Spring 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.)