I have enjoyed meeting and interacting with many of you thus far. Something unique that I am noticing about the Class of 2019, is the amount of confidence you carry when navigating the campus. That is an excellent characteristic. For this article, we are going to be shining a spotlight on the fantastic leadership team that we’ve got here in the Richmond College Student Government Association. Over the summer, the RCSGA leadership was asked two questions and freely answered based on their unique, individual perspectives. It is our hope that you find this advice helpful, both today, as you begin your first day of classes at college, and throughout the rest of your academic career.

-Angelo Suggs Jr. (RCSGA President)

Without further ado, here’s what we came up with:

1) What advice do you have for the class of 2019?

2) Why should I be part of Student Government?

Angelo Suggs Jr. (Class of 2016, RCSGA President)

1) To the Class of 2019 and any incoming class, I would give three primary suggestions:

FIRST, decide on who you want to be four years from now (and in life), and with wisdom and focus, make daily decisions in line with those goals. For example, if you want to get healthier and fit, I would ask, what did you have more breakfast at D-Hall? Was it a waffle drenched in syrup (which, I know, is quite delicious) and greasy french fries for dinner or did you choose the Greek yogurt with granola and fruit for breakfast and a chicken breast/salad combo for dinner? If you want to be the next great surgeon or doctor, do you spend your freetime watching random Netflix shows, or do you read about your field and study blogs/articles written by surgeons? (Replace the word surgeon with whatever your desired field of study and occupation). These small decisions add-up toward becoming your idealized self. However, make sure that these decisions are made in a way that benefits your spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health. The campus has great resources in each of those 4 areas.

SECOND, if you see anyone sitting alone, join them and hear their story. I have found that those who are comfortable sitting alone, are actually some of the most self-confident and put together people that I have had the experience of meeting during my time at UR. I may have sat down thinking I was doing them some favor by joining them, but it turns out that it was them, who turned out to be the gift and I, the recipient.

THIRD, this is a time of great growth. The most important question that you can ask is “Why am I here?” Explore this question. Study the beliefs of others as well as your own. You will come to find that this is one of life’s grandest journeys. As the saying goes: Truth is knocking, will you open?

2) Join RCSGA if you want to be a part of history. You may ask, what do I mean by this? Well, this is exactly the 100th year of the RCSGA. For the men of Richmond College, this is your chance to serve the campus community at a unique time by joining the Century Men and setting the tone for the next century of the RCSGA.” You only turn 100 once.” As for the women of Westhampton College, WCGA is a great organization as well and is up to some big projects. Get involved. Election for the Class of 2019 RCSGA Senators and Class Chair are on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 (Check your e-mail for more updates).

Mark McKenna (Class of 2018, Secretary):

1) My advice to the incoming class of 2019 is to try new things. I know how cliché that is, but the more things you try at Richmond, the more people you will meet. It is important to get involved and find a group of friends who have similar interests to yours.

2) I would recommend RCSGA to any Richmond College man who is interested in working with the student body to make changes around campus. I would also recommend running for an RCSGA position if you are interested in learning more about what happens behind the scenes of a private university such as UR. I learned a great deal in my first year as a senator, and I look forward to learning more next year!

Luis Davila (Class of 2016, VP of Finances):

1) Dare to be different and challenge yourself (step outside your comfort zone, etc.) because it'll help you develop faster as an individual and a professional instead of playing it safe. The next four years will present each student with countless opportunities in their personal, academic and professional life. Opportunities are great and many more will come, but it's an individual's willingness to challenge him/herself and learning from the successes/failures of those challenges that will make a significant difference in an individual's life and those of others.

2) Should join the RCSGA if he believes that there is something much bigger at play than himself. Although selfishness & greed is understandable and at sometimes necessary, having a bigger mission/purpose provides a much stronger drive than desire for personal success. The RCSGA presents many opportunities to impact the UR community, individuals, the city of Richmond, etc. RC first-years who understand the impact the RCSGA can have, should be the ones to run for senate.

Harry Lambert (Class of 2016, VP of Student Services):

1) Own your UR experience. This school has so many fantastic opportunities to try new things and explore the world. There are a million paths to walk in your four years here. Find the ones you want to try and craft a story that is uniquely your own. Don't be afraid to take chances and ask for help--this school will always have your back. If you want to do something new or unusual--and you can justify why--then professors and administrators will try their hardest to make it a reality. That support is really unusual, so take advantage of it and find the experience that you want to live.

2) Student government offers you an outlet to create meaningful change and engage with a great group of people. In my time in student government, I have learned a lot about UR and how this institution works. That knowledge can help you serve your constituents and work towards a better UR. If you want to leave your mark on this school, then student government is one of the best ways to do it.

