Post contributed by Dane Block, President, Student Government Association
The most unique aspect to our great University is the people that work for and call Auburn home. This wide range of individuals spans from the community that surrounds the campus, the students themselves, as well as faculty and administration. Diving deeper, we find the commonality and commitment to making the Auburn experience top-notch to all who have the opportunity to experience it. As we move forward and seek to inspire, innovate, and transform we find ourselves at a critical time to provide input and perspective. The Student Government Association’s (SGA) top priority is to bring the student voice to the forefront in these conversations. However, beyond any organizational tie lies the ability to unite all and spark change for the betterment of something larger than ourselves. All it takes is one voice. All it takes is your voice. Be the change you want to see.
Representing all 30,440 students that are enrolled at Auburn is no easy task. Some may ask, how can you truly represent all students? What we have found as our team has embarked on this year is that above all else, there must be the desire to do so and willingness to learn and grow throughout the process. The SGA is composed of three branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial branch. Through these branches we have executive and assistant vice presidents, directors, and college-specific elected senators. All individuals who become involved in SGA take on the same mission our organization as a whole seeks to uphold which is “to serve and promote the individual student; unifying all that is Auburn.” Although the task may seem daunting, our organization’s members take it on with a passion, drive, and determination that is unprecedented. The process of uniting all and sparking change begins with one individual seeking out the opinions and perspectives of the student body. From here, we bring the information together and construct a unified idea or opinion. With the student-driven community, faculty and administration that surrounds the students, that one unified idea or opinion that is brought to the table carries significant weight. Moving forward, our community, faculty and administration take the information and utilize the resources they have access to and see through the change that the student body wants to see.
As students, we all have the opportunity to utilize our voice in whatever situation we find ourselves in. In my current role, I have found that it is my desire to be the motivator, challenger, and supporter behind the student voice. Whether you are a leader in an organization, a student in the classroom, an employee on the job, or a member of the community, you have the ability to be the change you want to see. The first step is on us, however. We must be bold and confident in our ability to represent others and spark change that will benefit something larger than ourselves. Now, of course, with this ability, we must be conscious of our approach. Three priorities of mine when serving those around me are to be active, gentle, and purposeful. To be active, means to be engaged in the community around you. Your ability to relate to those around you and passion to humbly serve should be the driving factor behind your activeness. To be gentle means to respect those around you and understand that there are opinions other than your own that exist. No matter how different an opinion may be, it must be valued and heard equally. To be purposeful means to act with reason. Whether you are motivated by a specific responsibility, a desire for others, your faith, or a combination of the three there needs to be a “why” behind your actions.
As previously stated, we all have an incredible opportunity in using our voice to unite all and spark change around us. It is up to us to boldly take the step forward, even if it is unprecedented. The common misconception is that you need a position, title, etc. to spark this movement. However, we are all given a platform in the life that we live. Seize every moment and make the most of every opportunity to become the true advocate that lies within us all. Seek those around you and cultivate the sympathy and a mutual helpfulness that brings happiness to all. You will be surprised what happens when you use your one voice. Be the change you want to see; voice the change you want to see.