SG Student Leader Spotlight

One of the most effective way to see change on campus is by getting involved with your student government. Lately, more and more minority students are taking the call to action and joining SG to make life at FAU serve the minority community better. Let’s meet a few of this year’s leaders.


Vania D. Bocage

Major: Public Management

SG Position: House of Representatives member

IG Handle: @Hello.vee

Why did you join SG?

I served as my Student Body President in High School and I wanted to use the same energy and passion for serving at FAU. I joined and remained a member of the House to make valuable and impactful changes to the student body’s college experience. I wanted to serve as a voice and a representation to minority students that might be intimidated by the structure of Student Government.  

What are your goals for the year?

 My goal for Student Government includes being more communicative with the Student Body. I think campus outreach is extremely important because I like to utilize those moments to gain informational feedback as well as criticism from individuals. I want students, especially students of color to be a part of the conversation and be aware that they can impact thedecisions that Student Government makes. 

What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing FAU & how is SG helpful?

 I think one of the biggest challenges being at FAU is the lack of student input for major decisions on campus. I think that it is unfair that plans are being created or dissolved regarding the campus and student experience, but students are more often times than not, being excluded from these conversations. In this aspect, Student Government notifies and encourages others to attend student input meetings. We love sharing upcoming campus plans and being able to provide students a platform to voice their concerns.

Why is it important to have Black representation in SG?

 It is extremely important to have representation in Student Government because it opens the conversation for a different perspective on important topics and issues. It also allows members to hear about student experiences that they might be unaware of.

In life, having valuable connections lead to invaluable relationships, so having Black representation or connections can makes students of color more comfortable to express concerns. This may eventually lead to a better relationship with Student Government members. I understand that Student Government may seem intimidating for some students, but I think having diversity can make this environment more approachable and relatable.  

Justin Gadson

Major: Management Info Systems

Classification: Junior

SG Position: Representative

IG Handle @_da1nonlyjustinn

Why did you join SG?

I joined SG because although I was making changes and a impact through my orgs I felt that I can reach more of a larger audience through SG. As well, I knew SG can make changes that can affect FAU as a whole.

What are your goals for the year?
My personal goals for this year is to land an internship with an federal law enforcement agency

What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing FAU?
I believe the biggest challenge facing FAU at this moment is overpopulation. Accordin to records this is suppose to be the largest freshman convocation class. Knowing this challenge, I hope FAU is able to adapt to the growing population.

Why is it important to have Black representation in SG?

I believe it’s important to have more minorities represented in SG because it’s important for organization to be not only inclusive but also reflective of the student population.

Kaila Palmer

Major: Communication Studies

SG Position: Senator

IG Handle: @its.kailaaa

Why did you join SG?
I joined SG to give students with similar and concerns and interests a platform not only feel hear, but to be represented admits FAU’s large population.

What are your goals for the year?

I intend to support RSO’s, in particular the black RSO-whether theta be working on the budget for next year or creating/attending events where students can connect better.

Why is it important to have Black representation in SG?

Many people don’t feel represented nor do they feel heard, so when students see other black students in these leadership positions it gives them a better sense of community.

Darius Galloway 
Major: Biological Sciences and a minor in Health Administration 
SG Position: Campus Action Chair
IG Handle:  Darius.Galloway 

Why did you join SG?

I joined Student Government because I’ve always had a passion for being a voice for my peers . Taking their concerns and bringing them directly to the forefront is what makes me feel useful . I’ve always wanted to be the change and Student Government gives me the platform to do so 

What are your goals for the year?

My goals for the year are to better the connections between students and Student Government. Amongst our campus there is a stigma that students can’t reach Student Government. In my position as Campus Action Chair my goal will be to ensure that all concerns of students are comunicated back to SG efficiently. In addition, to taking input and writing groundbreaking legislation.

What is the biggest challenge facing FAU?

Personally , the biggest challenge facing FAU is the lack of care and initiative . FAU has problems that challenge their students , and they turn the blind eye . We as Student Government must bring these issues to our administrators and break the cycle that students experience. In addition, with the funds that we have as Student Government we can provide more stipend based initiatives to take financial burdens off of students . We as Student Government must start to hold ourselves accountable and meet the students where they are. This will then better the student experience. 

Why is it important to have Black representation in SG?

The reason it’s so important for Student Government to have black representation is because it brings diversity . Having black representation gives the minority its voice . Having a voice in Student Government makes things feel more accessible and easy . As well black representation brings a new creative style of thinking to the table. In addition , SG doesn’t only just need black representation they also need minorities in all the different branches of the organization. All voices should be heard , and it shouldn’t be just the majority speaking at the table. 

Roshelle Francois

Major: Exercise Science and Health Promotion – Concentration Health Promotion 

Classification: 2nd year Graduate student

Position: Graduate and Professional Student Association Director

IG Handle @luhh_rollie & @rocraftingco

Why did you join SG?

I joined SG originally because I was looking for a job, but after spending time around the advisors and students I decided to continue in SG because of the opportunities for meaningful professional development, while also receiving training to be a better student leader in my community. As someone that has been involved in many organizations on campus, I felt SG also gave me a way to share the resources available on campus with not only my peers, but all students that were unaware of everything the campus has to offer.

What are your goals for the year?

My biggest goals for the year are to educate all students on what it is GPSA does, have improved and meaningful communication between Grad students and my department, host events that grad students will enjoy and that will inform undergraduate students about FAU’s graduate programs, and to encourage Grad students on our other campuses to get involved with GPSA.

