book called “Preach My Gospel,”which is a book from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It teaches individuals how to be missionaries, but it’s more so a book about teaching and communication skills … some of the most important skills we can have in this life. I would say PMG and serving a mission have given me the skills to accomplish what we did this year.

    Q: What do you hope to see the next president accomplish?

    JD: Be all in. My slogan as a candidate a year ago was building upon the foundation of our excellence and really there’s been amazing individuals that have laid the foundation before me and I was just put in the right place at the right time and tried to improve a few things here and there, so that’s really what I would like to see the next student body president do — continue the vision of this university to have students become leader-servants, for them to be all in both inside and outside the classroom and to be an example of that at all times and in all places.

    Q: What has been the best part of being on the Executive Council?

    JD: Doing work! Getting things done, seeing things actually get changed, being able to see the needs of students, talking with them one on one, writing proposals, giving them to the administration and senate. … it’s inspired me to think of going into politics and maybe even running for an office … I love standing up for the students and the university. Being able to stand up for what’s right excites and exhilarates me.

    (Post by Lauren Hafen ’16. Photo by Jordan Wunderlich ’15.)

  4. Q&A: Erik Flores, VP of Academics and Service

    March 18, 2016

    ErikFlores main

    In the past week you may have noticed that campaigning for next year’s Student Association positions has begun. As you consider which candidate will get your vote, we’re continuing to interview this year’s members of the Executive Council to better understand the responsibilities each position entails. Erik Flores, vice president of academics and service, had a lot to say about his experience serving the Southern Virginia community.

     Q: What are your responsibilities on the Executive Council?

     Erik: I am the Vice President of Academics and Service … [I] plan and carry out various service projects both on and off campus. … It’s the really fun portion of the job. And the school has done a pretty good job of being known in the community for being leader-servants, so many of the jobs get sent our way. For the academic portion, one of the main functions is the faculty appreciation dinner. Some of our goals early on in the year were to promote the historical societies and to work with alumni to help our students receive jobs. … In this position it can become very easy for service to become the priority just because there’s so much more demand for the service to be accomplished. … The increase in service through athletics has also helped mediate the burden between just the service council to more broadly include the student community. Men’s lacrosse made a commitment to find someone to serve every Saturday, and the team has done a fantastic job of making sure that vision has come to pass. So I think [Southern Virginia Athletics] has done a tremendous job in making sure community service needs have been attended to.

     Q: Why did you choose to run for Executive Council?

    Erik: I’m a first generation college student, and I’ve had a lot of gratitude to [Southern Virginia]. … I’ve been able to participate in the Fading Point, which [worked] very closely with the admissions department to directly help people come to know more about Southern Virginia. … And I saw the EC role as an opportunity to more directly affect the affairs of the school and just make it run well. I have a great love for this institution and I wanted to make sure that a candidate with that love was part of the EC. [My second year at Southern Virginia] I was able to serve as the service senator, which helped me to work really closely with Dan Cline, who was the VP of Academics and Service that year. … I loved what he was able to do and how he was able to contribute [by] planning projects that helped not just our school but also the community. [I wanted to help] the school that I love and the community that I love [by] bridging gaps through service so that the [Buena Vista] and Lexington community could know who we are.

    Q: How was your campaigning experience?

    Erik: [It was] difficult just because I had never done anything of the sort before. I was really surprised and grateful for people that … were willing to help in the creation of posters and various campaign paraphernalia. Very creative people came to me and said, “Erik, I want to help,” and helped make posters and just generally spread the word. … I realized it wasn’t just my burden; there were people who believed in me and what I wanted to do for the school and would help me accomplish it.

    Q: What has been the best part of being on the EC?

    Erik: Being able to see the growth of the next generation of [Southern Virginia] leaders. … I was able to meet a lot of students that have that enthusiasm and love for this campus … and hopefully to give them knowledge so that they can have an impact on this school. It will take a lot of time and work, but they can do it, and hopefully I’ve been a mentor to students to help them know that they can implement change. … Just to get to know them has been the greatest part of this role.

    Q: What kind of student would be a good fit for your position?

    Erik: A go-getter. Someone [who is] not looking for a resume booster, [but] someone that genuinely cares. … A genuine person that loves this school and is willing to work through red tape and policies and procedures to get the job done. … I want people to know that if you want to get it right it takes time [and] it takes heart.

    Q: Why should other students run?

    Erik: There’s a lot that needs to get done and there’s a lot of responsibilities that this role has, and it would be a tremendous burden on the school if this position wasn’t a thing. … The quote that hangs outside the business office [says that] in the world you get paid in two ways: you get paid in money and in experience. In this role you will get paid in experience. If that’s what you’re looking for, this role is a great opportunity to get hands-on experience, … to know how to work with people, [learn] to work with people that disagree with your opinion, and know how to disagree agreeably. … if you’re looking for stuff like that, this is great for that.