Matt Logan (Class of 2016, VP of Academics):

1) Leap before you look. It may seem strange and opposite of everything you've been taught previous to college - it may have even be opposite of advice that got you here. This isn't to say make poor decisions, but if anything, it says make ANY decisions. Now is the time where you can think and act for yourself, now is the time you can be yourself. Take advantage of all of your opportunities before they pass you up. Leaping before you look means not knocking it before you try it. It means not overthinking things. It means trying everything.

2) There are two incredible benefits of RCSGA, both personal and communal. First, by joining RCSGA you have a better understanding of how the school truly operates, from meeting key administrators to familiarizing yourself with the different departments and their unique services. Secondly, once you've got this background - you have a great opportunity to make tangible gains. RCSGA creates constructive conversation that leads to tangible growth. It's like real government except you can actually see the fruits of your labor - plus everyone in this senate actually gets along.

Jules Pichette (Class of 2016, VP of Student Experience):

1) The single best thing you can do the first two weeks of freshman year is try to meet as many people from your grade as possible. After that I would concentrate on the classes that you like and think about why you like them. This will allow you to not get stuck in a major that you don't enjoy and is important early on because as you go farther into college it becomes harder to switch majors. Be nice to everyone you meet, and be yourself.

2) I'm sure that other members have gone over why it's cool to shape the school as an institution so I will give you a different view. Joining RCSGA is a great opportunity to meet a bunch of great guys who represent very different organizations within the school. I recommend join student government to be exposed to a lot of different student groups, who are all interesting in their own ways.

Max Thornton (Class of 2017, VP of Administration):

1) You’re only at university once (maybe a few more depending on your religion and the continuation of university education). Do not be a sheep. Do not do the degree that is cool or mainstream or that’s gonna make you loads of money. The pursuit of happiness is found through passion when you wake up in the morning and feel you have purpose in what you are doing. Do not let myths and trends consume you. Do what makes you feel good! You most likely will be doing it for the rest of your life so by being at a Liberal Arts college you have the opportunity to discover your interests. However, there are other things that you must find enjoyment in. Participate as much as you can in things that you actually care about- caps organizations etc. Socialize but not to the detriment of your later life ambitions. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY HAVE A PASSION FOR YOUR FRIENDS AND YOUR ACADEMIC INTERESTS. Mankind is at a turning point in history, we can either decide to ethically evolve or watch our world crumble. Be part of this positive change that awaits our generation.

2) I have shown that I am a senator that is not all talk and no do. I will through strenuous effort due to idle people hopefully succeed in bringing a better University of Richmond experience by being an active member of the student role models. I will bring positive change to the University as we should to the world.

David Ricculli (Class of 2016, Senior Class Chair):

1) Be courageous and take chances! For academics - get to know your teachers, most students don't have that opportunity at other universities. For everything else - Don't be afraid to try different types of activities or socialize with different groups of people, but be sure to hold on to the ones you find important!

2) Student Government is not only a great way to get involved, but it's one of the best ways to see into the lives of all students on campus in any year. Having friends outside of your grade is tremendous when seeking a piece of advice, a different perspective on an issue, or just a change of social scenery!

Bobby McCurdy (Class of 2017, Junior Class Chair):

1) Go the events your RAs put on in your dorms, they often have free food. Last year, I stopped by three events where I was only of the few people actually to come, and I was rewarded with as much free Christians' Pizza as I wanted. They even let me take a pizza back to bring to the rest of my friends in my hall. It's not every day someone offers you free food like that, so take advantage of it.

2) Student Government allows you to get an inside look at how the University of Richmond works, and allows you to meet a bunch of great people in all different fields while you do it. You get to be involved with throwing major events like the Homecoming concert, and can bring issues that your class has to the Administration very easily. It really isn't a bad time commitment, and can ultimately be a great experience.

Daniel Yoo (Class of 2018, Sophomore Class Chair):

1) Find a way. There's a legend that says Aristotle, the great classical thinker, held a metal ball over a dish in his hand so that if he dozed off, he'd drop it and be woken up by its rattling. Even the greatest needed ways to prop themselves up, so don't be afraid to be resourceful. Just find a way.

2) I can't give you a reason to be a part of student government, because that rests solely on you. If YOU care about your class, if YOU want to contribute, then you have some great reasons to join us. If you feel like you're up to the task and it matters to you, then do it.

Well, there you have it, take these tips & enjoy!

Where to find us:

RCSGA website

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Want to see us in action and make your voice heard? RCSGA Meetings are held on Wednesday night at 7:00p.m. at Whitehurst

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Collegian.

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