What is the biggest challenge facing FAU?

I think the biggest challenge facing FAU is career readiness, whether it be valuable experience or adequate professionalism, I think a lot of students are not truly prepared to take on their careers as they should be. I think SG can help by creating events, connections, or even programs that have a deeper focus on ensuring that our students know exactly what they want to do once they graduate and are beyond qualified to take those next steps when that time comes. 

Why is it important to have Black representation in SG?

I think it is important to have Black Representation in SG because we as Black students understand the issues we face as a community. We cannot expect students that don’t face our challenges to know and create the solutions we need. I think with more Black representation in the SG the more we are able to voice the issues and changes we want to see happen at FAU.

Ryan Chery

Major: Health Science: Concentration in Science with a minor in Biological Sciences 

Classification: Third Year 

SG Position: Council of Student Organizations Director 

IG Handle: @ryanchery22

Why did you join SG?

I joined SG because I wanted to bridge the gap between SG and the student body. SG really gives you a way to express yourself and ideas, but on a bigger scale than a RSO, so I felt like joining give me the voice to really vocalize and debate all the issues that I noticed as a student that wasn’t apart of SG.

What are your goals for the year?

My goal for the year is to challenge both SG and members of RSOs to really support and get involved in all the programming and plans that each other have for the year. I also hope to bring a new environment to COSO to where we are more than just the department that checks off on org purchases. I also hope to encourage organizations to  think outside the box creatively  and host new and exciting events, instead of the same ones we all are used to every year.

What is the biggest challenge facing FAU?

I think the biggest challenge FAU faces is repetitive programming. Between student orgs, campus departments, and even SG I think we see a lot of the same events every semester all across the board, with some being staple events that we all look forward to like barbecues, and others that are in need of enhancement like karaoke nights. I think the biggest way SG can help is by not only partnering with the orgs, but also understanding what it is the students really want and hosting events that are requested instead of what we think the students will request. One thing both SG and orgs need to do to help this issue is communicating with different entities and finding out what they can do to host events on a level that has never been seen on our campus before. The truth of the matter is that we can host Bonfire and Black History Month Comedy Show level events throughout the year if we as orgs and SG worked together on a collaborative effort to really bring the programs we want to the campus.

Why is it important to have Black representation in SG?

I think it’s important to have Black representation in SG because it encourages others to want to join and get involved in SG, which leads to more diversity and inclusion at the table when some of the important decisions on our campus or being made. For me personally, seeing faces like Hannah Laguerre, Kettie Leger, Marlon Poteat, Samantha Malone, and Darius Galloway to name a few, alongside SG advisors Donald Van Pelt and Doctor Henry pushed me to join SG and really bring the change that I wanted to see in SG in what they all helped create and display as a place for Black students to thrive.

Fabio Cabrera 

Major: Sociology with a double minor in Political Science & Criminal Justice 

Classification: Senior 

SG Position: Broward House Speaker

IG Handle: @TasteElSol

Why did you join SG?

I decided to join Student Government in order to become more involved on campus. A typical student should represent everyday pupils, in my opinion. I wanted to share the abundance of information and resources with my other colleagues and people; I wanted to make sure they were aware of all the tools at their disposal. I wanted to be a voice, a supporter, and an advocate for people who might not have had the chance to find their own voice yet.

What are your goals for the year?

Even though my term is almost up, I believed that the main purpose of my tenure was to reignite the “fire” that I felt was missing from a few of the Broward House representatives. I observed that the production within the house suffered greatly because my predecessor didn’t have the necessary assets to succeed in his time. Rest certain that I was able to convey the value of teamwork, accountability, and recognizing others’ accomplishments while instructing them to keep moving forward in the face of uncertainty. When things don’t go our way, we must view them as little setbacks on the way to big comebacks. My term was a self reflection moment of my own leadership, I learned so much and I’ve had really great people (Donald Vanpelt, MaryBeth Lockwood, Phyon Davis, and Michelle Whyte) to guide me through this leadership opportunity. 

What is the biggest challenge facing FAU?

I’ve said it before, but I firmly feel that the largest issue facing FAU is that students are unaware of the resources available to them through the Student Government to improve their college experience. Students have a lot more influence than they realize, and I’ve learned through Student Government that they should come along for the ride. The Student Government has to stop electing or appointing our friends to leadership positions and start giving leadership opportunities to more people who are qualified for the roles.

Why is it important to have Black representation in SG?

I have encountered a wide range of paradoxes regarding my identity and my presence because I have spent the majority of my young adult life navigating primarily through white businesses. Despite the social view that I was not deserving of my position, I was taught as a Black & Latino man to be proud of who I am and of the things that I have accomplished and to walk into situations with confidence. But I am constantly reminded of how fragile my presence is when I move through largely white and awkward environments. My knowledge and credentials are continually questioned, which serves as a reminder that I still have to demonstrate how much I belong in particular environments. Even while many places claim to embrace authenticity and diversity, young black professionals know that this is only a partial truth. Many young black professionals and individuals of color experience stress, burnout, and disengagement when their lives and the way they present themselves are scrutinized. For the sake of other people’s comfort and likability, we learn to stifle our truth. Because of this, it is important to promote Black leaders who can fill leadership positions and have the ability to influence the societies and environments in which they live. This is why I joined student government… so my people can also eat at the table. 

Be sure to keep and eye out for SG programming and events and talk to your student leaders who are here to help you navigate and improve your college experience.

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