    Q: Anything else you want to add?

    Erik: I wish I could have done more, but I was grateful that I was able to … see that there are students on the campus that are super talented and super go-getters! I got to meet a freshman that came in this year that has incredible artistic ability and a really kind heart and she saw a need in the community that she and her roommate and these students could address. … And she doesn’t have a responsibility, per se, but she’s a go getter — she’s that motivational elite student that President Wilcox talks about. [Executive Council is] not mysterious, there’s not a hidden agenda … the things we talk about are just the needs of the students and how we think we can best fulfill them.

    Q: Are you glad you did it?

    Erik: I’m so glad I did it. … [I learned] that it takes guts to get good stuff going. Just because it’s a good idea doesn’t mean the road to accomplish it is going to be easy. It’s a laboratory to learn that good initiatives take time. I wouldn’t have learned that so deeply if it weren’t for this opportunity in student government.

    (Post by Lauren Hafen ’16.)

  5. Q&A: Jerica Johnson, VP of Campus Programming

    February 18, 2016

    JericaJohnson-mSpring Semester is well under way, and campaigns for the next Student Association Executive Council will have posters plastered about before you know it! (Are you thinking of campaigning?) We thought we’d take this opportunity to interview the members of this year’s Executive Council (EC) to follow up on their accomplishments and help you decide if you’re up to the job! (Campaigning is, after all, pretty in vogue this year.)

    We’ll start off with Vice President of Campus Programming Jerica Johnson.

    Q: What are your responsibilities as VP of campus programming?

    Jerica: I work under the Office of Student Life and I help plan all the Movie Knights. It’s really cool because I get to, along with Joe [Bouchelle, dean of student life], pick out all the movies we watch. I also plan the dances, as well as SVU Idol and other various activities throughout the semester.

    Q: Why you did you choose to run for EC?

    Jerica: I was talking with Esther Harsh [2011-2012 VP of Honor] and she thought I’d be able to make a good contribution to the school and the activities. I didn’t know very many students last year, so I wanted to get more involved, get to know the student body more, and create activities for students that they can enjoy.

    Q: Do you feel like you’ve accomplished your goals?

    Jerica: I wish I’d planned more and further in advance for each activity. I feel like anybody wanting to run for Executive Council should recognize that a lot of planning and time goes into creating good activities. Any activity can happen with limited work, but it’s the activities that the students enjoy that take a lot of work, and you walk away from them feeling great — like SVU Idol. I’m really proud of SVU Idol. For the most part I feel like I’ve accomplished my goals. I feel like I have a lot more friends now; I feel happier being at the school, and I feel good knowing that I know a lot of students. Remembering everyone’s name is a different story — I try!

    Q: How has your experience compared to your expectations?

    Jerica: I really appreciate my fellow Executive Council members helping with activities when they’ve been asked, because campus programming is a lot to do and it’s hard to try to do it with just yourself and your committee. Honestly, I expected it to be less work than it was.

    Q: What has been the best part of being on EC?

    Jerica: Getting to know the other members of the Executive Council. I really appreciate the friendships that I’ve created with people that I wasn’t friends with before, and I really appreciate the opportunity that I’ve had to feel like I’m a part of making this school better for future years and for the future EC.

    Q: What’s the most challenging thing for you about your role?

    Jerica: Taking your vision of what you want an activity to be and scaling it down to what is actually possible to do. It’s also kind of difficult to balance all the hours that are involved with schoolwork and Shenanigans and any other extracurricular activities.

    Q: What have you learned?

    Jerica: I’ve learned the most about myself. I feel like I’ve learned that I can truly do difficult tasks. I’ve learned that I’m a creative problem solver. I have definitely learned how to ask for help when help is needed, because I’m usually a do-it-myself person, and that’s impossible in campus programming.

    Q: What kind of student would be a good fit for your position?

    Jerica: A student who likes to be creative, but who’s also willing to listen — not only listen, but also incorporate the ideas of others into your plans. A student who is willing to work and who loves this school, because during the more difficult times it’s really the love of this school that makes everything worthwhile.

    Q: What do you hope to see your replacement accomplish?

    Jerica: I honestly hope that after their activities, people say, “That was so much better than last year.” I hope that they can take the relationships that I’ve made with faculty and staff, and use that and keep building on that for future Executive Council members. And I really hope they learn from my mistakes and give themselves more time to plan.

    Q: Why should students run for the Executive Council?

    Jerica: One thing I love about [Southern Virginia] is the fact that it really is student run, and if you want to get things done, if you want to see things happen, it’s us that do it — it’s the students who get it done. If they love [the university] and they want it to be better than it already is, then they should run for EC.It’s a wonderful opportunity to really learn and to grow and to serve your fellow students.

    Thank you for all of your work, Jerica! You sure make Southern Virginia a more happenin’ place to be!

    (Post by Lauren Hafen ’16. Photo by Jordan Wunderlich ’15.)